2 and 1/4 cups (280g) all-purpose flour (spoon & leveled)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (180g) unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
1 large egg, at room temperature
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
optional for flavor: 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
Whisk the flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together on high speed until completely smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract (if using) and beat on high speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape down the sides and up the bottom of the bowl and beat again as needed to combine.
Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix on low until combined. If the dough seems too soft, you can add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment paper or a lightly floured silicone baking mat to about 1/4-inch thickness. The rolled-out dough can be any shape, as long as it is evenly 1/4-inch thick.
Stack the pieces, with parchment paper between the two, onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1-2 hours and up to 2 days. If chilling for more than a couple hours, cover the top dough piece with a single piece of parchment paper.
Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone baking mats. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and cut into shapes with cookie cutter(s). Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used. Repeat with 2nd dough piece.
Arrange cookies on baking sheets 3 inches apart.
Bake for 11-12 minutes, until lightly browned around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. Allow cookies to cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating. TIP: if you decorate the cookies directly on baking sheets you can place the entire baking sheet in the refrigerator to help set the icing. So place the cooled cookies back on baking sheets.
Prepare royal icing. ** recipe on our website: thesourceonlineme.com
Divide icing up between a few bowls.
Deside on your colors and mix accordingly. Leave some white to use for highlights on your designs.
Using piping tip #5, outline and flood with your base color(s). Allow icing to set (placing the cookies in the fridge can help set the icing faster). Using piping tip #2 or piping tip #1, add decorative designs in different colors like polka dots, squiggles, plaid, or stripes. Icing will completely set in about 2 hours at room temperature.
Decorated or plain cookies will stay fresh covered at room temperature or in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Have fun and send us your designs to put in our next issue.
- 4 cups (480g) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
- 3 Tablespoons meringue powder
- 8–10 Tablespoons room temperature water
- optional for decorating: gel food coloring
- In a large bowl using a hand mixer or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat all of the icing ingredients together on high speed for 5 minutes. (start with 8 Tablespoons of water. On particularly dry days, you might use up to 12-14!) When lifting the whisk up off the icing, the icing should drizzle down and smooth out within 10-15 seconds. If it’s too thick, add a little more water. If it’s too thin, add a little more sifted confectioners’ sugar.
- Icing completely dries in about 2 hours at room temperature. If you’re layering royal icing onto cookies for specific designs and need it to set quickly, place cookies in the refrigerator to help speed it up.