Potbelly Cookies

We’re not saying your dad has a potbelly, but if he does, he won’t be able to stop it from jiggling when he laughs at these adorable cookies! You can use your favorite sugar cookie recipe but slice-and-bake cookie dough or store-bought sugar cookies, large or small, work well too. All you have to do is mix up a batch of royal icing in order to “pipe and flood” the simple design on the cookies. You don’t even need a piping bag: for this simple design, a Ziploc bag with a tiny hole cut in one corner works beautifully.


Sharon Bowers

Potbelly Cookies

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    1 egg white Red, yellow and blue food coloring
    1 tsp. lemon juice 6 sugar cookies
    1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar 1 tube black decorating gel


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    • 1

      Make the royal icing by beating the egg white and lemon juice with an electric mixer until frothy. At medium speed, beat in the confectioners’ sugar. Then beat on high until it is thick and glossy, about 3 minutes. Cover the icing with plastic wrap placed directly on the surface to keep it from drying out until you’re ready to use it.

    • 2

      To decorate, divide the royal icing into small bowls. Put a third in one bowl, a third in a second bowl, and divide the remainder between two bowls. Leave one third white, color the other third blue, and color one of the two smaller bowls brown by adding a drop of red, yellow and blue, mixing and adding a few more drops as needed to intensify the brown color. Color the remaining small bowl pale pink or pale brown or whatever color seems closest to your dad’s belly.

    • 3

      Put each color of icing in a sandwich-size Ziploc bag. Press out the air and use scissors to cut off a very tiny corner. If the stream is not quite big enough when you begin squeezing out the icing, cut the hole a bit bigger, but use caution — once you’ve cut it, you can’t make it smaller! (If the hole is way too big, pipe the icing right into a second bag and try again.)

    • 4

      Place the cookies flat in front of you on a clean work surface. On each one, pipe three curved black lines as shown in the photo to mark the lower two curves of the belt and the upper curve of the shirt. Let it dry for about 10 minutes, until the wet sheen is off the gel. Working slowly and carefully, pipe white above the top curve, then pipe brown between the two narrow lines marking the belt. Let these colors dry until the sheen is off the icing, about 10 minutes. Then pipe blue on the bottom half of the cookie, below the lower black line, and pipe your belly color in the remaining middle section. Let the icing on the cookies dry completely, then pipe on a belt buckle and belly button as shown in the photos.

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