Sugar cookies recipe and decorating tips
A good sugar cookie recipe is hard to find and that is why I have decided to share the one I use. It is by far the best recipe I have ever used for sugar cookies and it's almost fail proof.
- 3/4 cup butter flavored shortening (Please do not substitute. U sing butter or margarine will give you different results.)
- 1 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 tablespoon milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
Directions: In a large bowl, cream together the shortening and white sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs one at a time, then stir in the milk and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Combine the flour, baking powder, and salt; stir into the creamed mixture. Cover dough, and chill for at least one hour.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly grease cookie sheets, or line with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to 1/4 inch in thickness. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutters. Place cookies 1 1/2 inches apart onto cookie sheets.
Bake for 6 to 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove cookies from baking sheets to cool on wire racks. Cool completely before frosting.
By lining the cookie sheet with parchment paper you get a less crispy cookie and the bottoms will be a lighter shade of brown from baking.Also they will not stick to your cookie sheet.
You can roll the cookie dough out between two sheets of parchment paper. This will keep your rolling pin clean and counter tops clean. This tip also let's you roll the dough out without adding more flour to the recipe from the rolling and cutting using a floured surface.
When rolling out the dough, use a ruler to measure the thickness of the dough at the edge to make sure your dough is at the desired thickness for uniform results.
There are many ways and recipes to ice sugar cookies depending on the look and taste that you are going for. I will include three different recipes for different decorating results.
Soft and fluffy icing recipe (like the famous Lofthouse cookie icing)
- 1/4 cup butter, softened
- 3 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- Food coloring
in a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, confectioners' sugar, almond extract and enough water to achieve desired consistency. Tint with food coloring if desire.
Royal Icing (used for piping outlines. Dries hard and shiny)
3 tablespoons meringue powder (can also substitute 2 egg whites)
- 4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons water
Beat all ingredients at low speed for 7 to 10 minutes, or until icing forms peaks. Tip: Keep icing covered with a wet kitchen towel at all times. Icing can dry out quickly.
Add more water to the above recipe to make icing easier to spread or flood for filling in outlines.
Glaze ( used to flood or fill in small outlines and can be used for dipping)
- 1 cup powdered sugar,
- 1T. clear corn syrup
- 2 T. water.
Mix very well. Stir icing between each use as it will try to seperate. best used for small surfaces.
Royal icing can be used in a pastry bag with a round #2 or #3 decorating tip for outlining. If pastry bags are not available you can used small zippered sandwich bags by cutting a small piece of the bottom corner.
You can also use pastry bags or zippered sandwich bags after royal icing is thinned to fill in outlines. You can also use a spoon, knife or decorator spatula and paint brushes.
Let outline dry for at least one hour before filling. If you plan on adding additional decor on top of fill in let icing dry for 2-3 hours.
If using pastry bags for filling in use toothpicks to spread icing and fill in any gaps between filling and outline.
After your cookies using royal icing have dried you can then stack and wrap in plastic wrap or stored in air tight container. This will keep cookies soft for days.
I hope you guys enjoy these recipes!