When I can find the time, I love to sit and decorate sugar cookies. Time, well, and patience, being the main ingredients. Prepping the dough and baking the cookies is simple enough, but working with icing and it’s varying consistencies and colors can take a bit of time. However, if you do have the time and this sounds enjoyable (I know I’ve lost some of you already!), then these are right up your alley!
The key to the base layer of icing is to have it a bit runny so that it will dry smoothly. This means you may need to add a few teaspoons of water to your icing. Do this slowly, it won’t take much. If you do mess up, you can always add more powdered sugar back into the icing to thicken it back up. Make sure you give the base enough time to dry before decorating. You’ll then want the icing a bit thicker when you’re ready to decorate (as I just stated, simply add some powdered sugar back into your bowl of icing and mix), otherwise your designs will be running all over the place.
After browsing Pinterest and magazines and playing with my own ideas…
…I narrowed this years batch to my favorite three designs…a snowflake and two types of Christmas trees.
A classic cookie that becomes all your own! My son wanted to help but when he saw things were getting a bit intricate he decided “Mom, you’re doing a good job on your own”, ha!
Here are the recipes for the Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing that I used both via All Recipies:
Sandy’s Super Sugar Cookies:
5 1 /2 C flour
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1 pinch of salt
2 C butter at room temp
2 C sugar
2 large eggs
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Sift flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt together in a large bowl.
Beat butter and white sugar together in a large bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy; beat in vanilla extract. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture on low speed until dough is just-combined.
Divide dough into 4 portions; refrigerate 3 portions. Roll remaining portion out on a lightly-floured work surface to 1/4-inch thick. Use cookie cutters to cut dough into desired shapes and transfer cookies to prepared baking sheet
Bake in the preheated oven until slightly golden at the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. Cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Repeat rolling, cutting, and baking process with remaining dough portions.
Royal Icing III:
3 C powdered sugar
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
2 egg whites
In a bowl, sift together confectioners’ sugar and cream of tartar. Using electric mixer, beat in 2 beaten egg whites for about 5 minutes or until mixture is thick enough to hold its shape.