Lately, I have been all about decorating cookies. This is only my second attempt–my first being too heinous and boring to post on the internet. I kind of like these. I need to work on my detailing skills but I think I like the pumpkins with no detailing even better. I used a Wilton #3 tip for the outline and detailing so maybe a #2 tip would be better next time for the detailing. I used Wilton Orange and Wilton Leaf Green food coloring for these pumpkins. My friends loved these cookies so I hope you like them too!
Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
1 cup powdered sugar
1 cup butter (at room temperature)
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 egg, beaten
In a medium or large sized bowl, cream together the butter and powdered sugar on medium high speed for a few minutes. You can also do this by hand (which I have done when forced) but I’m pretty sure my wrist hurt for the next week.. so use a mixer if possible, but if not just know that it is possible to cream sugars and butter by hand! Then beat in the vanilla, almond extract, salt and egg and mix until combined. Sift the flour and beat in at a low speed until the flour is just incorporated into the rest of the mixture. Over-mixing is bad. I sometimes use my mixer for the first 2 cups and then do the last cup by hand to make sure I don’t over-mix. Now roll the dough into a ball and wrap up in seran-wrap or wax paper and freeze for an hour or refrigerate a few hours until firm.
When the dough is firm, take it out of the freezer and preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. On a well floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch thickness. Use cookie cutters and transfer dough to the baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the baking sheets halfway through to ensure even baking. The cookies should be fully cooked but not browned. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to wire cooling racks to cool completely. Decorate as desired (Royal icing recipe to follow).
2 tbsp meringue powder
5 tbsp water (more needed to thin out icing)
4 cups sifted powdered sugar
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes). Or if you’re me and are not lucky enough to have a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, use your electric mixer but only mix for 3-4 minutes. Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing. You will want to add a little bit of water until you get the consistency necessary for piping. More water will be needed for reaching the consistency for flooding the cookies. I will post a “How-to” on the royal icing once I feel that I actually know what I am doing and can give good advice and instructions. Until then, check out this tutorial at Annie’s Eats.