Monday, January 5, 2009

Sugar Cookies with Royal Frosting

Sugar Cookies


 

I had so much going on during the Christmas holiday that I barely had time to post any of the goodies that I made.  I baked so much stuff during the weeks surrounding Christmas that we had an abundance of stuff at our house constantly.  Not everything stayed; a lot of stuff was put in packages and sent to Spencer's work for his co-workers and other things were made to take to other people's houses. 

It just doesn't feel like Christmas without sugar cookies cut in all different Christmas shapes and icing them.  It's a great tradition to start with family and friends.  One weekend before Christmas we were keeping some friends kids and I thought they would enjoy making Christmas cookies while we were there.  Before we headed over to our friend's house I made the dough so it would have time to refrigerate and set before cutting out the shapes and baking them. 

After we had been over there for a while we decided it was time to start baking the cookies!  I rolled them out and used some powdered sugar as my "flour" substance so the cookies would have a sweet coating.  The dough rolled out perfectly and cut perfectly as well.  They baked up to a nice golden brown and of course we had to have a taste test when the first batch came out of the oven, and they tasted great.  After we got all the cookies cut and baked we let them cool for a while and then I made up the icing. 

Royal icing seemed to be a popular icing for decorating cookies this year so I decided I would try this icing out.  I was pretty excited about it because all the cookies I've seen iced with this icing look awesome.  All in all it was a pretty easy process mixing it up and getting the consistency that everyone describes.  I did cheat a little bit; since I wasn't at home I didn't want to try to transport eggs so I could get the egg whites so I got the egg whites in a carton (like you would find the egg beaters or something like that in).  They worked great; I recommend using these especially if you're a big fan of not wasting things (like egg yolks).  I really couldn't tell the difference between these egg whites and egg whites from a fresh cracked egg.  I was very pleased with the outcome of the icing; it stayed at a wonderful consistency throughout the decorating process.  It piped easily out of piping bags and it spread easily as well.  It does set up pretty quickly once on the cookie so if you're going to add sprinkles to them do it immediately after putting on the icing.  ***Next time I really want to try the flooding technique!

We had so much fun making and decorating these cookies.  The sugar cookies tasted great as well as the icing.  I got both of the recipes for the icing and the cookies off of Food Network.  They were both recipes from Alton Brown and if you don't have a favorite "cut out cookie" recipe I definitely recommend his. 

So now on to the good stuff!

Alton Brown's Sugar Cookies  

Sugar Cookies


Ingredients:

 3 cups all-purpose flour

3/4 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 cup sugar

1 egg, beaten

1 tablespoon milk

Powdered sugar, for rolling out dough

Directions:

 Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with powdered sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with powdered sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack.

 Now for the Royal Icing!

Ingredients:

3 ounces pasteurized egg whites

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

4 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions:

In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy. Add confectioners' sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring, if desired. Place icing in a pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired.

 

Recipe source: Alton Brown, Food Network

1 comment:

joelen said...

I've heard raves of AB's recipe and its on my must try list!

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