So this Christmas I decided to try something other than cakes and cupcakes and give them out as gifts to friends and relatives. The result was these sugar cookies! I’m really pleased with how they turned out and they got rave reviews! I like sugar cookies as they are really simple to make and with the royal icing they stay fresh for a long time! I went a little overboard this year and made a wide variety of shapes.
Snowflake, Stocking, Santa Hat, Christmas Tree, Ornament, Snow Globe, Bell, Snowman, Reindeer, Mitten
And my favourite of all is the 3D Santa!
Sugar Cookie Recipe
3 cups of all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking soda.
Using your mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
Divid the dough in half and wrap each in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll out.
Preheat oven to 350 *F and line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to approximately 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out the desired shapes and place them on the baking sheets. Place the baking sheets in the refrigerator for approximately 10-15 minutes to chill the dough (this is the important step, otherwise your cookies will spread and lose their shape.)
Bake the cookies for approximately 8-10 minutes or until the edges are just starting to turn brown. Remove from the oven and cool on a cooling rake. Once completely cooled, then ice with royal icing.
Royal Icing Recipe
4 cups icing sugar, sifted
3 tbsp meringue powder
1/2 cup-3/4 cup warm water (depending on desired consistency)
Gel food colouring
1/2 tsp almond or vanilla extract (optional)
Using your mixer and whip attachment, combine the icing sugar and meringue powder. Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks begin to form. To get the desired consistency add more water for a runnier icing or more icing sugar for a stiffer icing.
To colour your icing, I like to use gel colouring as it is more concentrated and will not water down your icing. Hand mix colouring into your icing to get the desired colour. You can use your mixer to add the colour but I find that you get a lot of air bubbles in your icing and you will be forever popping them as you ice your cookies. Remember more often than not, less is more when it comes to colouring.