One of my favorite websites I can never stop perusing is Not Your Mommas Cookie. As a baker who has always had trouble decorating cookies, Jennifer's tutorials were exactly what I needed. Today I wanted to welcome spring by making festive themed cookies. I used Jennifer's suggested sugar cookie recipe (found here), as well as her royal icing recipe (found here).
3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 c sugar
2 sticks salted butter
3/4 tsp pur vanilla extract
1. Preheat the oven to 350.
2. Cream together sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla, and mix.
3. Mix flour with baking powder and gradually add to liquid mix. Beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.
4. The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.
5. Roll on a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheet and bake.
4 tbsp meringue powder
1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp light corn syrup
1. Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.
2. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)
3. Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.(You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.
4. Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings. This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding.