I love making sugar cookies. Maybe even a little too much (I think a few members of my family are sick of them right now). There are just so many possibilities in the shapes, colors and designs and they really make any occasion extra special. 4th of July is no exception in the sugar cookie department… they had to be made. I taught my younger sister Katie how to design sugar cookies this time. She’s helped me before but I don’t think I’ve ever let her do much since I’m super crazy about how my cookies are done. This time I showed her how to do the different consistencies of icing, how to outline, and more detailing work. She’s really getting a hang of it. Now if I could only get her to help me bake the cookies instead of only decorating. We brought these cookies over to my grandma’s lake house (across the street from ours) for our Saturday night dinner. They were a perfect ending to a great dinner. I wish I could post some of the recipes for the dinner and desserts that we had but I don’t have pictures! I’m going to repost my sugar cookie and royal icing recipes again for you all. Enjoy!
1 cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp almond extract (I like a strong almond flavor)
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups flour, sifted
Cream butter and powdered sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer. Mix in egg, vanilla, almond extract and salt and beat until mixed well. Gradually add in flour (1/2 cup at a time) and mix after each addition. Be sure not to over mix. I use the electric mixer for the first 2 cups of flour and then hand mix the last 1/2 cup. Put dough in the refrigerator for an hour or so, or until the dough firms up. You can also put it in the freezer but I would only do that for 20-30 minutes otherwise it’s very difficult to roll out. Sprinkle your work surface and rolling pin with powdered sugar. Roll the dough out to a 1/4 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake in the oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8-10 minutes or until cookie all the way through. The cookie should not brown, but the edges can be slightly browned (that’s a good indication it’s done). Cool on a wire rack.
Recipe yields about 24 star shaped cookies.
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp meringue powder
5 tbsp water
1 tsp vanilla or almond extract (optional)
In a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder and water. Mix for 7-10 minutes, until the ingredients are well blended and the icing has a matte finish. This is the base consistency. I usually add about 1 tsp more of water for a good outline icing (I use a 10 second rule) and add more water until I reach a 4-second icing for flood icing. This means that when you drizzle icing over the bowl of royal icing then the icing will flow back in with the rest of the icing in 4 seconds (10 second icing is the same but it will sink back in with the rest of the icing in 10 seconds). If you need to thin it out more then add more water. If you need to thicken it add more powdered sugar.