My brain is still two steps behind, though... I was baking cookies in preparation for the class, and could not find one of my large baking trays. So frustrating! It took me two days of random searching to remember that it was in the chest freezer with some cookie-pops-in-the-making. Apologies to my husband and children who I was suspecting of being responsible for its disappearance. Thankfully I didn't voice my suspicions!
The other rather brainless thing I did, was to set a class theme that uses cookie cutters I don't have!
I had ordered them, but not nearly early enough to get them in time for the class. Definitely still in holiday mode...
Anyway, thankfully if you don't have a cutter and it's a simple shape you can use a template instead:
Draw or print the shape, cut it out of cardboard and baking parchment. Stick the baking parchment onto the cardboard. Then place the template - parchment side down - onto the rolled out cookie dough. Cut around the shape with a sharp knife - and there you have it.
It took me ages to do these, not because they were particularly difficult but because I was cutting them out in 35'C heat, and my cookie dough was turning into goo. I'd cut two, and then have to refrigerate it for 30 minutes to get it firm enough to work with again!
So, use a firm chilled dough when using templates. And a sharp clean knife.
I added the heart as a guideline for piping - my freehand skills aren't great: trying to do something like a circle or a symmetrical shape defeats me. So pressing down with another shape, without cutting all the way through, leaves an impression on the cookie after it is baked. (You can, of course, also draw a guideline with an edible marking pen onto the cookie once it is baked.)
Bake and decorate in the usual way (for a few tips on cookie baking see here; and for decorating basics, here. )
Finished birdhouse. It just needs a few blue-birds-of-happiness to complete the picture : )