Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I spend a good chunk of time on the What's Cooking board on The Nest. This month there have been tons of posts for sugar cookies decorated with royal icing in Halloween themes. Since we received a 100 different cookie cutter collection and I was interested in royal icing, I decided I would join in.

I decided I would make the cookies from scratch, then the icing, then decorate, wait, decorate some more, wait and finish the cookies. However, unless you have an entire weekend with not much else to do, I really don't advise this. Next time I'm just going to buy the sugar cookie dough from the grocery store. It would have saved quite a few hours from this project.

I followed directions from Annie of Annie's Eats. Find her royal icing directions here. Okay, lets get started:

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You'll need:
1 batch of sugar cookie dough
2+ batches of royal icing
cookie cutters
colored gel icing
4+ small squeeze bottles
small containers with air-tight lids
pastry bags
small round pastry tip

a ton of time and patience

Cookies:
Use your favorite sugar cookie recipe or pre-made dough. Use the cookie cutters to cut out different shapes. Bake according to directions.  

Royal Icing - 1 batch
2 egg whites
2 tsp. lemon juice
3 cups powdered sugar (yes, really)

1. Combine the egg and the lemon juice in a stand mixer. Add in the powdered sugar and mix together on low until an icing forms.
2. Transfer the icing into the containers.
3. Using the colored gel icing of your choice (or color combo) stir with a toothpick to combine. This will take a while. When done, put on the lid.

To Decorate the Cookies:
1. Make sure that the cookies are completely cooled.  
2. Put your color choice of icing into a pastry bag with a small round tip. Steadily trace an outline around the shape of the cookie. Let icing set for 1 hour.
3. To color in the cookie, add a teensy bit of water to your desired icing color. I used about 1/4-1/8 of a teaspoon. Using the toothpick, stir well until the icing has thinned out and will be easily spread over the cookie.
4. Transfer the icing to a squeeze bottle. Squeeze some of the icing onto the center of the cookie and use the toothpick to spread around. Let set for at least 4 hours, but overnight is better.
5. If you want any extra designs on the cookies, put the remaining icing in the pastry bag and pipe on the detail. Let set for at least another hour.



My cookies definitely aren't magazine material. I think its going to take a lot more time a practice, but for my first time, I think they turned out pretty well. I also realized once I had the icing in the pastry bag that Annie recommends using a size 2 tip. Unfortunately, my small pastry tip kit didn't come with that size and living in the middle of no where, I couldn't exactly run out to buy one. I'm going to pick up on these week though. I think it will make a huge difference on the quality of the cookies.

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