One of my all-time favorite things to make for Christmas are hand iced sugar cookies. Don't get me wrong, I make them all year round for gifts and commissioned orders, but there's something about the holidays that make them seem even more special.
This year I tested out two new cookie cutters, the mitten and the snowman. Both cookies were embellished with sanding sugar to get a shimmery texture. The technique is pretty simple but the results are quite stunning. After applying royal icing to the cookie sanding sugar is sprinkled over the still wet icing. Once the icing has dried the excess sugar is shaken off.
These cookies are just begging for a hot mug of cocoa, don't you think?
Basic Vanilla Sugar Cookie
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a standing mixer with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and combine until egg is completely incorporated. Add flour, baking powder and salt and mix until no trace of dry ingredients remain.
Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness and cut out shapes using cookie cutters.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown.
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
gel food coloring
Mix powdered sugar and meringue powder in mixer until well combined. Slowly add water and mix until you get the consistency you want*. Add food coloring to achieve your desired color.
For outlining: consistency should be like glue paste
For flooding: add enough water so that the consistency is pretty runny
* Note: Royal Icing is extremely forgiving. If you find you've added too much water and the icing is too runny, just add more powdered sugar. Vice versa if your icing is too thick.