this week’s bake – sugar cookies (and my first attempt at royal icing)

Well, it is Sunday, and time to bake again.  I’ve had this almond-flavored sugar cookie recipe for years and it’s always been a favorite.  It came with an icing recipe, but I wanted to try my hand at Royal Icing.

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This recipe says to chill the dough for 1 hour after making before rolling it out.  Since I didn’t make up the dough until Saturday evening, I just refrigerated it overnight.  That was a mistake.  When I took it out of the fridge, it was almost as hard as a rock.  So, I had to wait for the dough to come back to room temperature before I could roll it out.

I used a snowflake cookie cutter to match the weather outside.  At 6 – 8 minutes, these cookies bake up pretty fast.  Icing them is the time consuming part.

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This recipe makes up a different amount of cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter.  With this large snowflake, it made nearly 3 dozen cookies.

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Then came the tricky part.  Making the Royal Icing.  I researched several recipes online and how to get the icing consistency you need for outlining the cookie and then flooding it with icing.  I’m not sure I achieved the right consistency, but it worked well enough for a first attempt and not knowing what I was doing.

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The icing part was messy and time consuming.  I thought I’d never get to the end of the cookies, but I did get a little faster at it as I went along.

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I probably should have tried an easier shape than a snowflake.  But, with practice, I’m sure it will get easier and I will get better at it.

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The recipe for the cookie dough and the icing that came with the recipe is provided below.  If you want to use Royal Icing, you can find a variety of recipes and tips on the internet, so I have not included that here.  I think I’ll try a different icing recipe next time and compare them.

Sugar Cookies

MIX:   2 sticks soft butter and 1-1/2 cups confectioners sugar

ADD:  1 egg, 1 tsp. vanilla, 1/2 tsp. almond extract, 2-1/2 cups flour, 1 tsp. baking soda, and 1 tsp. cream of tartar.

CHILL:  1 hour and roll out

BAKE:   at 375 F for 6-9 minutes.  Place on wire rack to cool.  Ice cookies when cool.

ICING:  Mix confectioner’s sugar, almond extract, and a small amount of water together until spreading consistency (this is not a Royal Icing recipe).



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