Currently, my oven is leaking gas…which means I can’t bake until it’s fixed! How depressing…
So I managed to find some old pictures of piped sugar cookies I had made last year as practice for a craft fair table I was going to have. The craft fair idea didn’t hold through, but I learned how to pipe sugar cookies. A time-consuming yet fun and rewarding process. I surprised my close friend with some of these cookies and it made me feel good to know that I left her with a happy stomach, a smile on her face, and a rejuvenated spirit. There is almost nothing better than eating something delicious from someone who cares about you. Give these cookies as a gift, packed in a treat bag and tied with a ribbon. Or just keep them for yourself! There’s no harm in that. 😉
Recipe:Makes about 7 large cutout cookies. This recipe adapted from Baking by Dorie Greenspan.For the dough:
1/2 teas. salt
1/2 teas. baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teas.vanilla extract
For the Royal Icing:
4 cups powdered sugar
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
6 Tablespoons water
Wilton’s Gel Food Coloring
At least one Wilton’s #3 piping tip
At least one pastry bag with coupler
(If you want to pipe multiple colors, having more than one piping tip and bag will be necessary. One bag and tip for each color is ideal, but not necessary-read recipe for more info)
Sift the flour, salt, and baking powder together in a bowl.
Using a stand mixer with a paddle attachment or a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat for 2 minutes, until mixture is pale and fluffy. Add the egg and yolk and beat for another minute until incorporated. Beat in vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low, slowly add the flour and mix until just incorporated. Finish blending the dough with a rubber spatula (you don’t want to over mix sugar cookie dough).
Divide the dough in half and place each half on a piece of plastic. Shape dough into a disk and wrap. Refrigerate the dough for about 2 hours, until chilled. Once dough is chilled, keep the plastic on and using a rolling-pin, roll each disk until it’s 1/4 inch thick. Cut cookies out with cookie cutter and place them on a cookie sheet about 1/2 inch apart.
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Bake them in the oven for 9-11 minutes until firm and still pale. Let them cool on cookie sheet for 1 minute and then transfer them to a cooling rack until they are room temperature. Cookies must be at room temperature before piping frosting on them.
Repeat with the rest of the dough, cooling the cookie sheets between each batch. The dough can be wrapped and refrigerated for up to 3 days.
While cookies are cooling, make the royal icing. Combine all the ingredients in a mixing bowl and mix for 7-10 minutes or until the icing loses its shine. This consistency of icing is perfect for piping outlines on the cookies. If you would like to have different colored icing, separate icing in smaller bowls for each color you want to have. Having many colors to pipe gets tricky when you don’t own many piping tips and bags. However, it is do-able. If anything, you can have many piping bags and only one or two #3 piping tips (just clean and interchange the piping tips between colors).
Pipe an outline on the cookie with desired color and let icing dry. Repeat with all the cookies.
With left over icing, add a few drops of water at a time, mixing after each addition until the icing becomes a liquid consistency. To test the consistency of the icing, let some of the icing drop into the bowl. Count to 10 seconds, the droplet should have disappeared in exactly that amount of time.
To fill the cookies in with the thinner royal icing, drizzle a small amount over the entire cookie. Use a toothpick to push the icing to the inside edges of the outline you made before. Let te icing dry. Tada! Now you have a pretty, shiny, royal icing frosted cookie!