Decorating Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

SO excited to share this post with you. My talented sister, Jess, has started decorating sugar cookies with royal icing…something I’ve only done once. I think she has it mastered!  I asked her to share her secrets…..Here you go, straight from the pro!
Cookie Ingredients:
2 1/2 cups of unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs at room temperature
3 teaspoons of vanilla
5 cups of all purpose flour
1 tsp of salt
2 cups of white granulated sugar
Here is what I do: (after a lot of trial and error)
1. Cream the butter and sugar
2. add eggs and mix
3. add vanilla and mix
4. mix salt and flour and whisk together
5. slowly add the flour to the creamed butter mixture
6. mix on low approx 30 sec then scrape the sides and mix again
7. It is mixed when it clumps around the paddle
I divide the dough into 4 sections and roll it out on parchment paper- 4 separate sheets with 4 separate dough circles (use rolling pin and roll out) and then I refridgerate the dough overnight.
The next day, I cut out the shapes and put them on parchment paper on a cookie sheet and pop them in the freezer for 15 mins or so. Then I bake them in my oven for 16 mins on the same parchment paper (time varies depending on thickness of the cookie) at 350. I cool them for 5 min on the hot cookie sheet and then transfer the whole paper with the cookies on it to cooling racks. Don’t put frozen cookies on a hot cookie sheet, FYI.
The next day, I decorate them with the royal icing.
This is what I use:
1/4 cup of Meringue powder
4-5 cups of powdered sugar
1/2 to 3/4 cups of warm water
Royal icing is very tricky. The consistency has to be just right or it will make a mess. I have practiced a whole bunch and sometimes still don’t get it right.
I use decorating bottles but you can also use Wilton icing bags too.
The first step is to outline the cookie- the icing needs to be thick like toothpaste. I use a #3 tip to outline and a #1 tip to flood.
Then you must let that dry- takes about 10-15 mins.
Then you will need what is called flood icing- this fills in the cookie and it has to be runny but not too runny! You outine the cookie again with the flood icing making sure to touch the outline icing. Then fill in the cookie with the flood icing- I usually start at the top and make zig zag lines. Then you have to gently shake the cookie and the icing will settle. (If it is too thick it will not smooth out). Pop any bubbles with a toothpick. This takes approx 24 hours to dry completely. You leave the cookies out overnight uncovered- the icing keeps the cookie from drying out.  You can add a second color to your flood icing after it dries if  you want to write on the cookie or make a design but the first layer of flood icing must be DRY!
There are tons of videos about decorating cookies- I have watched a lot to figure out how to do this and practiced myself a ton! I learn something everytime I do them- like I said trial and error
Thanks Jessica Franks for this post on how to make and decorate sugar cookies!
Here are some more cookies Jess has made!
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2 thoughts on “Decorating Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

  1. Pingback: How to make a cookie bouquet | She Bakes and Creates

  2. I have tweaked the original recipe a bit- use 5 1/2 cups of flour and now I roll out 3 dough circles between wax paper instead of parchment paper. I have also stopped outling cookies and I use a 20 second flood icing and outline and flood with the same icing. It has been over a year now- many things have changed since I began 🙂

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