I don’t know about you but my Christmas sugar cookies never looked like this, until I discovered this fabulous recipe on the Craftiness Is Not Optional Blog. Be sure to stop by anytime you need a dose of some sweet inspiration.
- 2 cups butter, softened
- 2 cups powdered sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 ½ t. almond extract
- 2 t. vanilla
- 1 ½ t. salt
- 5 c. sifted flour
- Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Mix well. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour.
- Roll to ¼” thickness in between sheets of parchment paper (sprinkle flour on both sides of the dough and paper), then chill dough in fridge until firm.
- Cut with cookie cutters and place on greased cookie sheets.
- Repeat with remainder of dough, but keep in mind each time you roll it out they get tougher from adding flour while rolling.
- Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Make sure they are not sitting on the counter very long before putting them in the oven, you want them to go in chilled. Cookies should not brown. Let cool for a few minutes on the tray then transfer to a cooling rack. I usually bake them a day before I decorate.
Makes about 40-50 cookies, depending on the size of your cutter design.
from Annie’s Eats
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp. meringue powder
- 5 tbsp. water
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes.)
- Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping. (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick. Add a little more liquid and try again.)
- Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie. Let stand so the icing will set. Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.
- Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container. Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl. If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again. Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie. If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along. Allow to set.
- Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired. Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid. Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.