Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Royal Icing Sugar Cookies....Yumm!

Taken from Good Houskeeping's website
 
From Our Best Bites website
From Our Best Bites website

Usually, I make my cut out cookies from a simple sugar cookie recipe which I found works best and they're not overly sweet.  It's a very simple recipe and takes only a few minutes to make.  You'll need the following:

Simple Sugar Cookie Recipe

1 Cup Real Butter (unsalted)
1 Cup Sugar
1 Egg - large or xlarge
1 1/2 teaspoons flavoring (vanilla or almond are good)
3 Cups All Purpose Flour
1 1/2 teaspoons Baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Add in eggs and extract and mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to combine. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture a little at time and mix until completely combined.  Don't forget to scrape sides and bottom of bowl from time to time.

Shape the dough into two flat circle shapes and wrap in waxed paper and place in the refrigerator to chill for an hour or so.  The dough needs to be really chilled for best results.

A idea is to roll the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper or plastic wrap and place flat in the refrigerator. It'll chill faster so you can get started sooner..

When you're ready to roll out dough lightly sprinkle flour onto your work surface and roll out dough with a rolling pin. Cut them out and place them onto cookie sheet.  If you want them on a stick make the dough a little thicker.  Make sure the stick goes half way up the back of the cookie for it to hold well.  Bake 350 degrees farenheit for about 10-12 minutes or until golden.  Depending on how you like them you may choose to lessen or increase the time by a few minutes.

The icing recipe that works best for quick decorating is this one from Wilton's website:
 

Royal Icing Recipe

This smooth, hard-drying icing is perfect for making decorations that last. It is also useful as a "cement" to fasten decorations together. Royal icing is edible, but not recommended for icing cakes.

Ingredients:
  • 3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
  • 4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
  • 6 tablespoons warm water
Makes: About 3 cups of icing.

Instructions

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer).
NOTE: Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.
* For stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
**When using large countertop mixer or for stiffer icing, use 1 tablespoon less water.
Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. Use grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly. Add 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach proper consistency.

MY NOTE:  This may make 3 cups and it sounds like a lot for royal icing but it isn't enough to cover but maybe 3 dozen cookies unless you thin it down to a consistency where it will pour but not too quickly.  You have to be careful not to thin it too much or it will run off the cookies and that will not give a nice appearance.
I personally don't like it as thick as the recipe but I like it just thick enough that it sets quick and doesn't run anywhere.  


ANOTHER NOTE: If you want to do designs through the cookie using a toothpick, You might consider having it slightly thinner otherwise you may have cracks where the toothpick goes through if the icing is starting to setup when you're making your design.

Separate it into bowls and color with paste food coloring for best results.  There's a new gel food coloring out now.  It can be found in the cake mix section of the grocery store.  It works pretty good as well.



STORAGE OF ICING:  I like to put my icing immediately into pastry bags.  I roll down the open end and tape it so it doesn't run out.  I don't snip the decorating end until I'm ready to start.  While I'm working I just fold the decorating end over so it doesn't run out when not in use.

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Once you have your cookies and icing made up you're ready to start decorating!  Let the FUN begin!  I enjoy doing these cookies so much now that I have an icing that I can work with!  You may want to start with a border trim to hold the filling in.



Here are my first attempts at making these delicious babies. 


 




I made this (below) for a friend of mine's son whose birthday falls near St. Patty's Day.  
I made the cookies on a stick, found an inexpensive basket a leprechaun hat 
and a spray to stick in the background, some hot glue and wallah! She loved it!


Here are some nicely decorated cookies that I found around the internet.  So beautiful and so much fun to make!








I can't wait to try this idea! (above) I love it!








Until next time.....Happy Baking!
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