Beach ball cookies are a fun and unique way to celebrate summer! Enjoy them at the end of the school year picnic or by the pool
It used to be pretty rare that I baked or cooked anything that was too involved. Generally if it had more than 5-7 ingredients and half a dozen steps I moseyed on to the next recipe. Then I started a food blog. And while I absolutely adore my one pot meals and simple sweet treats I also like to mix it up every once in awhile.
If you’ve spent any time at all on Facebook then you’ve probably come across one of those cookie tutorials, yeah? I. am. obsessed. Like so obsessed it’s ridiculous. There was the leprechaun at St. Patrick’s Day, the bunnies for Easter, and the watermelon for summer. Plus SO many more. But one thing I hadn’t seen was a beach ball. I couldn’t even find more than one tutorial on YouTube. And here I’d found it.
It was a simple shape, which was perfect. Didn’t require me to go out and buy any special ingredients and it is SUPER ADORABLE! Did I mention it was super adorable? But also labor intensive. No joke. I only made 1/2 a recipe and it took me 90 minutes to frost them. 90 minutes for 12 cookies!
At this point in my story I’m starting to wonder why I’m telling you it took me ages to frost cookies and only half the recipe at that. Old me would have gotten to the 90 minutes part, my eyes would have bugged out, and I’d have clicked on to the next recipe. But wait! These cookies are a labor of love. And they might have taken me a little longer because I was stubborn and didn’t want to get 5 bowls dirty all at once to make all the colors all at once to have them all ready. So I was constantly back and forth in the kitchen washing the bowl, drying the bowl, washing the squeeze bottle, drying the squeeze bottle, filling the squeeze bottle. Coloring and adding new frosting.
In actuality you could probably have these babies done in 30 minutes flat! If you’re not back and forth and back and forth to save yourself on dishes because you live without a dishwasher. Which makes life as a food blogger very very sad. But I digress. These cookies. Make them. You’ll be the coolest mom at field day. Or the awesome mom at the pool party. Or the best aunt evar. Like for reals.
See? Easy peasy. I used a teeny tiny tip to make my lines because unlike the tutorial on YouTube I watched 50,439,732 times I didn’t want any white showing between my colors. The small lines worked perfectly to keep the flood icing from oozing off the side of the cookie but allow the icing to run RIGHT to the barrier. Delicious. I mean gorgeous.
I even used a different icing recipe this time. I could say I was being adventurous and wanted to bring y’all a different technique but really it’s cause I was too lazy to go to the store and buy some meringue powder, which is how I made my royal icing for these conversation heart cookies. Ride the lazy train with me, y’all! This icing worked just as well and still doesn’t have any egg whites in it. Boom!
How has your cooking awesomeness evolved over time?
For the Royal Icing:
- ¼ tsp lemon juice
- 2 ½ cups powdered sugar
- 2 ½ Tbs milk
For the Cookies:
- ¾ cup salted butter, softened
- 2 cups flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¾ cup sugar
For the Cookies:
- Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Add egg and vanilla and mix until combined.
- Sift together flour and salt and add in two batches to the butter mixture. Mix until just combined each time.
- Cover dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate 1 hour or until firm.
- On a lightly floured surface roll out dough to ¼" thickness and using a 3 inch round cookie cutter cut cookies and place on a lined or greased baking sheet.
- Bake at 325 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
For the Royal Icing:
- Sift powdered sugar into a stand mixer and add in milk.
- Mix on low speed until well combined, then mix on medium speed for 2-3 minutes and add lemon juice*
- Whip until stiff peaks form. Use the thicker icing for piping borders.
- To create flood icing for decorating add water in ½ tsp increments, stirring well with a spatula until a ribbon of icing disappears in a count of 2.
- Using thicker royal icing, pipe 3 curved and intersecting lines to create the sections of the ball then pipe around the outside of the cookie.
- Taking each color, fill in a section of the cookie with your flood icing and gently move it into the corners with a toothpick or needle. Use the toothpick or needle to poke out any air bubbles that appear.
- Cover the area where all the colors meet with a white dot for the top of the beach ball.
- Allow cookies to set until icing is firm.