Tag Archives: royal icing

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

Happy New Year’s Eve!!!  I won’t be posting NYE recipes until mid-January.  I hope everyone has a healthy and happy New Year!  More importantly, I hope every has a safe and fun filled night.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

Now, you may be asking yourself why I’m still posting Christmas cookie recipes a week after after Christmas.  As a Catholic I’ve always learned about the 12 days of Christmas, which occur AFTER December 25. So really I am 100% completely still in the Christmas season!  Technically Christmas doesn’t end until January 6, which is fine by me.  I’m going to rock the Christmas Cookie series for as long as I can.  I hope you don’t mind!

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

I made the Santa cookies two years ago and I loved them!  I don’t know why I didn’t make them last year, they are the absolute cutest.  The idea was completely inspired by Bakerella, baking genius, hopefully I did them justice.  These cookies are not as difficult as they look, they just require some planning and time, and the kids love them.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

Chocolate sugar cookies are delightful!  The rich cocoa flavor is nicely offset by the sweet royal icing.  A chocolate sugar offers a nice alternative to the traditional sugar cookie.  These cookies hold their shape perfectly and stay moist and fresh for days and days.  For this batch I made the Santas, candy canes, and ornaments.  By the time I started decorating the ornaments, I was exhausted, and they were ugly, hence no pictures.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Chocolate Cut-out Cookies
Adapted from Sweetapolita
Yield ~ 50 cookies based on size

6 cups flour
1 1/4 cups dark cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 cup brown sugar
3 eggs
2 teaspoon vanilla extract

  1. Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, and salt into a large bowl.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugars until pale yellow in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add in the eggs and beat together until well combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowing add the flour mixture.  Mix until just combined.
  5. Add in the vanilla and mix together.
  6. Divide the dough in half and gently knead each half into a ball.  Wrap each half in plastic and press into a disk about two inches thick.  Wrap the dough well in plastic.
  7. Chill the dough for at least 45 minutes.
  8. Preheat the oven to 325 F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  9. Roll the dough between two pieces of wax paper until 1/4-inch thick.  Cut with your cookie cutters.  Place your cookie filled baking sheets in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.
  10. Bake for 15 minutes or until the edges just start to brown.  Cool on a wire rack.
  11. Once cooled completely, I stack mine and freeze until I’m ready to decorate.

Royal Icing
Adapted from The Decorated Cookie

1/2 cup meringue powder
1 cup warm water
10 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons shortening
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
Americolor gel Bright White + desired colors

  1. Whip the meringue powder and water with the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for several minutes until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, shortening, and corn syrup until you reach a piping consistency.  Add a squirt of Americolor Bright White and mix in.
  3. Divide into bowl and color as desired.  Use drops of water to thin the icing into flooding consistency
  4. Decorate the cookies and let dry uncovered overnight before stacking and storing.

Note – This is a thinner royal icing, add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency.

Chocolate Sugar Cookie Santas // Pale Yellow

And this is why I make cookies! (Stacey’s niece with permission from Stacey’s sister – Isn’t she adorable!?!?)

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Gingerbread Snowflakes

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

Gingerbread is such a classic holiday flavor, yet I can’t always decide if I like the flavor or not.  I guess I am just neutral when it comes to gingerbread.  I enjoy the gingerbread flavor, especially the spiciness, but it is definitely not my favorite.  However, gingerbread cookies still feel like a requirement on the classic Christmas cookie tray.

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

This past week in Michigan has been fantastic!  I’ve eaten, drank, shopped, met up with plenty of old friends, and held so many adorable milk filled babies.  I’ve even ice skated, something I haven’t done in years.  Guess what?  I didn’t fall once!

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

Whenever I am back in Michigan I become a bit nostalgic but I also remember why I love Brooklyn.  Michigan will always be the place place I grew up, but it’s no longer the place I live, I’ve made a new home for myself.  Regardless, I love coming back to hang out and visit.

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

So about the sprinkles on these cookies.  I bought some really cool chunky gold sprinkles but there was so much dust from the gold sprinkles the entire cookie became coated in gold dust.  Cool look, but not exactly what I was going for.  I wanted a mostly naked gingerbread cookie with some gold sparkles.  Even though the final product wasn’t exactly what I wanted, the variety of yellow, gold, and gingerbread was pretty cool!

Gingerbread Snowflakes // Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Gingerbread Cookies
Adapted from Sweetopia
Yield ~ 36 cookies

1 cup (250 g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup packed brown sugar
3 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 eggs
1 cup molasses
3 1/3 cups (800 grams) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy on medium speed.
  2. Add in the cinnamon, ginger, cloves, eggs, and molasses.  Beat on low and then increase the speed to combine.
  3. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt onto wax paper.  Add to the mixer and beat until just combined.
  4. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for an hour.
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F and line your cookie sheets with parchment paper.
  6. Roll out the dough between sheets of wax paper to 1/4-inch thick.  Cut with cookie cutters and place on cookie sheets.
  7. Place the cookie sheets in the fridge for 30 minutes.
  8. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until just beginning to brown.  Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Royal Icing
Adapted from The Decorated Cookie

1/2 cup meringue powder
1 cup warm water
10 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons shortening
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
Americolor gel Bright White + desired colors

  1. Whip the meringue powder and water with the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for several minutes until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, shortening, and corn syrup until you reach a piping consistency.  Add a squirt of Americolor Bright White and mix in.
  3. Divide into bowl and color as desired.  Use drops of water to thin the icing into flooding consistency
  4. Decorate the cookies and let dry uncovered overnight before stacking and storing.

Note – This is a thinner royal icing, add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency.

