A Simple and Easy Recipe for Decorated Christmas Sugar Cookies Easy royal icing soft sugar cookie recipe for decorating Christmas cookies with the kids.
- FOR THE COOKIES:
- ½ cups Softened butter
- 1 cup Sugar
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
- ½ cups Sour cream
- ½ teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 2-½ cups Plain flour
- 1-½ tsp baking powder
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- ¼ teaspoons Baking soda
- FOR THE ROYAL ICING:
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- ¼ cups Water
- ½ pound Powdered sugar, sifted
- ½ teaspoon Light corn syrup
- 1 dash Light vanilla extract
- Various gel food colorings
For the sugar cookies:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.
Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Mix the dry ingredients with butter and sugar.
Shape the dough into a disc shape, place it in a resealable bag and chill the dough overnight in the fridge. (I’ve made this dough before without refrigerating overnight, just put the dough in the freezer for 30 minutes to an hour to chill.)
Once cooled, roll out the dough between two sheets of parchment paper (or on a lightly floured surface). Make sure the thickness is between 1/4 and 1/2 inch thick.
Once rolled, cut out shapes and place them on a baking sheet. Continue to gently reform, roll and cut the dough until it is fully used.
Bake at 350°F for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden brown. (Baking times vary greatly depending on the shape and size of the cookie. Be careful and remove the cookies as soon as the edges begin to brown. The cookie will harden as it cools).
Once the cookies are baked, let them rest on the baking sheet for 2-3 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. Let cookies cool completely before decorating.
For the basic royal icing:
In the bowl of a mixer, combine the meringue powder and water with the paddle attachment. Beat until the mixture is combined and begins to foam.
Add sifted powdered sugar, stir to combine. Be sure to scrape the sides and pick up with a spatula, if necessary.
Stir in corn syrup and vanilla extract. Increase blender speed to medium-high. Beat the frosting for about 5 minutes, until the frosting has formed stiff peaks.
This icing consistency is “the base”: white and the right thickness for stiff edges and hard details. Press a piece of plastic wrap over the surface of the frosting as you color and drown the frosting.
To color royal icing, take a large dollop of basic royal icing and place it in a small bowl. Stir a drop or a few drops of gel food coloring into the frosting until it reaches your desired shade.
The basic consistency of royal icing is too thick to color the entire cookie. I decorate all of my cookies to a “flooded” consistency, which is just thinned down icing. To your colored royal icing on top, add a teaspoon (or half a teaspoon) of water at a time. Stir after each teaspoon until the frosting can be “drizzled” into a ribbon in the bowl and “disappear” on the surface of the remaining frosting within 2 seconds (counting one thousand one, one thousand two). Anything stiffer than that won’t flood, and anything thinner may flood the icing straight from the cookie onto your counter.
Pour the thinned, colored frosting into a small plastic bottle and have fun decorating your Christmas sugar cookies!
• Americolor Gel Food Coloring works and tastes the best (find a variety pack on Amazon).
• Keep plastic wrap over basic royal icing while mixing, thinning and coloring different icings. This prevents it from drying out and forming a crust.
• Small plastic squeeze bottles are really the easiest utensils to decorate. You can use a piping bag and a mouthpiece, but I find I have more control with the bottles. Note that depending on their size, they can be a bit hard to fill.
• Use a toothpick to spread the frosting into the “holes” or missed spots of the cookie. It can also be used to slide colors together creating different patterns and designs on the cookie.