These red and grey CTR cookies were the last CTR cookies I made. And they happened to be for my daughter’s baptism. So they are super special to me! However, I’m just about to make another set. I thought I’d bring you along for the ride.
CTR stands for “Choose the Right” and is an acronym used often in the LDS (aka Mormon) church. It is similar to WWJD. It is to remind us to always make good choices.
I get more inquiries about CTR cookies than anything else. They also get pinned on Pinterest a lot. Apparently Mormons love Pinterest. Who knew? (I did actually.)
Baptism is a big event and we want to make it special. We spend a lot of time planning the occasion. (Hence the pinterest boards full of baptism ideas.)
And we also have those Great to be 8! orientations, for which you want a special treat, but you have no budget for 😉 You know what I’m talking about, if you’ve ever planned one.
If you are adventurous and want to make these for your special occasion, then you are in the right place! They are bit labor intensive, but hey it’s a labor of love, right?
This tutorial assumes some basic knowledge of this type of cookie decorating. If you are a newbie, I would suggest visiting Lilaloa and Sweet Sugar Belle’s websites. They have lots of information for beginners.
CTR Royal Icing Transfers
The first step is to make the “C” “T” and “R.” When you dry royal icing on wax paper to put on a cookie later, it is called a royal icing transfer. Transfers need a while to dry (at least 24-36 hours), so you need to do this beforehand. Probably before you even bake your cookies.
I make bunches of these with any leftover icing I have. Then I keep a container of them. They store for a very long time.
1. Start by printing off these CTR shield patterns. I have included a
4 inch pattern
3.5 inch pattern
3 inch pattern
I use the 4″ version because that is what fits my cookie cutter. I printed a couple sheets and cut them apart so I could fit more on my cookie sheets.
(Also may I mention, that you can also try the other language versions of CTR?)
2. Tape the patterns onto the back of a cookie sheet. Then tape a piece of wax paper over the patterns. Make sure the wax paper is as smooth as possible.
3. Using white 20 second icing, pipe the CTR letters using the pattern as a guide. Use a toothpick to pull the icing to the corners of the letters.
4. Let these dry for at least 24- 36 hours. More, if you live in a humid climate.
5. Carefully remove the transfer from the wax paper. Don’t try to pull the letter off the wax paper, but rather peel the wax paper from the letter. Here is a video from One Tough Cookie that shows you how to do this.
You will break some of the letters. It is just a fact of life. So make extras.
6. Make sure you change the wax paper in between sets, don’t try to reuse it. Otherwise they won’t release easily from the wax paper and you will break more of them.
Roll, Cut and Bake Cookies
Roll out and bake your cookies. I use this recipe for my cookies. I got the cookie cutter here. I have also seen this shield cookie cutter on Etsy and another version at Gygi’s in Salt Lake City. Or you can make your own with these instructions.
Bake your cookies. Let them sit for 24 hours if possible. This is supposed to decrease the chance of your icing developing butter bleed.
Outline the shield with a thick border of white icing. I used a tip that doesn’t have a number, but came with a cheap set of icing bags. This is a 20-second white icing.
Let this dry for several hours, this will decrease the chance that your colors bleed into the white.
Using flood consistency icing, fill the middle of the white outline. Use a toothpick to smooth the icing and to pop any air bubbles.
*A note on color. If you want the classic CTR green color, use Americolor Leaf Green. It is a perfect match. If you don’t want that green, do whatever you want.
Carefully place the “T” in the center while the icing is still wet. I just use my fingers and drop it carefully on top of the icing. You can move it a little, but not much, once it’s on there. So be careful.
Quickly add the “C” and the “R”
That’s it! Let them dry. It is safest to make them at least a day ahead of time, so they can dry. (Unless you plan to ship them, then you need at least 2-3 days of drying time, so they don’t end up all mangled.)
So if you are keeping track, let me give you a more concise time line. You need to start these 4 days ahead of when you need them. If you are in a crunch you could make the cookies and transfers on the same day. You can also decorate your cookies the same day they are baked (once they are cooled) if you are really in a rush. But this is my timeline for decorating them.
Day 1: Make your royal icing. Then make your “C” “T” and “R” transfers. Let them dry at least 24 hours. (Cover your royal icing tightly and leave it on the counter or place in the refrigerator so you can use it on day 3.)
Day 2: Make your cookies (place them in an airtight container once they have cooled.)
Day 3: Remove the royal icing transfers, pipe and flood cookies, add transfers. Let them dry
Day 4: They should be ready to go after about 24 hours (If they are being shipped, they need more like 2-3 days to dry.)
Deliver them and be ready to impress everybody!
Let me know if you have questions. Hopefully you can follow along.