Cookie Chemistry


September 22, 2012 by Meg G.

So, you may recall that I am honing my sugar cookie baking and decorating. Well, this week, I did a trial run on some chemistry-inspired cookies for a very special occasion. Our friends Caroline and Jonathan are getting married in just a few weeks. Jonathan’s family is from Pittsburgh, an area of the country that celebrates weddings with…wait for it…a cookie table! This time-honored tradition involves massive amounts of homemade cookies. I’m all in!

Being that this adorable couple shares a love for chemistry, I thought I’d give these Science Lab cookie cutters a go. Good thing I did a practice run, because it looks like I’ve got a bit of a learning curve on these! I did, however, manage to solve much of my previous icing problem. Hooray! More on that after the photo tour.

Stiff peaks means icing is ready

Doesn’t it kinda look like a bald eagle?!


Test tubes and atoms

Green slime / chartreuse icing

So, there is clearly some perfecting to do – mostly in the outlining process. I really need to pick up a smaller icing tip and to work on keeping a steady hand. The problem with these cutters are that they are VERY large (about 6inches), so that’s a lot of surface area to outline and flood at an even pressure, with a steady hand. I guess I’ll just have to keep practicing!

As for the royal icing recipe, I think I finally found the right ratios. Here’s what I went with, which is basically Sweet Sugarbelle’s recipe divided by four (thank you to the wonderful Heather, a.k.a. my calculator):

Royal Icing:

  • 1 lb of confectioner’s sugar
  • 3 tbsp meringue powder
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 6 tbsp water
  1. Sift together dry ingredients in your mixer
  2. Add vanilla and water together and then slowly add to dry ingredients while mixing
  3. Mix at medium-high speed until fluffy (bald eagle) peaks form, about 7-10 minutes total
  4. Adjust consistency for piping or flood icing

This time around, I had fewer air bubbles, but they still bothered me. Overall, though, I was quite pleased with the consistency of the icing.

I also played around with these new cutters, which I bought with the hopes of making them for my family’s Thanksgiving table. I was QUITE pleased with how these turned out.

If you look closely, you’ll notice that these did not get outlined and filled. Instead, I used Sweet Sugarbelle’s 20 second icing consistency, which is somewhere in between piping and flood. This allows you to skip the outline without having your icing slide off the cookie. I’m thinking that it might make more sense to try that method with the science lab cookies next time around.

Off to go brush my teeth after all those cookies… ; )

90 thoughts on “Cookie Chemistry

  1. heedleselle says:

    This looks amazing! I wish my science lab allowed food, just so I could bring these in! (:

  2. I absolutely adore the science lab cookies!

  3. Wow, these look so awesome ๐Ÿ™‚

  4. Eri Berry says:

    Wonderful! This reminds me of my aunt and her cakes. I love to lick the icing left on the steel whipping gadget.

    Also, I love the way you used the word chartreuse. Yay for words for different color. The science-themed cookies are something new to me. I definitely want to try.

  5. verbiest says:


  6. caliyambao says:

    This is awesome! It’s 1am and I am so craving cookies right now!boo….lol

  7. sillybloggin says:

    These chemistry lab cookies are brilliant, I wish I had them on the table of my degree (in chemistry) party… you definitely master the art of decorating cookies!

  8. mrengy says:

    So fun! I think I am starting to get a sense of your cookie decorating style.

    Have you heard of Sin Desserts? They have some pretty spectacular cake decoration skills, and they’re local. Maybe some inspiration:

  9. I really wish my cookies would turn out like yours! My shapes are always messed up and then my frosting skills, are non-existent! I enjoyed this article and I want you to come bake for me this holiday season! Great post!

  10. kerrycooks says:

    They look fantastic – well done! And yes, it does look EXACTLY like an eagle!

  11. […] Cookie Chemistry. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Blogroll […]

  12. I think all weddings should include a cookie table!! Congrats on being freshly pressed. Thanks for sharing Royal Icing recipe. I agree that the hardest part of decorating cookies is getting the consistency right. That, and a steady hand of course!! All your cookies look adorable.

  13. So creative! Love the science theme!

  14. PeanutButterCup says:

    Wow, you are really good at making and decorating cookies! They look soooo good! Very nice job. ๐Ÿ™‚

  15. mishieruka says:

    I really want cookies now!

  16. YUM2THREE says:

    These are REALLY cool! ๐Ÿ™‚

  17. Very cool. Cookie cutting must be in the air. I visited my niece and nephew in Seattle, and they made pretzel shaped sugar cookies the other night for after dinner.

  18. L says:

    These are adorable! I love a cookie table. In fact I feel like making cookies tonight, thanks for the inspiration! And congrats for being Freshly Pressed ๐Ÿ™‚

  19. midnitechef says:

    I haven’t read the other comments but… the air bubbles are from using a whish attachment, try a paddle next time for fewer air pockets. I usually start with a stiff icing, or remove enough to fill a piping bag for outlines, then add more water to the mixer. The flooding icing should be like wet paint, where a ribbon falls into the surface and disappears. That’s what I learned at a cookie decorating class at the local bakery supply shop.

    This reminds me that I need to get out the Halloween cutters and maybe buy some more!

