Sugar cookie decorating is an absolute must this time of year! There really isn't a sugar cookie that I would turn away but this is my favorite recipe. These are made with powdered sugar instead of granulated. So they have a kind of melt-in-your-mouth quality to them, like butter cookies. I like to make classic vanilla sugar cookies along with chocolate sugar cookies. Everything is better with chocolate, if you ask me.Sugar Cookies, makes around 2 dozen
1 cup (2 sticks) softened butter
1 cup powered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups flour*
1 teaspoon salt
Cream together the butter and sugar. Now mix in the egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Stir in the flour and salt until dough forms. Form a ball from the dough, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm (or over night).
Lightly flour your counter top and roll out the dough to about 1/4 inch thinkness. Use cookie cutters to cut out your shapes. Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and bake at 375°F for 8-10 minutes until the edges begin to brown. Remove from oven and move to a cooling rack.
*To make chocolate sugar cookies simply replace 1/4 cup of the flour with 1/4 cup cocoa instead.Royal icing is a lot of fun to work with, not to mention delicious. It is very liquid so you use to to flood your cookie shapes, rather than piping or spreading it on. This is done by outlining your cookies with butter cream frosting (do this with a pastry bag and fine tip). Then pour or use a squirt bottle to flood the cookie with royal frosting and the buttercream will keep it from running off the edges.
I used this recipe for the royal frosting. I made mine with egg whites but there is also an option to use meringue powder in case you don't like the idea of using uncooked egg whites. And my favorite buttercream frosting can be found here. After a few minutes the royal frosting will set, so be sure to add sprinkles or other candy elements as you work. Make sugar cookies with your friends or family this season! xo. Emma