Saturday, December 18, 2010

The Royal Cookie

Our home feels like one big, sugar cookie! In the last couple of days, we have received boxes and boxes of  beautifully decorated, delicious sugar cookies as gifts from friends and family. I don't know how it is going to be humanly possible to enjoy all of them; but there is nothing like a candy cane cookie in the morning, a santa cookie for lunch, and a christmas tree cookie for dinner.

I have found a true Love and appreciation for these beautiful pieces of edible art! So as the gallon sized container of sugar cookie dough that I bought from a young lady in support of her school stares at me in our freezer, I am feeling inspired to master the art of sugar cookie decorating!

If you don't have "pre-made" sugar cookie dough and prefer to make your own, sugar cookies are relatively simple to make since they are mostly butter and sugar. I found a Collection of Sugar Cookie Recipes here. Who would have guessed there was a Collection!? It is recommended that you use chilled dough, as it helps keep the shape of the cookie in the oven.

After you cut out the dough with festive cookie cutters and bake, it is important for the cookies to cool before you begin to decorate. I Love vintage, metal cookie cutters; there is so much character, history, and Love in every mold.

Now it is time for the "hard" part - Royal Icing! I have never tried to make and decorate with Royal Icing before; but I am excited to try. I found a recipe for Royal Icing in the December issue of Martha Stewart Living. It says that it "makes about 3 cups of Icing, which is enough for 3.5 dozen cookies."

Recipe for Royal Icing
6 cups confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons meringue powder

Beat sugar, water, and meringue power with a mixer on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes. Continue beating until opaque. Use immediately. 

Divide the icing into several bowls and add your choice of food coloring to each. You can either put the frosting in a pastry bag or simply use squirt bottles. To begin the art of decorating, you first start with outlining the cookie, and then you fill in, (otherwise known as "flooding.") Now it is time for the fun part of adding beautiful colors of sprinkles, edible pearls, ribbon, colored sugar, and what ever else you find festive and fun! 

Image from the kitchen of Cupcakes and Cashmere
Of course, if all of this baking and decorating is making you feel a bit overwhelmed less than a week before Christmas, I have great news! You can still enjoy and share these edible pieces of art this holiday season by visiting the website of the most amazing U.K based bakery, The Biscuiteers!  I found The Biscuiteers through one of my favorite blogs, What Katie Ate! I highly recommend checking out both of these wonderful places. 

Katie's Christmas '10 Edition

The Biscuiteers' sugar cookie selection. Amazing!
Are your taste buds popping yet!? Mine certainly are! I think it may be time for another sugar cookie . . .


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