Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

This recipe is from Williams & Sonoma, one of my VERY favorite stores!
Ingredients for Cookies
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Ingredients for Icing
3 egg whites
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
pinch of salt
couple drops of vanilla

Beat together butter and sugar on medium until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, one at a time (and keep the egg whites for the Royal Icing recipe!). Add vanilla and mix (or you can be very Marth Stewart-like and use real vanilla bean like W&S called for). In seperate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix well. Divide dough into 4 equal parts and roll each into ball.

Flatten each ball into a disc, wrap each in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. (Can be made up to 3 days before)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. W & S suggests buttering baking sheets, I say lets go the easy way and spray baking sheets with butter flavored cooking spray. Roll out disc on floured surface (W&S says roll out to about 1/4 inch. I like mine as thin as possible). Cut out cookie shapes, transfer to baking sheet and continue with remaining dough. Bake until edges of cookies are golden brown, about 8 minutes (mine were best at 7 min and 45 sec). Let cool completely before decorating. Cookies can be stored in air tight container for up to one week.

THIS, my friends, is the real reason I got married! For my precious Kitchen Aid! JK, B! How beautiful is this?!?! I dont even want to tell you how long it took me to decide what color to get and how many times my poor hubby had to carry this thing back and forth to the store!
Now, for the fun part~Decorating!!!
Beat egg whites, sugar, cream of tartar, and salt on med-low speed until blended. Add vanilla and beat on med-high until mixture nearly triples in volume, about 8 minutes. Easy as that...go ahead and add some colorings and decorate to your heart's desire!

I made easter bunnies, tulips, and butterflies.

For the Easter Bunny, I iced all over with white icing and let dry. Made pink icing and placed in ziplock bag, cut tiny hole, and made pink ears and a nose for the bunny and then dipped into pink sugar glitter to add some sparklies! Then I took a black gel pen and added eyes and a mouth.

For the tulips, I made pink icing and covered the entire cookie in pink, and while still wet, I sprinkled pink sugar glitter all over.

For the butterflies, I made yellow icing and covered the entire butterfly. My original idea was to make purple and decorate the center of the butterfly with purple icing and purple sugar glitter, however, I got lazy, and just made yellow. To add some fun colors, I sprinkled confetti sprinkles all over the wet icing.

I'm sorry, but I forgot to take a picture of my final cookies, so here's a picture of the bunny and butterfly, from what you can see.

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