Tag Archives: Royal Icing

Top Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies 1

DAY 5: Sugar Cookies (Two Doughs/Many Variations)

Sugar Cookies are the iconic Christmas treat. Good thing they are also extremely versatile. Once you have your sugar cookie base, you can easily change up the design for very different looks and tastes. I have two basic sugar cookie doughs that I like to use. The first is a soft, thick dough that stays pillowy soft and tender after baking. This is the dough I use for most of my sugar cookies:

Sugar Cookies 2

But if I need really sharp edges, and absolutely no spread when the dough is baked, I go with the dough below. The cookies are still soft if you don’t overbake them, but they are more dense than the other recipe.

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Whichever dough you choose, you can make traditional frosted sugar cookies, with various types of icing, or try something just a little different. These two options are actually easier than frosting with a regular icing.

Snow Capped Christmas Trees:

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies:

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies 2

ORIGINAL BLOG POSTS:
Soft and Thick Sugar Cookies (2009)
Sharp Edged Sugar Cookies (2014)
Snow Capped Christmas Trees (2016)
Stained Glass Sugar Cookies (2016)

RECIPE:

Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies 2

Soft and Thick Sugar Cookies

3 cups sugar
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
3 eggs
About 7 – 7 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt

In a large mixing bowl, beat sugar, butter, sour cream, and vanilla until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs. Mix in 4 cups of flour, the baking soda, and salt. Mix in enough additional flour to make a moderately stiff dough.

Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour for easier handling. Roll out dough to desired thickness (about 1/4” thick) and cut with cookie cutter.

Bake at 375°F for 10 -11 minutes; if they brown, it’s been too long.  They should look white when done.

Frost and decorate as desired.

Yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough. I got 6 dozen cookies made from 3” cookie cutters.

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Sharp Edged Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
½ tsp almond extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour

Royal Icing
Optional: Shimmery Sanding Sugar or Coarse Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in extracts and egg.

In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and slowly mix into the wet ingredients. The dough will be stiff.

Do not chill dough. Roll dough out onto a floured surface to almost 1/4 inch. You want these cookies to be thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes and place on baking sheets.

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough. I got 25 cookies made from 4” snowflake cookie cutters.

(Sharp edged sugar cookie dough from In Katrina’s Kitchen)

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Snow Capped Christmas Trees

Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)
Green food coloring
About 12 oz white chocolate, or white melting candy discs

Prepare sugar cookie dough.  Mix in a few drops of green food coloring. Chill for 20 minutes to 1 hour, if necessary, for easier handling. Roll out dough and cut out with Christmas tree cookie cutter.

Bake according to sugar cookie dough recipe.

Place white chocolate in a bowl at least as wide as the cookie sides you will be dipping. Microwave in 30 second increments, stirring after each heating, until melted and smooth. Dip each edge of the cooled cookies in the melted chocolate and place on waxed paper to harden.

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Stained Glass Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookie Dough (see above)
1 package Jolly Rancher candies, cut in half for small openings

Line baking sheets with silicone baking mats or parchment paper.

Roll out dough to about 1/8” and cut out with large  cookie cutters. Place shapes on lined baking sheets. Cut out a smaller shape inside of each cookie  (after placing on baking sheet). I used the centers from a linzer cookie cutter set to make the center openings

Place half of a Jolly Rancher candy in the center of each cookie. Use a whole Jolly Rancher if the opening is large enough to lay the entire candy down inside the opening.

Bake according to sugar cookie dough recipe. Cool completely on the baking sheet. When candy centers are completely cool and hardened, remove cookies to a sheet of parchment paper.

Store covered between layers of waxed paper or parchment paper. The candy centers will stick together if they touch.

Frostings

Sugar Cookies 2

Glacé Icing

1 lb powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
¼ cup+ 2 Tbs  whole milk
¼ cup + 2 Tbs light corn syrup
1 tsp almond or vanilla extract
Gel food coloring
Additional powdered sugar to reach piping consistency

With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth. Stir in corn syrup and almond or vanilla extract. Add food coloring for desired colors.

You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing. It’s smooth and thin. It easily runs off of a whisk in a thin drizzle.

To prepare the icing for piping, add additional powdered sugar until icing is stiff, but spoonable.

(Glacé Icing from Our Best Bites)

Sharp Edges Sugar Cookies

Royal Icing

2 Tbs meringue powder
scant ¼ cup water
½ lb powdered sugar (about 2 cups)
½  tsp light corn syrup

Combine the meringue powder and water in a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat until foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Mix in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 3-5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

For Snowflakes: Use a thick open circle decorator tip to pipe thick lines onto each snowflake. Sprinkle cookie with sanding sugar or sprinkles immediately after piping lines (on each cookie). Icing will harden quickly.

Chocolate Butterfly Cupcakes 11

Cooked Vanilla Icing

1 cup whole milk
5 Tbs flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar (do not use powdered sugar)
Optional: food coloring

In a small saucepan, mix the flour and milk until combined. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly with a whisk, until mixture thickens (and is just about to boil). Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

In a large mixing bowl (a stand mixer works best for this) cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled milk mixture and beat for 5-7 minutes, until frosting is light, fluffy, and completely uniform throughout.  Beat in food coloring, if desired.

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Frozen-Inspired Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Frozen Snowflake Sugar Cookies 3.1

DAY 9: Frozen-Inspired Snowflake Sugar Cookies

Want to brighten a little girl’s eyes this Christmas? Make these Disney Frozen inspired snowflake cookies together. She can be totally in charge of the sprinkles.

