Soft Cutout Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing
This recipe yields approximately 4 dozen cookies. Total cooking time takes roughly three hours.
3 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups white sugar
1 cup margarine, softened
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder (note this is not plain egg white powder)
9-10 tablespoons room temperature water
Gel food coloring to your preference
Sift flour, baking powder, and salt together in a medium bowl and set to the side. In a separate bowl, beat together the sugar and margarine until smooth. Add one egg into the mixture and beat. Once combined, add the second egg and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and stir until the dough is just combined. Wrap in plastic and chill in the refrigerator for two hours.
Preheat the oven to 400° F and grease two cookie sheets. Roll out the chilled dough on a clean floured surface to about ¼ inch thickness. Use cookie cutters to cut out any shapes you please and arrange the cutouts on the prepared cookie sheets. Gather up the scraps and repeat this process until you’ve used up all of your dough.
Bake cookies in batches for about 6-8 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. Let cool on the baking sheet briefly before transferring the cookies to a wire rack to finish cooling.
Prepare the royal icing while the cookies are cooling. Combine confectioner’s sugar, meringue powder, and 9 tablespoons of water into a large mixing bowl with a hand mixer or stand mixer on high speed. Beat for 1.5-2 minutes. When lifting the whisk from the mixture, the icing should drizzle down smoothly within 5-10 seconds. If the mixture is too thick, add more water one tablespoon at a time until you have the right consistency. If the icing is too thin, continue to beat the mixture until it thickens or add a little more confectioner’s sugar. Divide the icing and add mix in food coloring to your preference. Pour into piping bags and begin decorating!
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