Friday, February 17, 2012

Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

Dessert decorating seems to be all the rage right now.  Beautiful fondant covered cakes for birthday parties and baby showers, perfectly iced cupcakes, frosted cookies....

I am still very much more concerned with how a baked item tastes, rather than how it looks but now that I am beginning to get the taste part down, I have been dipping my toe in the icing water of the decorating pool.

I decided to try a new decorating style? tool? medium? out for Valentine's Day.  Mr Pears had been wanting me to make some sugar cookies (though why he didn't think of this request during the Christmas holidays I have no idea).  Anyway, I figured heart shaped sugar cookies with pretty Royal Icing would be a nice way to show my love this week.

I lucked onto an amazing blog with an awesome royal icing tutorial (and a pretty great sugar cookie recipe!) and went to town.

First I read this.

Then I mixed up half a batch of the sugar cookies using the recipe found on the blog.   I love how the added lemon and almond extracts give these cookies such a nice subtle flavor.  Delicious.  Because I generally do this kind of stuff during nap time I put the dough in the refrigerate to chill until the next day.

The next day (nap-time again!) I rolled out half the dough out (and froze the rest) and used my heart shape cookie cutter to bake sweet little heart-shaped cookies.

Later that evening after the kids were asleep I made my royal icing.  Only after it was almost complete did I open my cabinet to discover I had used all my red food coloring on a red velvet cake.  Oops.  So I made blue hearts.... I am the only female in this house so I tried to convince myself it was no big deal.  But I was pretty ticked.

My first batch came out ok.  Lots of room for improvement, though.  I didn't take any pictures of  my blue hearts because I knew I was going to make some pink ones with the second half of the hearts. ugh.

My second batch, pink (even though they look pretty red in these pictures)!  These came out somewhat better but I am definitely still learning.  I loved using the condiment bottles to squeeze out the icing onto the cookie.  It was easy and mess free and the bottles rinsed out quickly in hot water. You can buy them in the craft/kitchen supply store.

Royal icing is so nice because it is smooth and pretty and it dries hard so you can let the iced cookies dry overnight and then put them right into the cookie jar without fear of messing up all your hard work.

Click on this link for all the details and try your hand at making some pretty cookies.  Enjoy!