    What cookie dough recipe did you use? Are you satisfied with it?

    • griffson812 says:

      Thanks for the tips! I actually made them with the paddle last time and the air bubbles were worse (see my Cupcake post). Boo! I use Sweet Sugarbelle’s sugar cookie recipe and I really like it – easy to make and delicious! I am working on perfecting it still, but I think it’s a great base.

  20. fashionforlunch says:

    I love this! What fun! So cute!

  21. TheWombRoom says:

    Reblogged this on TheWombRoom and commented:
    Cookies?! Yes Please…

  22. NM says:

    Wow those cookies look really delicious!!! Makes me wish we could put our hand through the screen and pick one out!!! I am going to bake on weekends now!!! Thanks!!!

  23. yourothermotherhere says:

    You give me hope. I can’t bake cookies for crap.

  24. Rhyann says:

    I love the science cookies! My friends and I are kind of science nerds, so I think they would appreciate something like that at our next cooking party!

  25. This is SO COOL! I want to go make science cookies now ๐Ÿ™‚

  26. erica0407 says:

    I love it! Adorable ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. ifightforgod says:

    These look really good. Very creative too!

  28. Lonnie says:

    Chemistry never looked so delicious.

  29. I always love the “geek” cookies. I find royal icing rather fickle. I can never really get it to be the right consistency. You did a lovely job!

  30. Sarah says:

    So creative!! I really like the atom cookie ๐Ÿ˜€

  31. Simply loved your post! I’m a Biologist (and Biochemist, so, go figure!) and had so much fun reading (and learning from!) your post! My kids would probably love these cookies (yeah! I’m already trying to get them to love Science!) It actually made me a bit jealous (just a tiny lil’ bit, thinking: ร love baking, husband already thinks I’m a geek – how didn’t I think about this before…”and now, found your post – a lot of fun – thanks so much for sharing and congrats!!!! ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

  32. nazarioartpainting says:

    I love it. Look delicious!

  33. baaaaah! the test tubes and beakers are the cuuuuuuutest!!!! โค

  34. Wine Sinner says:

    I truly loved this post! Very creative and fun.

  35. Love these, thanks for sharing!!

  36. immigrantgirl1026 says:

    Reblogged this on An immigrant girl.

  37. segmation says:

    What an awesome blog. My daughter started out as a great pastry cook and now is studying biomedical engineering! Great isn’t it!

  38. fireandair says:

    Nerd cookies, I love it. Last Friday, I ruminated upon a space-shuttle-shaped cookie cutter, too.

  39. rmk says:

    These look great and make me want to do some baking.

  40. I love these so much! One of our friends is a research chemist and just moved across the country. What a nice surprise it would be to send him some of these! ๐Ÿ™‚

  41. Mei says:

    These are so cute! I’ve recently taken an interest in decorating with chocolate and wow drawing with food is fun! I’m going to hold onto your recipe. thanks for sharing! ๐Ÿ™‚

  42. You are so creative…love the beakers and test tubes and whatnot. FABULOUS idea…


  43. Rajini Kumar says:

    Reblogged this on Rajnie's Blog and commented:
    Now this is very cool. Eat and learn. ๐Ÿ™‚

  44. I just want to sit and eat all of that icing! I looks sooo wonderful. Um, yeah I’m a sugar addict.
    Not sure if it’s just the area of the country for cookie tables at weddings – it’s tradition at all Italian Weddings.
    All of the cookies look great, you did a nice job!

  45. Sinead says:

    I wish everyone would celebrate their weddings with cookie tables ๐Ÿ™‚ Great idea, I especially love the test tube cookies!

  46. They look sooo good!! Thanks for sharing!

  47. thebigbookofdating says:

    These are so cute! What a great idea, I love them (:

  48. Allie says:

    Wow!! This is sooo cute!!! Love it!

  49. deessire1309 says:

    thatยดs soooo cuuuteee ๐Ÿ™‚

  50. Molly says:

    These are ….RAD!!! Awesome cookies!!!

  51. Oh yum! I love sugar cookies– not sure my dentist feels the same way. Cheers!

  52. thanks for providing this frosting recipe! Its so hard for me to get the perfect consistency sometimes!

  53. Leslie says:

    Love the fall cookies! They look sooooo yummy!

  54. Sophie Milan says:

    Yummy! I hope I can do the same with all those alien kitchen tools to me ๐Ÿ˜€ Lol

  55. theyellowranger says:

    I LOVE these! Those little beakers and test tubes look delish. Nice post!

  56. vanbraman says:

    Your Chemistry cookie cutters are really cool. However, what I really like is the techniques that you used to frost the cookies. They look really cool and would make a great addition to a party for someone who likes science.

  57. Nutmeg says:

    Great post! I’m always experimenting with royal icing, might try those ratios next time, thanks for the share!

  58. These are awesome! A great breakdown on icing cookings, it’s a task that has always seemed so daunting to me! I may be able to take it on now. Thank you for sharing!

  59. Thanks for breaking it down, that helps MEEEEEEE! I need to learn to make RI in smaller batches since I don’t really sell cookies anymore. And your eagle cracked me up! Yes it does!

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