I did it — I made sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. After weeks of research on the different recipes and techniques, I finally buckled down and created these:
I’m very happy with how they came out, although I wasn’t quite expecting them to take a total of like 5 hours, but hey, I’m on break and what else am I going to do. (Maybe catch up on some work, be social and leave my house, wrap presents…nahhhh)
I was very pleased with the recipes I used for both the sugar cookie dough (from i am baker) and the royal icing (from Not So Humble Pie) and highly recommend using them if you plan on attempting these flooded sugar cookies. But make sure you allot a decent chunk of time if you’re a beginner like me. I used these cookie cutters to make the snowflakes and I loved them! Even without the royal icing they looked fancy because of the cutouts.
I used a “flooding” technique, which involves first piping outlines with a thicker consistency icing, and then going back with a thinner icing and flooding the spaces between the outlines. I used white for the outlines and a pale blue for the flooding, and then went over with white to add some decorative details. I could use some practice, but at least the anxiety of trying this out for the first time is over!
For the Cookies: (Adapted from i am baker)
1-1/2 cups butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 egg yolks
5 tsp vanilla
4 cups flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
For Royal Icing: (Adapted from Not So Humble Pie)
1 pound powdered sugar
5 tablespoons meringue powder (available at craft stores)
1/3 cup water (plus more for adjusting consistency)
Few drops vanilla extract
– For the cookie dough, beat together butter and sugar for about 2 minutes
– Add the eggs and egg yolks until smooth, and then add vanilla
– In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder, and then add the dry mix slowly to the wet until well combined
– Wrap dough in saran wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour (or more)
– Preheat oven to 350 degrees
– Roll out dough and cut desired shapes, placing them about 1 inch apart on a cookie sheet
– Bake for 8-10 minutes, depending on how chewy you like your sugar cookies!
– Transfer to a wire wrack and allow cookies to completely cool before decorating
– For the icing, mix together sugar, meringue powder, water, and vanilla until smooth (about 2 minutes). If icing is too thick, add more water in 1 tsp increments. If too thin, slowly add more powdered sugar. For the outlining, you want the icing to be fluid but still hold a firm peak. For the flooding, add enough water so that a peak will sink back into the bowl and smooth out within 10 seconds.
– Divide icing and color it as desired
– Prepare piping bags and tips (I used #2), and place them upside down in a glass with a wet paper towel on the bottom while not in use so the icing in the tips does not dry out. Be sure to secure the other end with a rubber band or you’ll end up with blue icing all over your pants (oops!)
– Pipe the outline first using the thicker icing and let it sit for 10 minutes before going back to flood the rest
– Allow the cookies to dry for a few hours before handling them — you don’t want to ruin all of your hard work!
Merry Christmas Eve!!