Today is National Polka Dot Day! Usually, the Disney Parks celebrate this day by honoring fashion icon Minnie Mouse and her famous dots. I’ve got a little something for the occasion that you can make at home: fabulous Minnie-inspired sugar cookies . . . with polka dots! And regardless of what shape you make or how you decorate them, I think you’ll find that these are just about the perfect cookie!
Aside from my beloved Haunted Mansion, I have two other loves in my life: Minnie Mouse and polka dots! I named my car Minnie (with red polka dot seat covers, a polka dot steering wheel cover, and a Minnie-inspired rhinestone license place frame!) and have a whole wardrobe of polka dot clothing. In fact, for Disneyland’s 60th anniversary, my daughter and I were featured in the OC Register and on the Disney Parks Blog wearing polka dot dresses!
So when National Polka Dot Day comes around every year, it’s something that I take seriously.
How to Make Rock the Dots Sugar Cookies
Although it’s not possible to visit Minnie at Disneyland today (in a polka dot outfit, of course), I’ve got the next best thing: polka dot sugar cookies! I’m sharing my favorite recipe for sugar cookies with you, and I’ll show you how to decorate them just how Minnie would like them.
Makes About 24 4-Inch Cookies (but it depends on the size of your cookie cutter!)
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. Into a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium speed, beat butter and sugar for about 1½ minutes, or until smooth and the mixture is a very pale yellow. Beat in the egg and vanilla until well combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
3. Turn the mixer speed to low and carefully add the flour mixture a little at a time, occasionally stopping to scrape the sides of the bowl. Once all the flour has been incorporated, the dough should form a ball around the mixing attachment and feel soft but not sticky.
4. Divide the dough in half and put in a folded piece of parchment inside a 1-gallon plastic Ziploc bag. Roll the dough to fill the space. Close the bag and place on a flat cookie sheet and refrigerate for at least 10 minutes before rolling or store for up to 7 days tightly wrapped. This ensures that your cookies are the perfect thickness and you don’t have to dirty your rolling pin.
5. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
6. Use cookie cutters to create desired shapes, and carefully transfer with a cookie spatula to a nonstick baking sheet, I like to use parchment paper, placing the cookies about ¾ inch apart.
7. Bake one sheet at a time in the middle of the oven until puffy, about 7-8 minutes. Allow the cookies to rest for 2 minutes on the baking sheet before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. This is why parchment paper comes in handy again. Just slip the paper onto the cooling rack.
8. Repeat with the gathered scraps and remaining dough until all the dough has been used. I roll it in between the parchment paper used in the Ziploc bag so no extra flour is needed.
Makes about 6 cups
- 1 cup margarine or butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup vegetable shortening
- 2 pounds confectioners sugar (about 7 1/2 cups)
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons whole milk
- Food coloring (if desired)
1. Combine the margarine and Crisco in the bowl of an electric mixer; using a paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes.
2. Add half of the confectioners’ sugar and continue beating on low speed for an additional 2 minutes, or until the mixture is creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and milk, and beat until the frosting is creamy and fluffy, about 2 minutes more. Divide frosting into however many colors you plan on using for your cookies. (For today’s cookies, I made red, blue, yellow and pink frosting.) Add food coloring and beat on low speed until light and fluffy.
3. Use immediately or store in an airtight container refrigerated for up to 30 days.
The best part of making a cookie is eating it, there’s no doubt in that. The second best part of making a cookie is decorating it! To really rock the dots, I’m using a collection of nonpareils, round sugar decorations, plus 4 different frosting colors (red, blue, yellow and pink).
Once your cookies have fully cooled, you’re ready to start decorating! First, you’ll start off with an outline of the cookie.
Next, carefully fill the outlined areas with frosting. For these cookies, I went with a zigzag pattern.
I like to work in sections for these cookies.
Now for the fun part: polka dots! I like to use a lot of nonpareils on the frosted areas of the cookie to create a polka dot effect.
And just like that, you’ll have a whole plateful of delicious polka dot cookies in no time!
I made little goodie bags for some of my friends and family. Although I really wish I was rocking my dots at Disneyland, I’m almost as happy just to make these little beauties and deliver a little joy to the people I love.
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Let’s Hear From You
Will you do anything special for National Polka Dot Day? I hope that you enjoyed seeing how I make my Rock The Dots Sugar Cookies! Share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!