Thursday, April 15, 2010

sugar cookies and royal icing

Sugar Cookies
 adapted from Annie's Eats

 2 cups butter, softened
 2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 ½ t. almond extract
2 t. vanilla
1 ½ t. salt
5 c. sifted flour

Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Mix well. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Roll to ¼” thickness in between sheets of parchment paper (sprinkle flour on both sides of the dough and paper), then chill dough in fridge until firm. Cut with cookie cutters and place on greased cookie sheets. Repeat with remainder of dough once or twice, rolling in between parchment paper and chilling. Each time you roll it out they get tougher from adding flour while rolling.
Bake at 375° for 8-10 min.  Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool, I usually bake them a day before I decorate. Makes about 40 cookies, depending on the size of your cutter design.

Royal Icing
from Annie's Eats 
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.  Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)  Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.
Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.  Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Allow to set.
Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired.  Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid.  Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.

1 comment:

  1. I used your royal Icing to make some cookies for my son's 1st birthday party and they were a HUGE hit! Thank you and I welcome you to check it out!

    Baby's 1st Birthday @ Root&Blossom