Thursday, July 7, 2011

Birthday Girl Sugar Cookies

Today is our 4th anniversary!!! wow 4 years married to my best friend and two precious kids later...I can honestly say that I am still head over heals for my man and can't imagine spending my life with anyone else! he's truly amazing and has been an amazing husband and dad to our kids ;-)
Sadly we were not able to celebrate today since I'm down at my parents and he's working full time :-( but don't worry I have something up my sleeve for when I get back... :-)
right now I'm indulging in a big slice (the last piece) of my ice-cream cake as I type please excuse the "sticky" spelling ;-)  mmmm so good
Well, I have come to the end of my wonderful stay with my parents. It's a bittersweet feeling, sweet because I get to see my man and bitter because I have to leave my parents. I have enjoyed their company and help with the kids. But I am ready to be home ;-)
We have a lot going on right now and need to do a lot of praying! but we are excited for what God has in store for us ;-)

As I said today's our 4th anniversary but it's also both my brother and sisters birthday (no they're not twins they are six years apart). So in honor of his and her birthday I felt I had to make something. Of course a cake would have been the obvious choice but she said she wouldn't be home on her birthday :-(  so a cake wouldn't be a good choice.
I saw these recipes...again on Annie's-eats blog (I love her blog and her cute cookies and cakes!) I saw these sugar cookies with royal icing and thought they were sooooo adorable. I've never really worked with royal icing and sugar cookies are (in my opinion) holiday cookies. so I've never been adventurous and creative in making sugar cookies so this was taking it to an all new level; 1. it's not a holiday, 2. I'm going to try to make these with the same techniques as Annie's and 3. I have never in my life made royal icing and I've heard it's a royal pain in the butt...
Well surprisingly I really had no problems with the royal icing and actually really enjoyed decorating the cookies so in other words...I'm HOOKED!!! both the recipes are keepers and I will definitely make them again! I only had one cookie cutter at the moment (minus of course all the holiday cookie cutters I have laying around). You can find an immense amount of different cookie cutters at Wilton' or at Michael's or Joannes all extremely adorable. I can't wait to practice, practice and again practice and hopefully become as good as Annie ;-)

The sugar cookies were a breeze to make and last quite a long time! they have a lovely almond flavor.
the Royal icing is very easy (my experience was really pleasant ;-)...hope yours will be too!)  and versatile, if it's too runny add more sugar, too thick add more water!

Click here for a very good tutorial on how to work with royal icing on cookies

Ella’s White Sugar Cookies


1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
2 ½ c. sifted flour


Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool. Yields ~40 cookies (small) 20 cookies (large).

Royal Icing


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.

Recipes by Annie's-eats

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