Feast your eyes on what my fellow vault hunters got for Christmas this year!

No, not my beloved loot chest. The cookies!

Not too long ago, I decided that I wanted to learn how to make all those super cool decorated cookies you find online. My first attempt was with (what else) Magic cookies in each of the five mana symbols. In true me fashion, I forgot to take photos of them and have only one lone crappy cell phone pic.

…it’s not my finest work.

But I was a bit ambitious, and I had virtually no clue what I was doing. Since then, I’ve done some simpler and some more complicated designs, and I’ve kind of gotten a handle on the process. Kind of. I’m by no means an expert – and there’s a real art to food photography that is clearly totally escaping me – but I figured I’d share a little step-by-step! You know, just in case any of you care to partake in this impossibly frustrating hobby.

So let’s see, how do we start?

Bake cookies, of course. Any cut-out cookie recipe will do. I usually go with a vanilla-almond sugar cookie, but I did gingerbread this time around because 1 – it’s Christmastime, dur and 2 – I thought the dark brown would fit the look of Borderlands cookies better. Make your dough, roll it out to roughly 1/4″ thick, and cut out your shapes. Put those shapes onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, then pop it in the freezer for a few minutes. This will help the cookies retain their shape while baking. Bake according to your recipe, and while you’re waiting for them to cool completely – and yes, I mean really, really completely – get started on your royal icing.

I learned to make royal icing from Bridget at Bake at 350, but there are a million other recipes out there you can use. Just find what works for you. I won’t go through the intricacies (I recommend checking out the aforementioned site for that) but the important thing is to have two consistencies – piping and flood. Dye your icings accordingly, and get your workspace all set. Try to be organized, or risk having your table looking like this:

So first things first, you start with a #2 tip, and a pastry/icing bag full of piping icing – a thicker, toothpaste-like consistency that will hold its shape. And you pipe!

…ok well first, a disclaimer. I’m normally a perfectionist, but I’ve had to teach myself that until I make a thousand cookies, my lines won’t be perfect. The good news? You cover up the imperfections when you flood! So don’t stress too much about wobbly lines. Take a look:

See? Those lines suck. How many fucks do I give? Zero. Because we’re just going to cover that shit up with our flood icing. Flood icing is roughly the consistency of syrup, so you can use a bottle and slowly fill it in.

See how nicely that covers up my mistakes? It’ll be even better once the rest is filled in. But before we do that, we have to wait patiently for them to dry. (I hate waiting, but I hate colors bleeding together even more. So wait!)

Once that’s dry enough to continue, you’ll take your yellow flood icing and fill in the spaces. You’ll notice though, that it’s tough to get into the corners. So take a toothpick and gently kind of nudge the icing over to the border – if you give it just a little push, you’ll see that it’ll attach to the dried icing and slowly fill in the gaps.

Once that dries, you’ll have…your very own vault hunter cookie!

Since three hours of decorating clearly wasn’t enough for me, I decided to add to my madness by attempting some Torgue tokens…but there were two problems. Problem one was that I wasn’t happy with the references I had for the token emblem, and problem two was that I didn’t really feel like mixing up more colors, and of course I started these cookies the night before they had to be delivered. So I decided to improvise on the design (and have since found the problem and will correct it for the next batch – next batch? Yea. Next batch.) and just work with the colors I had. Adding some orange to the yellow worked just fine, and my decision to use gingerbread paid off, in that I didn’t have to make a background color. Perfect!

And that’s it! Take some photos, package them up and send them to the vault hunters in your life, or blow them up in an explosion befitting Mr. Torgue, I don’t care. Just get some of your own, so you can eat ’em and grow up big and strong and kick Piston in the butt-butt. Enjoy!