Saturday, April 4, 2015

Painted Sugar Cookies


I was in a creative mood today and we have a family Easter dinner at my Aunt and Uncle's tomorrow so I thought it would be fun to try my hand at sugar cookies. Here is a sugar cookie and royal icing recipe that I love... the cookies are yummy and hold their shape while baking {not too hard & not too soft - just perfect with a sweet hint of almond and vanilla} + the royal icing recipe is easy and top-notch! 











Sugar Cookie Recipe:
Makes about 2 dozen

Ingredients:
1 cup unsalted butter (room temp)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla bean paste
1 tsp. Almond extract
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 350F 
-Cream butter and sugar together with an electric stand mixer until smooth. Mix for 1 minute. 
-Add egg. Mix until combined.
-Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix again. 1 min.
-Mix in vanilla bean paste and almond extract.
-Slowly add flour and salt. Mix on low speed until the dough starts to clump around the paddle. 
-Roll dough in between two pieces of parchment paper and set on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer for 20 minutes.
-Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes.
-Bake in the oven on a silpat mat for 10 minutes or until the bottom edge of the cookies are light brown.
-Place cookies on a cooling rack.
-Decorate cookies with royal icing when they reach room temperature.


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Believe it or not this was my first time working with royal icing. I was tad intimidated so I watched a few videos on youtube before attempting it. This video was my favorite {he made it so easy}. I used 1/2 tsp. almond extract and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract instead of the 1 tsp. vanilla as listed in his recipe. It turned out fabulous. Really easy. Just add water when you need a "shampoo" consistency for flooding your cookies. 

Royal Icing Recipe:

Ingredients:
3 cups powdered sugar

2 large egg whites

1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract


1/2 tsp. almond extract

water


Directions:
-In a stand mixer combine sifted powdered sugar, cream of tarter, egg whites and both extracts. 
-Beat on low until the sugar has liquified and then beat on high for 1 minute. The icing will be thick like toothpaste. 
-Add a tablespoon of water and beat for 3 more minutes.
-Mix in food coloring if desired {I just used the white icing}.
-Pour icing into a piping bag and decorate sugar cookies.
-Let icing dry and harden before painting {if you want to use my method}


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For Painting
I used Betty Crocker Classic Gel Food Colors {I got mine at Ralph's} and dabbed a few blobs of each color onto a ceramic plate. I used a watercolor paint brush to paint and mix the colors and a gourmet food writer for fine black details. Easy peasy. Be sure to  have a small cup of water for washing your brush out in between colors and a paper towel for blotting the brush. 

Have Fun!

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