This was supposed to post last Monday as a tribute to my dad’s 89th birthday (December 21 – Happy Birthday in heaven Papa!) but I got caught up making hot chocolate bombs this past couple of weeks that I wasn’t able to complete this post properly. Apologies to all. And thank you for your understanding!
Here is a recipe for Christmas Sugar cookies decorated with Royal icing! I made this a weekend activity with my 11 year old son, and surprisingly, my husband joined in, rolling out the cookie dough, cutting shapes out, and transferring them to the prepared cookie sheets. What a great day!
We did it little by little, it took basically all day but was totally worth it.
We had breakfast then prepared the cookies in the mixer, cut out and bake. Let them cool while I prepared lunch. Ate lunch. Prepared icing. Piped borders. Let set while we cleaned up the kitchen. Flood icing came next. Let them dry while we walked Yuki then prepared dinner. Details came last. Then let dry one last time while we ate dinner. Whew!
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Ingredients for Sugar Cookies:
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 cups powdered sugar
1 large egg
2 teaspoons vanilla paste or extract
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Ingredients for the Royal Icing:
1 (2 pound package) confectioners sugar5 tablespoon meringue powder
3/4 cup warm water
1 teaspoon almond extract
To prepare the Sugar cookies:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line 3 big baking sheets with parchment paper. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes.
3. Scrape sides and add egg and vanilla, beating until well combined.
4. In a bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and salt.
5. Slowly add flour mixture into butter mixture.
6. Mix until a dough forms.
7. Knead a few times to make sure everything is well combined. Press dough together into a ball.
8. Divide dough into two, wrapping one half in plastic wrap, or placing it in a covered bowl.
9. On a generously floured board, roll one half of the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Flour top if necessary.
10. Cut out shapes using your desired cutters.
11. Transfer to prepared cookie sheets, placing them about 1 inch apart.
12. Bake cookies, 7 to 10 minutes, or until lightly browned.
13. I baked all 3 sheets at once, moving the baking sheets half way through baking, top baking sheet to the bottom and the bottom sheet to the top, and turning them front side back. The middle sheet just got turned front to back.
14. Cool on pan about 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
15. Prepare Royal Icing (and all the sprinkles, confetti, colored sugar, eyes, that you’ll need).
16. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat confectioner’s sugar and meringue powder until combined.
17. Mix water and almond extract in a small measuring cup.
18. Carefully pour water almond mixture into the mixing bowl and beat for about a minute at low seed.
19. Increase speed to medium and beat until mixture is stiff, about 5 minutes. Set aside some of this mixture for border icing. Thin out the rest to use as flood icing. Divide into bowl and color as desired.
20. On cooled cookies, use the border icing to trace the outline of the cookie. Set aside to dry completely.
21. Use the thinner flood icing to completely fill in the cookie with icing. Let dry completely.
22. Use the thicker border icing to pipe details onto your cookies. Decorate as you want, using sprinkles, confetti, eyes, sugars….Let dry completely.
23. Enjoy your delicious cookies!