Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I make these sugar cookies all the time but have never done a royal icing with it. I had my doubts but these were fabulous. They were a little difficult at first because I had never piped anything like this before, but once I got the hang of it, it was a blast to do and a definite show stopper. If you are struggling to pipe your monograms, just stick with it and make sure your frosting is thin enough and has no air bubbles in it. These cookies are also a little bit pricy to get started on because you need all sorts of baking utensils, but after that, it is fairly inexpensive and the tools can be used for so many different things.

I made these with the company logo on them for a thank you at work. Everyone loved them. If you have an event coming up and need to make something for it, this is your recipe! Give it a try. You will not be disappointed!

Ingredients for the Cookies
1/2 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tablespoon whipping cream
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions for the Cookies
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. 
2. Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl.
3. In a separate bowl, cream butter until soft. Beat in sugar, egg, whipping cream, and vanilla.
4. Stir in the flour mixture.
5. Refrigerate until well chilled (overnight is best).
6. Roll out dough on floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on an ungreased baking sheet and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Ingredients for the Royal Icing
3/4 cup warm water
5 tablespoons meringue powder (can be found at Michael's in the baking section)
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
8 cups plus 3 1/2 tablespoons powdered sugar

Directions for the Royal Icing
1. In a mixing bowl, pour the warm water and meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened (about 30 seconds).

2. Add the cream of tartar and mix for another 30 seconds.
3. Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
4. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will be thick and creamy.

5. Tint with food colorings or thin icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

Notes: Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.

Directions on Making Letters
1. Find a font on your computer. Size the font to fit your cookie cutter (I view the document at 100% and hold up my cookie cutter to the screen to get the correct size). Print.
2. Place the printed sheet on the counter under a sheet of wax or parchment paper. 
3. With royal icing (that should be thinned out) pipe the monograms with decorating tip #2 (try to not have any holes because that will allow the colors to bleed into each other)
4. Let dry for several hours. Peel off the wax or parchment paper with your hands or a cookie spatula.

Directions for Assembly
1. On the cooled cookies, outline with the cookie with the color of your monogram. 

2. Let dry and flood with a different color of icing.
3. Place the dried monogram on the wet flooded cookie. DO NOT press the monogram into the cookie as it will flood the monogram and make the colors bleed.

4. Let dry completely. Place in a cellophane bag and tie with a ribbon.

Random Tools Needed
1. Cloth = damp to keep the tips clean
2. Wilton disposable decorating bags
3. Cookie cutter
4. Decorating tip #2
5. Couplers (the white things that you use to enables you to change tips)
6. Food coloring (I prefer the gels)

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