We have been wanting to make sugar cookies with royal icing for a very long time. Who can blame us? Sugar cookies with royal icing look beautiful and are impressive for party favors and for Christmastime! We finally tried them for the first time this weekend and we were very happy with the results! Now, our decorating skills are far from perfect, but hopefully with a little practice we’ll be able to refine them and make some truly beautiful cookies that are more complicated. For now, though, these snowflakes fit the bill nicely for a first-try batch. We love the cookie base and have used it in the past (minus the royal icing) countless times, because it is easy to work with and does not require chilling. It is basically no-fail dough. The royal icing came from a respected source, Bake at 350, who makes some pretty gorgeous royal icing sugar cookies! We were happy with how easy it was to make and use- seriously, anyone with even minimal baking skills can make a royal icing cookies (maybe not perfect ones, but acceptable ones)! Keep posted for (hopefully) many more royal icing cookies to come!
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Makes about 3 dozen cookies (this depends on the size of your cookie cutter)
Cookie base from Wilton
Royal icing recipe from Bake at 350
For the cookie dough:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour1 teaspoon baking powder1 teaspoon salt
For the royal icing:
4 tablespoons meringue powder
Scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
A few drops of clear vanilla or almond extract
For the cookies:
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not chill dough. Divide dough into 2 balls.
On floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12 in. diameter x 1/8 in. thick. Dip cookie cutter (we used a snowflake-shaped cutter) in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 8-11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.
For the icing:
Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. Sift in powdered sugar and beat on low until combined. Add the corn syrup and extract. Increase speed to medium-high until very stiff peaks form and icing is glossy. This consistency will be used to pipe around the edges of each cookie. Add water by teaspoonful until the frosting is thin, to the consistency of syrup. This will be used for flooding the inside. Dye a small amount of the icing blue.
Procedure for decorating:
Let the cookies cool. Once cooled, carefully pipe the stiff frosting with a very small piping tip around the edges of each cookie. Let dry for 1 hour. “Flood” in with the liquidy frosting using a squeeze bottle. Use a toothpick to ensure icing reaches the edges. Let sit for several minutes, then make a dot of blue icing in the center of each cookie. Using a toothpick, “pull” out the frosting to make the pattern. Top with a small edible pearl if desired. Let sit out overnight to fully dry (in a clean and undisturbed area, without covering), and then serve. Enjoy!