The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

Somehow I have made it 30+ years in life and never made sugar cookies from scratch. Something about that “advanced preparation” tag at the beginning of the recipe always seems to steer me in a different direction, usually towards a cookie that can be baked and eaten in under an hour of when I decide I’m craving some cookies. So, the prospect of finally taking on this labor-of-love cookie seemed pretty exciting.

The mandatory components of this challenge where that we made a basic sugar cookie from scratch from the provided recipe, and that we decorated the cookies with the theme of “September.”

We were allowed to make variations to the sugar cookie dough by adding our own flavorings, and we could opt to make the royal icing from scratch or use a store bought mix.

After taking stock of what ingredients I already had in the kitchen I decided to make my sugar cookies and royal icing using the recipes included in Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s The Joy of Vegan Baking. When thinking about the theme of September, I decided that for me, this September has really been all about the anticipation of all the wonderful Fall flavors that will soon be gracing all my favorite products and recipes (think pumpkin everything for the next two months!). So in honor of this, I decided to add 1 1/2 teaspoons of homemade pumpkin pie spice to the cookie dough. I also dusted the decorated cookies with more of the pumpkin pie spice after the royal icing had begun to set up.

Sadly, (as usual) I had some issues with rolling all the dough to the same thickness and had some cookies that didn’t survive the baking process, but those that persevered (ie., were rolled to the appropriate thickness) were super delicious and just the right thing to get my “celebration of Fall flavors” started!

If you would like to get all of the challenge recipes for the sugar cookies and royal icing please follow this link to download the printable PDF. There is a wealth of information on decorating with royal icing that really makes it worth the download!

Thanks for a great challenge Mandy!