Kara and I have been wanting to work with royal icing for awhile now. We see other bloggers doing it and their results are fantastic. I absolutely love the smooth texture and vibrant colors. We tried it out for the first time and quickly started to get the hang of it. But we’re still novices so don’t judge!
We decided on chocolate sugar cookies from Annie’s Eats, and they were scrumptious. Because we bake so much around here, we try to give away most of the sweets we make. We do. Honest. It’s just not safe letting them sit around the house. But these cookies were so good they remained in a Ziploc bag on my counter, and I ate more than I’d like to admit.
Notes: It is hard to accurately determine the yield since cookie cutters come in all shapes and sizes; it really depends on the size of your cutter. But let me warn you that we only got 11 cookies using a shamrock cutter that was no larger than 3 inches. Therefore it may be a good idea to double the recipe.
Also, because this was our first time working with royal icing the process was a guessing game to us and our picture directions are subpar. It took us a while to get the consistency just right, not to mention the actual designs on the cookies! Karen’s Cookie Blog and Pennies on a Platter were both extremely helpful guides, so please reference those sites until we become pros!
Ingredients for the Chocolate Sugar Cookies:
¾ cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup Dutch process cocoa powder
Pinch of salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
In a small bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder and salt; whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the butter and sugar. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Blend in the egg and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add the dry ingredients and mix just until incorporated and no streaks remain. Form the dough into a disc, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, about 1-2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. On a lightly floured work surface, roll the dough out to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters and place cut outs on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 10-12 minutes, just until set. Let cool on the baking sheet about 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Ingredients for the Royal Icing:
3 tablespoons meringue powder (we found at Hobby Lobby)
4 cups powdered sugar
6+ tablespoons water
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ teaspoon almond extract
Beat all ingredients together until stiff peaks form (about 10 minutes). Divide into separate containers, depending on how many colors you plan to use. Mix in food coloring. Add water to thin each color out so that when it runs off the spoon it quickly dissolves back into the remaining icing within 10 seconds. Add powdered sugar if you need to thicken it. Pour into squeeze bottles and decorate as desired.