Thursday, December 1, 2011

Cookie Corner: Holiday Cut Outs!!!

This isn't really a new recipe to the blog.  I have done these cookies several times....however, I feel it's the perfect month to do a refresher.  So December's Cookie Corner cookie is a classic sugar cookie with royal icing.  The possibilities are endless, and doesn't have to be complicated.

sugar cookie recipe

3 sticks of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs
1/2 cup powder sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp salt
3 3/4 cups of flour

Cream together sugar and butter until fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, salt and flour. Mix until forms soft dough. (do not over mix or the cookies will spread during baking). Divide into two discs, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least two hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out dough on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out desired shape, place on greased cookie sheet (or sheet lined with parchment), and bake 13 to 15 minutes, depending on size. Don't over bake, the top of the cookie will be pale, but golden on the bottom. Allow to cool completely on a cooling rack.

If you are cutting all the cookies at once, keep the sheets refrigerated until ready to bake. If the dough is too warm, it will spread and not hold its shape.

recipe for royal icing

6 tbsp. pasteurized egg whites
4 c. powder sugar
1 tsp. lemon juice

In a glass or metal bowl using a hand mixer fitted with dough hooks, or by hand with a whisk, blend ingredients until smooth.  This consistency is stiff and peaks should be held when lifted. 

Add a teaspoon of water and fold in with a spatula to loosen the consistency a bit.  It should be about the thickness of toothpaste.  Using a piping bag fitted with a #2 tip, outline your cookie.  Cover remaining frosting with plastic wrap.

Allow the outline to dry for about an hour.  Then with the remaining frosting, add a few teaspoons of water at a time until the icing is the consistency of pancake batter.  You want the icing to be able to drizzle but not too runny.  Add food coloring at this time and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to sit for 20 minutes.  Air bubbles will rise to the top and then can be gently stirred in.  This prevents the air bubbles from forming on your finished cookie.

Either using a piping bag fitted with a #3 tip or a kitchen squeeze bottle (you can find them in the candy making section of your craft store), fill icing and begin to flood the cookie with each color.  I start at the edges and allow the icing to flow to the outline, gently filling in the center of the cookie.  Be careful not to "overflow" the cookie or the icing will run over the outline. 

Add colored sanding sugars or sprinkles to wet icing.  Allow to dry overnight on a cookie sheet.  Store in an airtight container for several weeks or freeze for several months.  If freezing layer cookies between parchment paper.

As always if you have any questions please feel free to ask :)  Happy Holidays!!!

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