Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing

I’ve had a craving for a good sugar cookie for quite some time, but when they come in batches of 25+ it’s hard to find the right moment for baking. Thankfully, my monthly book club has proven to be that perfect moment.

These sugar cookies are phenomenal – light, chewy, and sweet. The icing is obviously sweet, but not TOO sweet that you feel like a dentist appointment is immediately warranted.

I always find royal icing hard to work with (how many of you have had it slide down your cookie leaving a less than perfect outline). But, with a helpful tutorial from one of my favourite baking blogs, I can confidently tell you that I nailed it.

The cookie and icing recipes are originally from the Brown Eyed Baker.

Ingredients:

Cookie Dough – makes about 26 extra-large cookies

– 2 cups flour

– ½ teaspoon salt

– ½ teaspoon baking powder

– ½ cup butter + 2 Tablespoons (room temperature)

– 1 cup sugar

– 1 egg

– 1 additional egg yolk

– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Icing – enough icing for about 30 extra-large cookies

– 4 cups icing sugar

– 2 Tablespoons meringue powder

– 6 Tablespoons water

Steps:

  1. Wisk flour, salt, baking powder.
  2. Beat butter at medium speed until smooth, then beat in sugar until mixture is light and pale (about 3 minutes total).
  3. Beat in egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  4. Reduce mixing speed to low, and add in flour until incorporated (It is better to underwork than overwork the dough). I used a spatula to mix the last few minutes. When ready, your dough will be soft and flexible.
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  5. Divide dough in half, and shape each half into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge. I chilled mine four about 30 minutes, although the original recipe states to chill for 2 hours (or up to 3 days).
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  6. Take one disc from the fridge, and lay it on a lightly floured surface. Roll the dough out so it is about 1.5-2 inches thick. Note: during baking, the cookies will not rise very much.
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  7. Cut out your shapes – I used the holiday collection from Crate & Barrel and place each cut-out on a greased baking sheet (or a baking sheet covered with parchment paper).
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  8. Repeat with the second disc of dough.
  9. Bake at 350F for 11 minutes (rotating the sheet half way through). Note: the cookies will not change much in colour.
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  10. Sprinkle with cinnamon or vanilla sugar (I used my favourite spiced vanilla sugar from the Silk Road Spice Merchant).
  11. Lest rest for 30 seconds, then transport to a rack so they can fully cool.
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  12. Whisk together icing ingredients on low speed until blended (about 7-10 minutes).
  13. Divide icing into bowls and add food colouring. Cover the bowl you are not using with a damp cloth or towel.
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  14. Outline each cookie. Let sit until dry (about 10-15 minutes).
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  15. Add a few drops of water to your icing so it is more of a liquid.
  16. One cookie at a time, spoon a blob of icing into the middle of each cookie. Then, use a toothpick to spread the icing out until the cookie is covered.
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  17. Let the cookies dry (about 1 hour) before putting any additional designs on them.
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  18. Let cookies sit for a minimum of 2 hours (overnight is best) to set the icing.

Even Sophie got her own – which she was unwilling to share.                      photo 1 (8)

I can’t wait to try them out with my winter shapes!
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^ PS – Don’t you wish you were in a book club like ours? ^

 

Other Baked Goods Recipes:

S’mores Cupcakes

Scones

Chocolate Chip, Pretzel, and Peanut Butter Cookies