The 17th of May is a pretty big deal in Norway. Back in 1814 it was the day the constitution was signed thus declaring it an independent nation. For Americans it would be similar to our 4th of July. I had the pleasure of witnessing all the celebrations firsthand a few years ago when I was in Bergen attending the wedding of my dear friends E&L.
Norway is a pretty sparsely populated country, just shy of five million, but Norwegians are some of the most patriotic people I have ever met. And they go all out for the 17th. Picture tons of people crowding the streets wearing bunad, the national costume, and waving their red, blue and white flags as parades and bands march by. "Fantastisk!" as MG would say.
I first made these cookies about five years ago. I thought it would be a sweet way to celebrate the holiday. They were such a hit with my Norwegian friends that it's become a tradition for me to send these treats to them every year.
To all my Nordic friends: Gratulerer med dagen!
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 bowl of stand 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.