Sugar cookies are probably my favorite sweet treat. I could never figure out how the bakeries decorated them so perfectly. My icing always tasted great, but I could never decorate like the professionals.
Every morning I watch Martha. Last week, she decorated Valentine’s sugar cookies. And there IS a secret ingredient to the perfect icing–meringue powder! When you add meringue powder to powdered sugar and water it is called Royal Icing. It makes decorating so easy, especially when you use little squirt bottles to do your designs.
So here’s my cookie making process.
1) Roll out the dough. Use flour generously so it won’t stick to the pin.
2) Cut the cookies with your favorite cookie cutter. Hearts for Valentine’s Day!
3) Bake and place on parchment paper to cool.
4) For best icing colors use gel food coloring like these.
5) Mix Royal Icing with food coloring in a bowel before spooning it into the squeeze bottle. I would also recommend doing this process over the sink as it is quite messy! *NOTE- Food coloring can stain, so be careful on countertops and other objects. Do each color in separate small bowels.
6) Wait until cookies are completely cool. Decorate over parchment paper. The technique below is called “dam and fill”. Basically, you make a line with your icing around the outside of the cookie. Then you fill it in and smooth it out with a knife.
7) I added decoration after I filled in the main area of the cookie.
8 ) Let your cookies sit over night. The icing will harden. And Ta-Da! You have bakery quality cookies!
Makes 3 cups of icing:
Sugar Cookie Recipe
3/4 cup of butter
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Mix butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Slowly add in flour, baking powder and salt. Cover and chill at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll dough to 1/8 inch thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut desire shapes. Place on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes.
This Valentine’s Day I’m so thankful for my two boys!