The cyclist has been after me for years to make a sugar cookie with royal icing. I think royal icing is fine, but my preference is a tangy cream cheese frosting.
Well, he finally realized that if he wanted anything done around here, he was going to have to do it himself.
After much study and deliberation, he chose the "Baked" sugar cookie. (Love this cookbook. LOVED this cookie.)
He entered them into the COOKIE PARTY 2010 lineup and won for "Prettiest Cookie".
Not the most masculine prize, but he's taking what he can get.
Classic Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
1 3/4 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
2 T cold vegetable shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, salt and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, shortening, and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add the flour mixture and mix until incorporated. Wrap the dough in plastic and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Preheat the oven to 325. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Dust a work surface with a sprinkling of flour. Unwrap the chilled dough and put it directly on the work surface. Roll the dough 1/4 inch thick. Use your favorite cookie cutter to cut shapes in the dough and transfer the cookies to the prepared baking sheets.
Bake the cookies for 12 minutes, until they are set but not browned. Remove from the oven and place the baking sheet on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Use a spatula to transfer the cookies to the rack to cool completely.
Make the Royal Icing
2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
2 large egg whites
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
food coloring (optional)
In a large bowl, whisk together the sugar, egg whites and lemon juice until the mixture is completely smooth. The mixture should have the texture of a glaze. If the mixture is too thin, add a bit more sugar. If it is too thick, add a few drops of lemon juice.
The best way to ice sugar cookies is with a pastry bag fitted with a small or medium tip. First, outline the cookie or design, then fill it in. Let the icing harden before serving.