Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Frosted Sugar Cookies

Posted by: Maggie

DC got record breaking snowfall starting Friday morning, that lasted until late Saturday afternoon. Our city is notoriously ill-equipped when it comes do dealing with snow and ice, so some friends, my boyfriend, and myself holed up in the Beacon Hotel in Dupont Circle all weekend to ride out the storm, instead of being stranded in our respective apartments all alone.

I wanted to contribute something sweet to our festivities, so I made these cookies Thursday night. My friends ended up gobbling them up in about 30 minutes flat, so suffice to say they were a baking success.

These are a rare cookie that is WAY better the day after. They taste overly sweet and average all around until the icing has a chance to harden overnight, so if you're bringing them somewhere don't hesitate to get them out of the way 24 hours ahead of time. I decorated these with a Valentine's Day theme, but will definitely be making them again for St. Patrick's Day, 4th of July, Halloween...pretty much any holiday that has a defined color scheme!

What you'll need:

Sugar Cookies -
1 1/4 c white sugar
1 cup salted butter (softened)
3 egg yolks
1 t vanilla extract
2 1/2 c all-purpose flour
1 t baking soda
1/2 t cream of tartar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Cream together butter and sugar, and beat in egg yolks and vanilla.

Stir together dry ingredients, and gradually incorporate into butter mixture.

Roll into walnut sized balls, and bake for 9-10 minutes, until edges are just set. Allow to cool completely before frosting.


Royal Icing -
4 cups powdered sugar
2 T meringue powder (I got mine online from Wilton)
5 T. Water

Combine all ingredients, and mix with an electric mixer (essential for this recipe) for about 5 minutes, or until matte. Gradually add more water in very small increments until it reaches a consistency appropriate for piping onto the cookies.

I probably added 2 T, to get a consistency thinner than cake frosting, but thicker than melted chocolate. You don't want it to run all over the cookies, but you want it to be thin enough so that after it's piped on it spreads out and appears smooth.

If you're not using the icing immediately, transfer it to an air tight container, because it dries out quickly. If using immediately, go ahead and tint with gel icing colors (also available from the Wilton online store, and at some grocery stores) and fill pastry bag.

Using a pastry bag fitted with a round #12 decorating tip, frost the cookies, and decorate immediately with sprinkles, if desired.


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