I have a confession. This is the very first time in my life I have made royal icing. It is the very first time in my life I’ve made iced sugar cookies. So please don’t be too critical I’ve got a few things to learn about the tricks of icing. The reason I haven’t made icing and iced sugar cookies up until now because I’ve tasted iced sugar cookies before and I’ve always liked the frosted puffy version better. But, iced sugar cookies can be decorated far prettier and they make better gifts so I decided it was the perfect season to give them a try.
The icing really wasn’t hard to make thanks to Annie’s wonderful tutorial (from her blog – Annie’s Eats). Before I reading that tutorial I didn’t even know what flood icing was. Her blog has always been one of my favorites. She does amazing work that always looks flawless.
These cookies are so delicious and are also so fun to make. Some of you may know by know how I love art and I love food so these cookies are made for me. I loved how I got to make each cookie unique just as you will never find an identical snowflake.
I don’t know why I was so harsh on iced sugar cookies in the past. They are basically a soft shortbread cookie with a sugary icing. How could that not be good? They reminded me of how I want to re-create one of my favorite cookies from my childhood, those Keebler pink iced animal cookies with their delicious nutmeg flavor. These taste nothing like those, these are far better they were just a fun reminder for some reason.
Keep in mind these cookies aren’t a batch that you can have made in 20 minutes, they take a bit of time but you don’t need to put as much time into them as I did. If you wanted to simply ice them with a solid color and maybe add some sprinkle then it would be faster than piping additional decorations among the tops. Either way I hope you have a chance to try these cookies soon. They are simply amazing with their delicate, buttery cookie flavor and that lightly crunchy shell from the icing. MMMM they are a cookie you’re going to remember. Enjoy!
Iced Sugar Cookies
Yield: Recipe yield varies*
- 1 cup salted butter , softened
- 1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 recipe Royal Icing from Annie's Eats
In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, blend together butter, powdered sugar and salt on low speed until well combine, about 20 seconds. Mix in egg, vanilla and almond extract. With mixer set on low speed, slowly add in flour and mix until combine. Transfer dough to an airtight container and refrigerate until firm about 1 1/2 hours (0r freeze folding dough once with a wooden spoon halfway through chilling until firm about 40 minutes - which is what I did).
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheets with Silpats or parchment paper. Roll dough out on a generously floured surface to 1/4-inch thickness then cut dough into desired shapes using cookie cutters. Carefully transfer cut shapes to prepared baking sheets and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes, edges should not brown. Allow cookies to cool for at least 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool. Cool cookies completely then frost with icing.
For the icing
*I got 26 cookies, I made about 1/2 of them large snowflakes and half of them small snowflakes so it will just depend on the size of your cookie cutters.
Recipe Source: Sugar Cookies adapted slightly from Annie's Eats