About a month ago we had a ‘Welcome to the family‘ party for the newest addition to our family, Ayla Nur Saricimen…my younger brother Taha’s daughter. Before anything, I want to congratulate the parents, Taha and Betul, and the sister Leyla, for this bundle of gorgeousness that they have received from God…truly a blessing..
As giveaways, I wanted to bake sugar cookies in cute shapes and frost them for the new born, and since they didn’t have the cookie cutters I was looking for here, I ordered mine from Amazon. I was on a time-constraint..BIG TIME! The cookie cutters had to arrive in time for me to be able to make them and frost them..and I was worried that they wouldn’t but I did have a backup plan.
they arrived most of them arrived on time and I was able to use them.
Now the best thing is…the recipe of these sugar cookies! I absolutely loved them when I tried them about a month ago. Thank you so much The Decorated Cookie (Meaghan) for the most amazing sugar cookie and royal icing recipe! I’ve made them 5 times so far since I discovered this recipe..and for the party, I tripled it and was able to make 70+ cookies!!! Yaaay! :)))
The icing was great too…very easy to make and handle. However, piping the borders is not a simple task, especially for an amateur like me! I need a lot of practice to make things look prettier. One thing that helped me was piping the borders the same color as the flooding; this somewhat covers up any mistakes you may make during the border piping..and then you can just pipe some details when they dry…but definitely…practice practice practice!!
Mistakes or not…the cookies turned out great..don’t you think? :)))
The Royal Icing: Whip the meringue powder and water on high speed for about 4 – 5 minutes until peaks form. Add the corn syrup, vegetable shortening and vanilla. Gradually, about a cup at a time, add the powdered sugar until you get the right consistency.
The Right Consistency: Take a spoonful, turn it upside-down. The icing should cling to the spoon and slowly fall into the bowl! That is the right consistency for the borders. For the flooding, add a few teaspoons of water to thin out the icing. Add the water slowly until you get the consistency you require.
(Alternatively, you can do the knife test. When you think you have the right consistency, cut through the frosting with a knife. For the borders, it should take about 10 seconds for the line in the icing caused by the knife to disappear. For the flooding, it should take about 5 seconds.)
You can make the royal icing in advance and store in a sealed container for up to a month.
The Cookie Dough: Cream butter and powdered sugar. Add extracts and egg and mix well. Gradually add flour and salt mixture. When creaming butter and sugar, if you don’t have a splash-guard, try covering the top of the bowl with cling film to minimize sugar dust from flying all over the place! :)
Cover Cookie Dough in plastic wrap or cling film and chill for 2 hours.
I LOVE my Joseph Joseph rolling pin! It guides me to roll dough out to the exact thickness I need. I usually roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness.
After chilling the dough, remove from plastic wrap and divide into three. Work with each piece of dough individually while the remaining is resting in the fridge! On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough and cut. I urge you to flour the surface you work on. The cut cookies lift off much easier and their shapes don’t get ruined.
Bake cookies and cool completely on cooling rack before icing them.
I start off by piping all same-color borders at one time. For example, I pipe all the white borders at one time and then I pipe all the pink borders. Also, I have found that if I pipe the borders and the flooding the same color, it hides any mistakes I may have made with my unbelievably shaky hands!! For these borders, I used a Wilton #3 tip. But # 2 tip pipes nice and thin borders too.
Allow the borders to dry for about an hour before piping the flooding.
For the flooding, I used Wilton #2 tip. However, I have also tried flooding without using a tip; I just cut a small bit off the disposable piping bag and it works fine. Just keep in mind, practice practice practice!!!!
After piping the flooding, if there are any parts I missed, I use a toothpick to fill them in.
Finally, after the flooding has dried a bit, using a Wilton #1 tip, I pipe any details I want to add. I’m not that creative yet…but I’m getting there! ;) The icing used to pipe the details was the same as the one used to pipe the borders (the thick icing).
Allow the flooding to semi-dry for a few hours before piping the details.
And for these give-aways, I wrapped them in polypropylene cello bags and tied them with a pink ribbon :)) Don’t they look adorable?? :))
Allow the icing to dry completely (overnight) before packaging.
- 4 tablespoons meringue powder
- ½ cup water
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 tablespoons Crisco (vegetable shortening)
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
- 6 – 8 cups powdered (icing) sugar, sifted
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- a pinch of salt
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup powdered (icing) sugar, sifted
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Whip the meringue powder and water on high speed for about 4 – 5 minutes until peaks form.
- Add the corn syrup, vegetable shortening and vanilla.
- Gradually, about a cup at a time, add the powdered sugar until you get the right consistency.
- The Right Consistency: Take a spoonful, turn it upside-down. The icing should cling to the spoon and slowly fall into the bowl! That is the right consistency for the borders. For the flooding, add a few teaspoons of water to thin out the icing. Add the water slowly until you get the consistency you require.
- Alternatively, you can do the knife test. When you think you have the right consistency, cut through the frosting with a knife. For the borders, it should take about 10 seconds for the line in the icing caused by the knife to disappear. For the flooding, it should take about 5 seconds.
- You can make the royal icing (with meringue powder) in advance and store in a sealed container for up to a month. Store royal icing made with egg whites in a sealed container for about a week.
- Keep in mind that royal icing dries out. Always keep the icing you are not using covered or in an air tight container.
- To color, I used Wilton Icing Colors (Gel). Using a toothpick, I put a few streaks at a time into my icing until I got the shade I was looking for.
- In a medium sized bowl, sift flour and salt and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand-up mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine butter and icing sugar and beat until creamy. (You can use and electric hand-held mixer if you don’t have a stand-up mixer).
- Add egg and vanilla and blend well.
- Gradually, about ½ cup at a time, add the flour and beat after each addition.
- Cover dough with cling film or plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for about 2 hours.
- After 2 hours when you’re ready to make the cookies, line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment paper. Preheat oven to 190 degrees C (375 degrees F)
- Once the dough has chilled, divide the dough into three. Work with ⅓ of the dough at a time while the rest is still in the fridge.
- Briefly knead the chilled dough until it is rollable. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough out to about ⅛ inch to ¼ inch thick.
- Cut out shapes and carefully place them on the parchment paper-lined sheets. Bake cookies 12-14 minutes or until edges are golden. Thicker cookies may need up to 20 minutes.
- Once baked, place cookies on cooling rack to cool completely before icing.
Meringue Powder: If you live in the GCC, you can find Meringue powder from Tavola.Although, sadly, they have been out of stock lately.
Alternatively, you can use egg whites to make the royal icing. Here’s what you can do:
3 egg whites
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
2 tablespoons crisco (vegetable shortening)
6 – 8 cups powdered (icing) sugar, sifted
With an electric beater, or a stand-up mixer, whisk the egg whites and lemon juice until stiff peaks form. Add the vanilla, corn syrup and crisco and gradually, about half a cup at a time, add the powdered sugar. Do the same test for consistency. If you want it to be stiffer, add more icing sugar. If you want to thin out the icing, add water a teaspoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency.
Polypropylene Cello Bags:
You can get Cello bags from stores that sell gift wrapping supplies; I got mine from Meshwar in Al-Khobar, Saudi Arabia.