First of all, if you are looking for the best sugar cookie ever, look elsewhere. These cookies definitely score more points as a novelty item. However, they're still tasty. So, when you combine a decent taste with a fun, whimsical idea that has multiple options for presentation, these are fabulous!
Next, these are time consuming! Definitely not something you want to make a couple of hours before the bake sale begins. I like to make the dough ahead of time, get help to tint the dough (especially if you want bright colors, it will take a good chunk of time to mix all the color in to the four different sections of dough), and then make all the balls before I refrigerate the dough. Then I chill it all overnight and make the cookies the next day. If you want to save even more time, you could divide the two just into two and make cookies with only two colors.
Third, I never found anything called "paste food coloring." One time I made them, I used my Wilton Icing colors...worked fine but are harder to mix especially because they don't have a squeeze tube. What I use now is Betty Crocker Gel Food Coloring. Works great!
Fourth, I, like many other reviewers prefer a little more sugar...1/4-1/3 C. I also like a little more vanilla so I add about a 1/4 t more of that.
Lastly, a tip for making cookies look like big "whirly pops" when you make one large ball out of the four balls, do NOT mix them up too much. Then, while you coil the dough, twist it as you go.
Have fun with these!
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First of all, if you are looking for the best sugar cookie ever, look elsewhere. These cookies...