This is my favorite cut-out sugar cookie recipe! It's so easy to work with, and the cookies keep their shape as they bake, not spreading out, so you can use detailed cookie cutters without issue. They're buttery and sugary and so delicious.
Aren't these little Valentine cookies adorable?
A friend came over yesterday and we made a *huge* batch of cookies for our families, and also for our daughters' class. My friend and I are the Party Parents tomorrow for their Valentine Party, and one of our activities will be decorating cookies! (Of course!) ;)
Since we had plenty of cookie dough, I also make some cookie pops for my children's teachers.
GR8 TCHR. Get it?? Like a candy conversation heart! Translation: Great Teacher! Hehehe.
These cookie pops are decorated with royal icing. The process is time-consuming, but the cookies turn out shiny and beautiful and delicious!! To begin, bake and cool your sugar cookies. This is the recipe I use, called No Fail Sugar Cookies, which I heard great things about on Cake Central, an online cake gallery and forum. In the recipe below, I've added a few of my own notes on how I roll the dough out.
No Fail Sugar Cookies
6 cups all purpose flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
In a large mixing bowl with an electic mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla and beat well. Scrape down sides of bowl. Mix dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Mix well, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Roll a portion of the dough between two sheets of wax paper, about 1/4 inch thickness. Place rolled dough and wax paper on a cutting board or cookie sheet and place in the fridge. Repeat with remaining cookie dough. Once all the dough has been rolled out, beging cutting cookies with the first batch of dough you rolled out, leaving the remaining dough in the fridge to chill. Cut with cookie cutters and place on parchment paper-lined cookie sheets. Reroll scraps of dough and cut again. You do not need to refrigerate this dough since it will most likely still be cold from the fridge. Sprinkle with colored sugar if desired. Bake cookies at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. Cool on cookie sheet for a minute or two, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
As for decorating cookies with royal icing I've learned a lot from Bridget on Bake at 350. Her cookies are AMAZING and really put mine to horrible shame. I'm improving though! Her photographs and tutorials are beautiful, so please go visit her blog.
I use her recipe for royal icing. It works every time!! I'm just going to link you there. Again, this blog is truly amazing. Royal icing recipe.
First you outline the cookies with royal icing.
Then you "flood" the cookies with thinned out royal icing.
At this point you must let your cookies dry overnight. The top crusts over really quickly, but the icing is still wet beneath that crust. Be patient! After the royal icing has dried completely, then you can pipe on the lettering or other embellishments.
Decorating cookies with royal icing does take time, but the results are beautiful, edible works of art! Have fun!