Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing (adapted from Creative Cookies)
- 1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for rolling dough
Take out your butter and egg to bring to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 350° F. In a mixing bowl fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar for 2 minutes. Stop and scrape the bowl, and cream the mixture for another minute. The mix will start to get fluffy and light. Beat in the egg and vanilla.
In a separate bowl, sift together the baking powder and flour. Slowly add the flour 1 cup at a atime to the mixture on low speed so you don’t get a cloud of flour. After each cup of flour, scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure everything is incorporated. Blend the last cup of flour by hand.
Divide the dough into two balls, wrapping one ball in plastic wrap until ready to use. Roll out the other ball onto a floured surface until it’s 1/8 inch thick. Cut out the cookies with cookie cutters, using an offset spatula to transport them, and dipping the cookie cutters in flour each time.
Place the cookies on a parchment-lined sheet pan and bake for 6 to 8 minutes or until the edges just start to brown. Remove from the oven and cool completely before icing.
This recipe is technically called “Glace Icing” because it dries with a beautiful shine. It is the perfect way to decorate cookies, but forewarning… it takes a long time to dry.
- 1 lb (1 box) confectioners’ sugar
- 3/8 cup milk
- 3/8 cup light corn syrup
- Optional: 1 tsp extract, 1 tbsp alcohol/liquor
In a mixing bowl fitted with a whisk attachment, mix the sugar and milk until they start to thicken. Add the corn syrup and extract (or liquor) until just combined.
You can either color your icing now with food coloring or separate into separate bowls and color each separately. Cover the icing with plastic wrap until use.
To make special decorations, you can outline your cookies with icing. Take 1/2 cup of the icing and add 6 to 8 tbsp of confectioners sugar until the icing is very thick. Transfer your icing to a piping bag or bottle (I like these). Outline your cookies with icing and let dry for at least an hour.
Once the outline has dried, you can use the icing to “flood” inside of the outline. Spoon the icing inside the borders and let it spread, using a toothpick to held you get to the edges and corners.
You can also use multiple colors, the toothpicks, or sprinkes to make fun designs. These take quite a while to dry. I recommend letting them sit overnight.