I made butterfly cookies for my daughter's birthday party. While surfing around the net, I found a great tutorial for making these cookies on Cake Journal.
I'm very, very impressed with how they came out visually and I've finally discovered that the secret to really professional looking cookies hinges on rolled-fondant. (At least if you want to make it easy!) My only issue? The taste. Fondant doesn't really taste like anything. It's sweet, but it lacks flavor. This is fine for children because most kids love anything sweet and don't really have refined enough palettes to look for any flavor complexity, but I feel these cookies really fall short in the taste department. (It makes me wonder what those cakes on Ace of Cakes taste like.)
So my question today is, would you rather have fantastic cookies that look "homemade" or mediocre cookies that look professional and amazing? I'm thinking I'm going with taste. I'm also thinking of trying to find a way to achieve beauty and taste. Maybe royal icing? The last time I tried royal icing, it didn't work out very well, but maybe after a little practice I could achieve the same impressive results?
What's your secret to great cookies?