We need more crafts. I’m not always one for a DIY, but when it’s edible, super cute, and multi-purpose, COUNT ME IN. I came up with these sugar cookie gift tags this year because I found myself kinda in charge of not one, not two, but three different Valentine’s parties, and I wanted a tiny sweet bite that would add a cute and personal touch to each gathering. I got rave reviews when I sneak-peeked them on my IG stories, so I decided to make up a little tutorial for you guys here. They’re really simple, and with the right recipe (see below!) you’ll be sure to have success with them in your own kitchen too! Let’s get started.
These sugar cookie gift tags are basically small, buttery sugar cookies topped with a piped, semi-hard set icing. The teeny tiny hole in the corner allows for a simple ribbon or piece of kitchen twine to be laced through it to make whatever it is you’re going after. I’ve provided a few ideas below (Necklaces! Gift Tags! Place Card Settings! Garland!), but you could certainly modify this tutorial to use a different shape cookie cutter or to apply the twined hearts in another manner. This is a choose your own adventure kind of craft, so feel free to think outside the box.
To make these sugar cookie gift tags, we start with the perfect cookie dough. This is a simple dough made of butter, sugar, flour, vanilla, salt, and baking powder. It’s fairly simple to work with and will cooperate with the craft by not puffing or expanding too much in the oven. Once you’ve prepared your dough, roll it out on a floured surface and use a cookie cutter to trim out shapes. I used this cutter for my hearts, but you can pick whatever you prefer. It’s important to keep your cookies thick enough to withstand a hole being poked in them. 1/4″ thickness is a a great sturdy size to start with. Once the shapes have been trimmed out, move them to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and poke small holes in the corners, centers, or wherever. I used a small wooden skewer, but you could also grab a chopstick or anything else that is small with a blunt end. Poke the hole and gently work the skewer in a small circle to ensure that the hole has been poked all the way through. Once your cookie sheet is full with cookies spaced out about 2″ apart, place the pan in the freezer to set up about 5 minutes. If your dough happens to have gotten really warm, pop it in the fridge for 30 minutes or an hour to make sure it has set through.
Once you have removed your baked sugar cookie gift tags from the oven, grab that same skewer and gently ensure your hole is still there. You want to do this right when the cookies come out of the oven so that they don’t set up before your hole is completely poked through. Allow the cookies to cool and, in the meantime, make your icing. Powdered sugar and milk come together for this simple frosting. The trick is achieving the right viscosity so that the icing doesn’t spill off the sides or through the hole of the cookie. To test it, run your whisk or a knife through the bowl of frosting. Your frosting should slowly move back together until you can’t see any trace of the whisk any longer, and this process should take about 10 seconds. If the frosting is too thick, it will not pool back together, and if it is too thin, it will pool back together too quickly. The ten second test doesn’t lie. Add more milk for a thinner icing and more powdered sugar if your icing becomes too thin. Keep in mind that if you add food coloring, this will change the viscosity of the icing, so be sure to check thickness after coloring has been added.
Prepare a piping bag with a small round tip. I prefer a #3 tip. Fill the bag with icing and pipe, pipe away! Start with a single cookie to test it all out and then finish with the remaining. I like to begin by piping a border and then filling in with additional icing. You can spread in the filler icing with a food safe paint brush (used strictly on food) or with a small offset spatula. Whatever works for you works for me! Do 2 cookies at a time to get in a flow and then allow them all to dry completely. Keep in mind that some food colorings can keep icing from setting well. I like to use Americolor food gels.
Once your sugar cookie gift tags are made you can use them in any manner you prefer! Freeze them ahead of time and gently thaw them for a make-ahead option, or just make them up to 3 days in advance kept at room temperature. If you can’t wait that long, feel free to just dive right in and eat them immediately. I gave one to Aimee on a necklace, and she thought she was the coolest kid on the block. These sugar cookie gift tags are a cutie treat for Valentine’s or whatever other holiday you might be pushing for. Give them a try and be sure to send me photos! I can’t wait to see. Happy baking to you and happy (almost!) Valentine’s!
If you like these sugar cookie gift tags you should try:Print
Sugar Cookie Gift Tags
These sugar cookie gift tags are cute little crafty edibles to make with kids for parties!
- Prep Time: 60
- Cook Time: 15
- Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Yield: 50, depending on size of cookie cutter 1x
- Category: Dessert
For the cookies
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, cold and cut into small pieces
- 1 egg
- 1–1/2 teaspoon princess cake and cookie emulsion (or 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 tsp almond extract)
For the icing
- 3 cups powdered sugar
- 3–6 tablespoons of whole milk or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon almond extract, vanilla extract, or bakery emulsion
For the cookies
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the dry ingredients and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until smooth and well combined, about 2-3 minutes. Add the egg and extract and cream until combined. Add the dry ingredients and stir on low just until combined.
- Dump the dough crumbles out on to a lightly floured surface and work together into one ball with your hands. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough to just over 1/4″ thicken and use a medium sized cookie cutter to cut shapes. If the dough ever gets too soft, refrigerate briefly.
- Place shapes on a baking sheet and freeze briefly for about 5 minutes.
- Once chilled, bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes and then cool on a cooling rack. Allow cookies to cool completely prior to icing.
For the icing
- Sift or whisk powdered sugar to remove lumps.
- Add 3 tablespoons of the milk and the extract, whisking until combined. Continue to add milk until it is the right viscosity. You will want thicker frosting for piping. To test viscosity, run your whisk or a knife through the bowl of frosting- your frosting should slowly move back together until you can’t see any trace of the whisk any longer. This process should take about 10 seconds. If the frosting is too thick, it will not pool back together, and if it is too thin, it will pool back together too quickly. The ten second test doesn’t lie. Add more milk for a thinner icing and more powdered sugar if your icing becomes too thin.
- Cover tightly in a tupperware or with a wet paper towel if you are not using it immediately, as frosting will dry out and become clumpy. Whisk occasionally and add more milk if it becomes too thick.