As far back as I can remember, it was always my dream to live in the USA. I could not shake it. Something inside my heart was telling me that America was where I truly belonged. So I finished college, bought myself a ticket and came here with nothing but a bag of clothes and big dreams. Fast forward many years later, I am lucky enough to have made that dream a reality and the United States is now my home. That’s why to this day, as an immigrant, American holidays hold a special place in my heart. Today’s cookie project is a yummy tribute to my country of adoption: Independence Days Balloon Cookies. Here is how to make them:

Independence Day Balloon Cookies
 

makes 15 cookies
Ingredients
  • for the cookies:
  • 1½ stick of butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups flour
  • for royal icing:
  • 2lbs of confectioner sugar
  • ⅓ cup meringue powder
  • ¾ cup water

Instructions
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy in texture. Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until combined. Add all the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together.
  2. Roll out your dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350°F.
  3. Unwrap your dough and cut out your cookies. Bake for 10 minutes or until the edges start to turn a light golden color.
  4. To make royal icing, mix all 3 ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer on low speed for a minute to combine. Then crank up to high speed and mix for 7 minutes.

Let’s start by making our cookies.

In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light in color and fluffy in texture:

Add the egg and vanilla extract. Mix until combined:

Add all the flour and mix on low speed until the dough comes together:

Roll out your dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, preheat your oven to 350°F:

To shape the cookies I am using a basic round cutter and a diamond cutter:

Using a pairing knife, cut off the top corners of each diamond and press the shapes together. They will merge as they bake:

Bake at 350°F for 12 minutes or until the edges start to turn golden brown.

To decorate these cookies, I made royal icing in 3 colors. You guessed it…Red, white and blue!

Let’s start by filling the top of our balloons, giving it a nice curve:

Continue with red stripes. Taper the stripes down to mimic the shape of your balloon. If you want to make sure you give them the right shape, you can always use a food safe pen to sketch those lines first:

Let the red stripes set for a little bit then fill in with white icing:

To make the stars, I was looking for star-shaped sugar decos but I could not find any so I came up with this easy solution: Pipe a dot of white icing:

Using a pin or a toothpick, drag icing from the center of the dot out towards each point of your star:

Easy, right?

To finish these cookies, tie up some cotton twine and your balloons are ready to fly into your belly.

Happy Independence Day!!!