Iced Sugar Cookies
I have come to love decorating sugar cookies. I sometimes really get into it and watch videos of people decorating cookies for hours! It’s so mesmerizing! I just love how endless the possibilities are… my husband actually 3D prints my cookie cutters which is super cool. I can literally make a cookie of anything I want! Don’t be intimidated by icing them either. It looks super tricky, but it only takes a little practice.
I don’t use the two consistency method (thick royal icing border, then flood with a thin consistency). I use Sweet Ambs technique because it only uses one consistency, and you can use a scribe tool to reshape the icing which is super helpful if you’re not a perfect piper (like me). Here is the link to her YouTube channel. Sorry in advance if you become addicted to watching her videos.
Cut Out Sugar Cookie Recipe
- 2 cups MTG flour blend
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum
- 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar
- 8 tablespoons butter, softened (I always use salted, just preference)
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Mix together dry ingredients in a mixer until well combined.
- Add in the butter, egg, and vanilla. Mix until combined. (This dough is a little weird. It’ll seem like it’s coming together but then at the same time it is crumbly. You’ll think there is no way that it is going to roll out without completely crumbling, but it does beautifully! When you take a handful of dough and squeeze it, it should stick together well.)
- No need to refrigerate the dough. Roll out using parchment paper on the bottom and top. (Think sandwich. Use a little tapioca flour if needed to prevent sticking.) I rolled them out to about 1/4 inch.
- Cut out your shapes and place them on the baking sheet. (Use parchment paper or a silicone mat to prevent sticking, but I don’t think it’s necessary.)
- Bake for 6-8 minutes until edges are just barely browning. Just barely.
- Transfer to a rack to cool. (Cookies are much more durable after cooling for several minutes.)
Royal Icing Recipe
- 3 tablespoons meringue powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 5 + tablespoons water (add 5 to start, you will add more later)
- In a mixer, with the whisk attachment, mix together all ingredients on high, scraping sides as needed, until very stiff peaks form.
- Now is where you will slowly add water a teaspoon at a time while mixing on medium/low speed. Your goal is to get an icing that will keep it’s shape for no more than 8-10 seconds. (I test this be dragging a spatula through the icing, then letting a small trail of icing fall, this will leave a line of icing sitting on the rest. The line of icing should sink back into the icing in the bowl within 8-10 seconds.) Once the icing begins to get close to this, I take it off of the mixer and mix the last bit by hand so I have complete control.
- If you want to color the icing, use a gel food coloring. If you use a more liquid form, you will just add more water to your icing, messing with the consistency. It’s possible to use a liquid one, just keep that in mind.
- Place the icing into a piping bag fit with a #2 or #3 tip. (I like to keep a glass nearby with a damp paper towel in the bottom. Then when I need a break, or need to set my piping bag down, I can keep it upright and the damp towel prevents the tip from drying and getting clogged.)
- Go around the border of the cookie with the icing, then fill it in. Use a toothpick or a scribe tool to help even out the icing or straighten up the edges etc. (Seriously, go watch some of the videos linked above! They’re very helpful. Plus they will give you a great visual on what the consistency of the icing should be.)
- Allow icing to set for about 12 hours. (Will set sooner, but if you plan on stacking them, they will need quite a few hours.)
- Enjoy and show off your creations!
Hopefully that all made sense! I feel like I just kept typing and typing… seriously though, videos will help a ton (see top of page for link). Maybe I’ll make one soon 🙂