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Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

Oct 22 2013 Liz Call
I have always wanted to try my hand at royal icing but have been too afraid.  In fact, I don’t think I ever attempted sugar cookies from scratch on my own either.  I usually will buy the pre made sugar cookie dough from the store or buy the mix.  I always thought that they would take too much time and I just didn’t have time to spare.  Well I finally decided to give it a try.  These cookies were really easy to make and the royal icing wasn’t too hard either.  But of course I’m no expert and this was my very first attempt, so I’ve got some room to improve.
But I wanted to share them with you in case you too have been wanting to try it and have been scared like me.  As you can see, these cookies aren’t perfect, but they turned out pretty good.  Plus they tasted good so I think most people over looked the mistakes. 😉
It started with a yummy sugar cookie recipe.  Once I baked all my cookies and let them cool completely, I could start with the icing.
I found two different recipes for royal icing.  One calls for egg whites and one calls for meringue powder, which is powdered egg whites.  I had meringue powder on hand since I use it in my frosting recipes for cupcakes, so that is what I went with.
This consistency was perfect for outlining/piping around the design.  As I’ve read about using royal icing I remembered 2 types of consistencies, piping and flooding.  I was always afraid I would get them wrong.  The piping consistency would be too loose and the flooding would be too stiff.  It really wasn’t so scary after all.  Just follow the recipe (at end of post) for the royal icing to get your piping consistency.

I used gel food coloring to get the orange color I needed for my pumpkins.
Once I had the right color, I added about 1/2 cup into a pastry bag with the smallest tip I had.  I covered the remaining icing in my bowl with plastic wrap.  You want to keep it covered while you work so it doesn’t get a crust on the top.
I outlined all the pumpkins with the piping consistency royal icing first.
Next comes the flooding.  I didn’t wait hours to let the outside set up.  I felt it was set up enough to just go to this step.
 I added 1/2 tsp of water at a time to get a runny consistency.  Then I just put a spoonful or two onto each cookie.
I used the back of the spoon to smooth it out to the edges.
Here is what it looks when it is all flooded.  Some people like to use pastry bags with larger tips for flooding or condiment squirt bottles, but I found the spoon worked just fine for this.
Once all my cookies were filled, I used my remaining orange icing and tinted it brown. I put it in a pastry bag and put on the small tip.
I then made the stem, added vines to some and jack o lantern faces to others.
After I added the brown icing I let them set up for a couple hours so they would get hard.
 I know there are so many more tricks to royal icing and I can’t wait to practice and get better.  The pumpkin was a good one to start with because they can be simple.  I’m an impatient person, so having to wait for lots of layers and details to dry just wasn’t going to work for me this time.
I’m excited to make these cookies again for an upcoming party and of course for the holiday season!
You can download the sugar cookie recipe using the download below.
You can download the royal icing recipe using the download below.
Have you ever made sugar cookies with royal icing?  I’d love to hear about it!
Happy Baking!
 
Thanks for checking out my Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing post. Check out my full collection of cookies articles, and get more chocolate chip, shortbread, and holiday Cookie Recipes by Ashton Swank, Mariah Leeson, Ruthie & Madeliene and Tammy Mitchell.
 

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