One of my favorite things to do for Holidays or parties is to incorporate a hand-decorated cookie to correspond with the occasion or theme. In my mind, they are a good alternative to cupcakes or petit fours. They are the perfect canvas to show off the theme while also being the right size to eat without feeling the need to share! They are great, but hand decorated cookies can be tricky and very time-consuming. The worst part is that you could put in all that effort and they could end up tasting like cardboard or chalk lol! So after years of struggling with trying to make the perfect sugar cookie I finally found “the one”. The best part of this recipe is that there is NO REFRIGERATION REQUIRED for the dough which is a huge plus! The dough is buttery and soft and since it doesn’t need to be chilled it’s a lot easier to roll out and work with.
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1 Cup (2 sticks)salted butter
1 Cup granulated white sugar
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups all-purpose flour
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
- In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy
- Beat in extracts and egg.
- In a separate bowl combine baking powder and salt with flour and add to the butter mixture on the lowest speed of your mixer. The dough will be very stiff.
DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH.
- Divide into 2 batches, roll out onto a lightly floured surface and cut the dough with desired cookie cutter. The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick.
- Bake at 325 for 8-10 minutes. Make sure to fully cool the cookies before you start decorating. I usually make the cookies a day before I decorate so they are firm enough.
ROYAL ICING RECIPE
For the royal icing, I always use the Wilton Royal Icing Recipe
3 tablespoons Wilton Meringue Powder
4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (about 1 lb.)
5 tablespoons water
Step 1: In a large bowl, beat all ingredients at medium speed of stand mixer until icing forms peaks and loses its sheen, 7-10 minutes. If using a hand mixer, beat at high speed 10-12 minutes. If peaks are not forming, increase the mixer speed and continue to beat.
Step 2: To prevent drying, cover the bowl with a damp cloth while working with icing.
Thinned Royal Icing: To thin for pouring, add 1 teaspoon water per cup of royal icing. adding 1/2 teaspoon water at a time until you reach the proper consistency. Use a grease-free spoon or spatula to stir slowly.
Store in airtight container at room temperature for up to two weeks. Before using, beat well at low speed.