You know those sugar cookies you can get at the store, the great big ones with the colorful candy icing on them? I love those cookies. I also love that I have finally learned to make a version of those cookies.
I had never used royal icing before, at least not seriously. I think I mixed up a batch a few years ago so the kids I baby-sat at the time could decorate some cookies for their parents. I just gave them the icing and let them have at it. Oh, how I wish I had pictures of those cookies. They were adorable. Hopefully these look nothing like those.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Your favorite sugar cookie recipe. (I cheated and used Betty Crocker cookie mix. That’s right, I said it. I only had a certain amount of time to get all these things done, give me a break!) 🙂
1) Roll out dough and use cookie cutters to make whatever shapes you want. This year I did stars, candy canes, trees, and ornaments. Next year I’ll probably just stick to the trees and the candy canes, those were my favorite.
2) Bake according to the recipe. Let cool.
For Royal Icing: (This is the Wilton recipe)
3 Tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups (about 1 pound) powdered sugar
6 Tablespoons warm water
1) Beat all ingredients on a low speed until stiff peaks form (about 7-10 minutes in a stand mixer).
2) Separate icing into separate airtight containers. I used four because I needed four different colors.
3) Use gel coloring to color icing.
4) Using the stiff consistency, outline cookies. I used a decorating bag and a small circle tip to do my outlines.
5) Thin remaining icing with an additional 1-2 teaspoons of water. Once outlines have dried, fill in cookies by “flooding” with thinned icing. I just used a spoon for this. Allow icing to dry. Decorate as you wish.
**Keep all icing covered in the airtight containers when not in use. This will keep it from drying out.**
My outline icing had dried enough in about an hour for me to “flood” the centers. The middle of the cookies had dried enough for me to add decorations in about an hour also, but it really took overnight for everything to completely dry, so I wouldn’t try to package these until at least 12-14 hours have gone by.
I saved a little of the thicker icing to make decorations for the ornaments and the garland on the trees.
These were so time consuming, but I think it was because it was the first time I’ve done anything with royal icing. Now that I know (kind of) what I’m doing I think it will be easier next time around. And there will be a next time; these cookies were adorable.
Before this recipe I owned ZERO cookie cutters (crazy for as much baking as I do) so I went out and bought a set of Betty Crocker plastic ones from Walgreens. There were 101 cookie cutters in the container, a ton of holiday cutters, alphabet cutters, numbers. I love them! Definitely an awesome buy and an A+ recipe overall!