As you know, I’m a bit of a fanatic when it comes to Decorated Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing. I’ve been making them in some fashion or another since I was a young child. The past couple of years I have been using a new-and-improved cookie dough that stays in shape, doesn’t need to be refrigerated for hours, rolls out nicely and is easy to handle.
But the recipe got buried in another blog so I thought I’d post it in and of itself. The images depict a variety of reasons or seasons to make the cookies. Believe me, there is a cookie cutter for just about anything you can think of.
In fact, my next batch after the holidays will be for my garden club. I am a co-designer of one of the annual gala tables, with an overall theme of “Bloom with a View” and our specific table idea centers around an “Artist’s Studio” so stay tuned for an upcoming blog featuring those creative little devils.
Hearts for Valentine’s Day.
Hot air balloons for a child’s pastel-themed first birthday party.
Flowers and butterflies for my Master Gardner’s presentation.
Santa Hats as a donation for a bake sale at an artist’s organization.
Decorated Sugar Cookies
- 2 sticks (1 cup), room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 egg
- Zest from ½ a lemon (about 1 teaspoon)
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 cups unsifted flour (plus more for rolling cookies out)
- ½ tsp salt
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Add the butter sticks and the sugar and cream together in a stand mixer, about 3 minutes.
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the egg, lemon zest, baking powder and vanilla extract, then beat again for 2 minutes until a creamy.
- Add 3 cups flour and ½ teaspoon salt and mix on low speed to combine about 2 minutes.
- When done, form the dough into a ball.
- On a floured surface or pastry cloth, roll out the cookie dough ball to desired thickness level, about an 1/8″ or a little thicker. Cut out shapes and place on an unrimmed baking sheet.
- Reform any leftover dough into another ball and repeat the process.
- Put baking sheet(s) in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- After 10 minutes take the baking sheet out of the freezer and bake for 10-12 minutes, or until edges just start to turn a light brown. (Mine took the full 12 minutes.)
- Remove cookies from oven, allow to cool for a few minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting. Decorate—or not—with Royal Icing.
- 1 lb. confectioners sugar
- 3 Tbsp. meringue powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup warm water
- In a stand mixer, beat the meringue powder and water for about 30 seconds on med-high speed.
- Stop the mixer, add the confectioners sugar and beat on low until incorporated. Turn the speed up to high and beat for 7 minutes. Stiff peaks will form.
- Divide the frosting into bowls based on the number of colors you are using, remember white is a color too.
- Add your food coloring and mix each bowl thoroughly, adding a few drops of water as necessary.
- Put about 1/3 of each color in separate pastry bags for piping. Thin out the remainder with more water (a 1/2 teaspoon at a time) to achieve a flooding consistency and add that to squeezable bottles as shown.
- Add finishing touches as desired.