Saturday, July 31, 2010

Cookies Make the House a Home

I've been reading a lot about decorating with royal icing and have been dying to try it myself, but I needed a purpose to get myself in gear. Well, it just so happens one of my best friends of over 15 years is getting married next weekend. So I offered to make favors for the rehearsal dinner. I knew I needed to get in some serious practice first though. So I made a batch of cookies, made my "cookie cutters", and made a batch of royal icing and went to town decorating! It was such a fun baking adventure !This same friend of mine and her soon-to-be hubby happened to be buying their first home the same day I was practicing, so I knew just what to do with the extra dough and icing. I first saw this post a few weeks before on Annie's Eats and this was the perfect excuse to make these cookies. I am truly in love with royal icing !

Sugar Cookie Recipe (taken from Annie's Eats)
These cookies were prefect for decorating because they don't spread)

1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
2 ½ c. sifted flour

1. Cream butter on medium. Add powdered sugar.

2. Add in egg, almond extract(I was out of almond so I doubled the vanilla), vanilla, salt and flour. Let chill in fridge until firm.

3. Roll to about ¼” thickness on well-floured surface.

4. Cut with cookie cutters. Or you can do what I did and trace your design on a piece of card stock and cut it out. Then using a paring knife, go around the edge of your design. Place on greased cookie sheets.

5. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown.

Royal Icing Recipe (also taken from Annie's Eats)

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water

1. In a stand mixer, mix all ingredients together with a paddle attachment on low for about 10 minutes.

2. Place icing into air-tight containers, depending on how many colors you will need.

3. Add a very small amount of water to each container and stir it in well. When it has reached the consistency desired for piping, you can add food coloring if desired. I used the Wilton gel food coloring, which was wonderful.

4. Fill pastry bags and pipe around the outside edges of each cookie or any area you want to partition off. Let set for about one hour.

5. When finished piping, thin out the rest of your icing for flooding by adding small amounts of water until it reaches the desired consistency. The icing should be able to drop off a spoon and smooth back in with the rest of icing within 10 seconds.

6. Fill plastic squeeze bottles with flooded icing. Fill the desired area with icing and use toothpick to pull icing to the edges and fully cover the entire area.

7. Let set for 12-24 hours. Then decorate or trim with remaining icing. If it is too thin, you can add more powdered sugar to thicken it and pipe on decorations.

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