This is a different sugar cookie dough than I usually use. (That recipe can be found here: Sugar Cookies). I prefer the flavor of the other dough, but this dough is much easier to work with and creates super sharp edges. And no refrigeration of the dough is needed. When I am using a cookie cutter where sharp edges really matter, this is the dough I prefer to use. The recipe comes from In Katrina’s Kitchen.

I used Royal Icing (recipe below) to pipe thick lines, but you could also use this Glacé Icing. Cover lines with shimmery sanding sugar or thicker blue and silver sprinkles immediately after piping.

Frozen Snowflake Sugar Cookies 1

RECIPE:

Snowflake Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

Frozen Snowflake Sugar Cookies 1

Sugar Cookie Dough:
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 egg
2 teaspoons baking powder
3 cups flour

Royal Icing
Blue and Silver Shimmery Sanding Sugar or Coarse Sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350° F.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in extracts and egg.

In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and slowly mix into the wet ingredients. The dough will be stiff.

Do not chill dough. Roll dough out onto a floured surface to almost 1/4 inch. You want these cookies to be thick. Use cookie cutters to cut out cookie shapes and place on baking sheets.

Bake for 7-9 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Yield will depend on the size of your cookie cutter and the thickness of your dough. I got 25 cookies made from 4” snowflake cookie cutters.

(From In Katrina’s Kitchen)

Royal Icing

2 Tbs meringue powder
scant ¼ cup water
½ lb powdered sugar
½  tsp light corn syrup

Combine the meringue powder and water in a stand mixer. With the paddle attachment, beat until foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Mix in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 3-5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

Use a thick open circle decorator tip to pipe thick lines onto each snowflake. Sprinkle cookie with sanding sugar or sprinkles immediately after piping lines (on each cookie). Icing will harden quickly.

(From Bake at 350)

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Twelve Days of Christmas Cookies: Ninja-bread Men

Ninjabread Men 3

DAY 5: Ninja-bread Men

A fun twist on regular Gingerbread Men cookies, these Ninjas are a real kid pleaser!

I am including my favorite gingerbread recipe, which is a very mild gingerbread called Swedish Peppar Kakar. Pipe details on with Royal Icing. You can completely frost the cookie first (as the cookie cutter package shows) and then pipe on details, or skip the icing and just pipe the details (as I did).

Ninjabread Men 1

I bought my NinjaBread Men cookie cutters at Target last year.

RECIPE:

Ninja-bread Men

Ninjabread Men 3

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 tsp molasses

Combine dry ingredients; set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Blend in egg and molasses. Add dry ingredients; mix well. Add a little bit more flour (up to 1/4 cup), if necessary, to get a dough that is soft, but not sticky.

Chill dough for 1 hour. Roll and cut into shapes.

Bake at 350°F for 8 to 9 minutes. Don’t overbake, or they will become crispy instead of soft. Pipe details on Ninjas with Royal Icing

Royal Icing
——(from Bake at 350)

2 Tbs meringue powder
scant 1/4 cup water
1/2 lb powdered sugar
1/2  tsp light corn syrup

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Mix in the corn syrup. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

NOTE: This makes “stiff” icing which is perfect for piping details. If you want to flood (totally frost) your cookies first, double the recipe above. Reserve some stiff icing to outline and pipe details. To fill in your cookies, first tint the remaining icing with food coloring.Then add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. Outline the cookies first with stiff icing, then flood the center with the thinner icing. Wait several hours until icing has completely hardened before piping on additional details over the flooded icing.

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Soccer Ball Cookies

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We are in the thick of soccer season around here. What could be more fun than soccer ball cookies to celebrate a hard-fought victory!

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I used my favorite Sugar Cookie recipe for the cookies and Royal Icing to make the soccer ball faces. Start with thick royal icing in a pastry bag with a writing tip. Pipe a circle of white icing around the edge of the cookie.

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Using a thinned royal icing, flood the cookie with white icing. A plastic squeeze bottle is the easiest way to flood the cookie, then use a toothpick to spread the icing to the edges of the cookie. Let the icing dry for several hours, or until dry.

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I am very artistically challenged, and had a hard time freehanding a symmetrical pentagon. So I printed one off of the computer, then cut out the pentagon. Using a toothpick, I traced the pentagon in the center of the cookie.

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Using thick black royal icing, pipe lines to form the pentagon and then from each corner of the pentagon to the edge of the cookie.

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Draw a small triangle at the edge of each line. I am obviously no professional here (notice the lopsided geometric shapes), but nine-year-olds are pretty forgiving when they have a soccer ball cookie in hand!

041811 044-1Use thinned black royal icing to fill in the pentagon and triangles. Let dry completely.

For a more professional look (completely flat, without raised black lines), pipe the black lines on the naked cookie (and fill with black icing), then complete the edge of the circle with stiff white lines and flood each individual section with thinned white icing. I made them all completely white first because I was planning on doing some with baseball/softball lines and was hoping to save some time.

For mouth-dropping professional work-of-art cookies,
visit Bridget at Bake at 350. She is truly an artist!

RECIPE:

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Royal Icing
——(from Bake at 350)

4 Tbs meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup water
1 lb powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (optional)
gel paste food colorings

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)

Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.

To store for later use: cover with plastic wrap touching the icing and refrigerate.

To use immediately: divide icing into bowls for different colors. Tint using gel paste food colorings.

This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining, building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, first tint with food coloring and then add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called “flooding.”

YIELD: This recipe will cover 2-3 dozen 3.5” cookies in 2 colors

 

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