If you've been following my blog for any length of time, you'll know that I don't really like to cook (or bake, for that matter). Don't get me wrong, I love food... especially good food, but I'd rather eat it than make/bake for myself.
But every once in a while I get an urge to make/bake for others. It's always fun receiving little treats (I have a sister who blesses me ALL OF THE TIME with her goodies) and there's nothing like a sweet surprise to break up the day. Except that, if you plan to attend tomorrow's Faithbooking Crop I'm pretty much blowing your surprise... so:
One of these little bags will go to you as part of tomorrow's lesson. For those of you reading who would like to try your hand at shortbread/sugar cookie cutouts and flooding... read on.
I worked with two types of dough - one a shortbread and the other a sugar cookie recipe ideal for cutouts (I was using notched cutters for some of the cookies and did not want the dough to spread).
As for the icing, I used Royal Icing which dries to a nice hard finish. I used a thicker icing and a #3 icing tip to pipe an outline on each cookie, returning later with a thinned out icing and #4 tip to "flood" the cookie. (Tip: When coloring Royal Icing, you want to be sure to use gel paste NOT standard food coloring.) After everything was dry, I added additional lines/hearts using #2 and #3 icing tips. If you've never worked with royal icing before, though time-consuming is a cinch to use. Just keep your bowl covered with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out. You'll find some great tips HERE and HERE.
Now, for the recipes:
The Sugar Cookie
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
12 Tbsp. (1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Over a small bowl, sift together the flour and salt. Set aside.
Using an electric mixer with the flat beater, beat the butter on high for 2 minutes. Reduce the speed to medium, slowly adding the sugar. Beat for 2 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, beating for 1 minute. Stop the mixer once to scrape down sides of the bowl.
Stop the mixer and add half the flour mixture. Beat on low until most of the flour has been absorbed. Add the remaining flour and continue beating until all of the flour has been absorbed and the dough starts to pull away from the sides of the bowl, 2-3 minutes.
Turn the dough out onto a work surface and divide into 2 equal balls. Shape each into a disk and wrap securely in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours or up to 2 days.
Remove the dough from the refrigerator and let stand for 5 minutes. On lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
Using cookie cutters, cut desired shapes. Transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets, spacing them approximately 1-inch apart. Bake until golden brown around the edges, 10-12 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire racks and let cool completely. Store in airtight container at room temperature.
The shortbread cookie recipe is HERE.
The Royal Icing
1 pound powdered sugar
5 Tablespoons meringue powder
approx. 1/2 cup water
Mix the powdered sugar and meringue powder in a large bowl. Slowly add water, beating with the flat paddle on your mixer - approximately 2 minutes. To thin small amounts of icing for flooding, just add water. (It's easier to thin than it is to thicken with powdered sugar so use water sparingly!)
Decorate and enjoy!