Thursday, April 8, 2010

Spring Flower Sugar Cookies

Sugar cookies are so versatile. I love them!

I think I have found my new "go to" sugar cookie recipe. While I like the version I tried for my Valentine heart cookies, this one was so much tastier and you don't have to chill them. That's right, you just mix them up, roll them out, and bake them. No chilling required. I was a bit skeptical at first because I have grown up making sugar cookies and they have always needed to be chilled prior to rolling them out. In fact, I thought it might be a typo in the recipe, but I figured I would see what happened when I made them. Turns out, the recipe was typed out correctly and no refrigeration is needed!

I also used a new royal icing recipe and found that it worked equally well. One thing I learned with my flowers is that I don't need to pipe an outline because the outline never really blends into the other frosting. You can see in the photo that the yellow center was piped and then the center was flooded. The outline wouldn't blend in for anything. For the petals I just flooded the cookie without piping an outline and I was MUCH happier with the results. Enjoy!

Basic Vanilla Sugar Cookie
Source: Treats

1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix until egg is completely incorporated. Add flour, baking powder, and salt; mix until no trace of dry ingredients remain.

Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface to about 1/4" thickness and cut shapes using cookie cutters.

Bake for about 18 minutes or until golden brown. (My cookies only took about 12 minutes to bake. The next time only 10 minutes, so keep an eye and a nose on them because you can smell when they are perfectly done.)

Royal Icing
A half batch of icing was enough for the cookies above.

4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
food coloring

Mix powdered sugar and meringue powder until well blended. Slowly add water and mix until you get the consistency that you want. Add food coloring to achieve your desired color. Use pastry bags with #1 and #3 tips or plastic squeeze bottles to decorate.

For outlining: consistency should be like glue paste
For flooding: add enough water so that when you lift a spoonful of icing it runs back into the bowl and blends into the other icing in about 2 to 3 seconds