For as long as I can remember, cookies, cakes, pies and other sweet treats have always been present in my house. My mom is an excellent baker and loves to spend her time trying out new recipes and making goodies for others. I don’t have a big sweet tooth (which is both a blessing and a curse with such a talented mother), but I love baking with her and have always been her #1 decorator. I would sit next to her and after she frosted a cookie or a cupcake I’d douse it in sprinkles. It is a tried and true way of decorating, but not the most attractive. I came across Sweet Ambs blog on Facebook and LOVED all of her amazing cookies. Her post on how to decorate simple Valentine’s Day cookies really inspired me to try decorating with royal icing.
This was my first time using royal icing in any way and I have to say I was pretty pleased with the results. It took a while to make, and the first few cookies I decorated didn’t turn out quite as I hoped, but I got the hang of it! The recipe I used for making the royal icing came from Julia Usher’s blog and the sugar cookie recipe is my mom’s – which is linked below.
If you are a newbie, like me, the most challenging part about this kind of decorating is getting your royal icing to the correct consistency. You want it to be runny enough that it floods onto the cookie nicely, but not so runny that it rolls right off the edges. All of this is explained in the post linked above and you should follow it as closely as possible.
I was lucky that my mom had all of the ingredients needed for both the cookies and icing on hand because it can get a bit expensive if you’re just buying everything to try once. Overall, I had so much fun last weekend making these and I can’t wait until I can decorate with royal icing again!
- 1/2 cup butter
- 1/4 cup shortening
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 tsp. flavoring (butter or almond are recommended)
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. salt
- Cream butter, shortening and sugar together
- Add eggs and flavoring; mix thoroughly
- Stir flour, baking powder and salt together; blend in
- Chill at least one hour
- Heat oven to 350*
- Roll dough 1/8" thick on lightly floured mat
- Cut with cookie cutter
- Place on ungreased baking sheet (or a baking sheet covered in parchment paper)
- Bake 8 minutes
- Let stand 10 - 12 minutes after removing from oven
- Place on cooling rack
- The yield will depend heavily on the size of the cookie cutter.