Thursday, December 24, 2009

actually tasty sugar cookies

i love a good sugar cookie.
that was my favorite at grandma buffalo's cookies at the mall when i was little.
is that place even in existence anymore??

trying to find a good sugar cookie recipe that is good for decorating is nearly impossible.
the cookie looks super cute, but the taste is blah.

this recipe gets an A+ in the taste category.
and its all impart to my favorite extract of all time....almond!

have fun making these fun cookies throughout the year.
they make great party favors.

Cut Out Sugar Cookies
yields 24-35 cookies, depending on the size of your cookie cutter and dough thickness

Ingredients:
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
2 t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 ½ t. kosher salt
2 ½ c. sifted flour

Directions:
In a stand mixer, cream butter and powdered sugar.
Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla and salt. Add flour and mix until just combined.
Chill dough until firm, about 1-2 hours.
Roll dough out to ¼” thickness or even a little thicker than that on well-floured surface.
Cut with cookie cutters.
Place on greased or parchment paper lined cookie sheets.
Bake at 375° for 8 min.
Watch your 1st batch carefully, the cookies should not brown at all.
Frost and decorate when cool.

Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder (available at craft stores, Walmart and baking supply stores)
5 tbsp. water
Piping Bags with decorating tips or Ziploc bags with the tip cut off

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Mix on low speed for about 7-10 minutes.
Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.
Very key!! Icing will harden quickly when it comes in contact with air.
This will be the stiffest the icing will get, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.
Place a few tablespoons of icing in a small bowl.
Add water, a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.
Add food gels/pastes (available at craft stores and Walmart, sold individually or in a kit) NOT liquid food dye/coloring.
Using a toothpick, get a little of the gel on the tip and add a little at a time to the icing until you reach your desired color.
Food gels/pastes are very concentrated and you only need a very small amount.
Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.
Add to piping bag or Ziploc and cut off the tip.
If you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick. Add a very small anount of liquid, about 1/2 a tsp. at a time and try again.
Get it to the consistency you like then practice decorating on a plate first so you don't waste a delicious cookie!
For a full tutorial on decorating with royal icing visit Annie's Eats.

recipes adapted from: Annie's Eats






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