Already this year a few people have asked me about the best recipe for a decorated cut-out sugar cookie.
Every year I always have to look back and see what recipe I had used the year before. I always forget… but then as always, I realize it is this one right here.
This recipe is probably my favorite sugar cookie recipe of all time. It has a royal icing that hardens when it dries.
I make these for easter cookies; holiday cookies; cookies for ANY occassion… I even made butterfly cookies once. It was magical.
To me, decorating cookies is like creating artwork. Which is why I love it.
Oh yeah, and this recipe is from Martha Stewart. We are pretty much BFFs.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons milk
- ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
- In a mixer, cream butter and sugar; mix until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add egg, brandy, and vanilla; mix until well combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add reserved flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
- Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
-Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more.
- Bake at 350 degress until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool. Ice if desired
- 1 pound confectioners’ sugar
- 5 tablespoons meringue powder (you can find this is the baking sections of craft store, such as Hobby Lobby)
- ½ cup water (more or less, depending on how thick you want it)
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- Beat ingredients in a mixer bowl on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes.
- If icing is too thick, add more water; if too thin, beat 2 to 3 minutes more. This icing tends to be a bit runny, so i prefer a thicker icing so it doesn’t run off the cookies.
- Separate icing into bowls and add food colorings,if desired…and then decorate! I like to add sprinkles and edible glitter.
- BAKING TIP: I put the icing in a small sandwhich bag and cut off one corner tip of the bag. This is a really fast and easy way to make a pastry bag! Then you can pipe the icing out of the corner to create designs and thin lines.
So go spread that holiday cheer.