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Sugar Cookie Trees & Wreaths

Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

Decorated sugar cookies are the reason I got into food blogging.  I was amazed by the talent I found out in the world and I wanted to start creating my own cookies.  Unfortunately, it is hard, really hard!

Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

I’ve been decorating sugar cookies irregularly for about three years and I still don’t feel super confident in my technique or decorating skill.  I try to remember simple is best, but more often than not I get carried away.  The wreathes are adorable – simple and sweet.  I need to focus all my effort on creating designs that are simple and well executed.

Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

Trust me, these sugar cookies are as delicious as they look!  The royal icing keeps the cookies fresh and soft for several weeks and softens the cookies so they stay moist.  The actual cookie isn’t overly sweet so the icing is a pleasant addition.  Yes it takes a lot of time to create lovely sugar cookies, but they are just so pretty and look great on your cookie platter!

Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

Print the Recipe!

Sugar Cut-out Cookies
Adapted from The Decorated Cookie
Yield ~ 40-60 cookies based on size

5 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
4 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

  1. Sift together the flour and the salt onto wax paper, set aside.
  2. Beat together the butter and powdered sugar until pale yellow in the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment on medium speed.
  3. Add in the eggs and vanilla and beat together until well combined.
  4. Turn the mixer to low speed and slowing add the flour.  Mix until just combined.
  5. Divide the dough into 3 balls and wrap in plastic.  Refrigerate for at least two hours.
  6. Preheat the oven to 375 F and line your baking sheets with parchment paper.
  7. Briefly knead and roll out one ball of dough at a time.  Roll to 1/4-inch thickness and cut with your favorite cookie cutter.
  8. Bake for 12 minutes or until the edges just start to brown.  Cool on a wire rack.
  9. Once cooled completely, I stack mine and freeze until I’m ready to decorate.

Royal Icing
Also adapted from The Decorated Cookie

1/2 cup meringue powder
1 cup warm water
10 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 tablespoons shortening
4 tablespoons light corn syrup
Americolor gel Bright White + desired colors

  1. Whip the meringue powder and water with the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment for several minutes until stiff peaks form.
  2. Gradually add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, shortening, and corn syrup until you reach a piping consistency.  Add a squirt of Americolor Bright White and mix in.
  3. Divide into bowl and color as desired.  Use drops of water to thin the icing into flooding consistency
  4. Decorate the cookies and let dry uncovered overnight before stacking and storing.

Note – This is a thinner royal icing, add more powdered sugar for a thicker consistency.Sugar Cookie Wreaths // Pale Yellow

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Valentine’s Day Decorated Sugar Cookies

About two years ago I found the desire to start decorating sugar cookies, like really decorate with royal icing and all that jazz.  In my quest for knowledge I stumbled upon many blogs highlighting this hobby.  I was hooked!  On decorating, on food blogs, on expanding my baking skills, and on wanting to start my own blog.  I have tried a lot of different recipes and techniques over the past two years.  I doubt I am done experimenting, but currently I am hooked on the recipes from Sweet Sugar Belle, she produces AMAZING cookies and I appreciate her simplified approach to both cookies and icing.

I’m not going to give step-by-step directions because I am most definitely an amateur who mimics the work of others.  For better directions, inspiration, and sheer magnificence, visit some of these sites.  These are some of my favorites and where I’ve learned everything I know.  I hope you get hooked too!

The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle

Bridget at Bake at 350

Meaghan at The Decorate Cookie

A Dozen Eggs

Cookie Crazie

I made this cookies for my homeroom as a Valentine’s Day treat.  I have been a little short with the class the past couple of weeks, so I thought it was about time I baked for them.  These are a fantastic, simple decorated cookie.  The dough does spread a little, but for most cut outs, I don’t find that to be a problem.  If you notice from the pictures, the icing was definitely too thick, but I was too lazy to thin it out more.  I always bake my cookies one day and decorate the next.  The making, dying, and bagging of icing takes a lot of time!  The set up before the decorating actually begins is about an hour for me.  To keep these cookies simple, I outlined about five cookies and then flooded.  I let the cookies dry for about five hours and then piped a second outline and dipped that outline in sprinkles to match the icing color.  Let the cookies dry a full 24 hours before packaging, stacking, or storing.

Print the Recipe!

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
Yield – 4-5 dozen 2-3”: cookies
Adapted from Sweet Sugar Belle

Sugar Cookies
4 sticks (1 pound) unsalted butter, room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspoons vanilla
5 – 5 1/2 cups flour, start with 5 cups, add more as needed
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat together the butter and powdered sugar until light and fluffy.  Whisk together the eggs and vanilla in a small bowl and then add that to the butter beating until combined.  Sift together the dry ingredients onto parchment paper and then add into the butter little by little.  The dough is finished when it is combined but not sticky.

The dough does not need to be refrigerated unless you are not using right away.  Divide into 4 sections and cover in plastic wrap until you are ready to roll out.

Roll out dough to 1/4″ and cut into shapes.  Use powdered sugar to dust the rolling pin and surface.  Bake at 400 °F for 7-8 minutes.  Do not brown the cookies.  Cool on a wire rack and then decorate.

Royal Icing
Yield – A lot!  Fills a 5 quart mixing bowl, enough to decorate about 9 dozen cookies
Or half the recipe, in parenthesis
Adapted from Sweet Sugar Belle

4 pounds powdered sugar, 2 big bags (2 pound)
3/4 cup meringue powder (1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons meringue powder)
1 1/3-1/2 cup warm water (2/3-3/4 cup)
2 tablespoons vanilla or other oil free extract (1 tablespoon)

In the bowl of a stand mixer with a whisk attachment mix together the sugar and the meringue powder.  Slowly stream in the water and the vanilla.  At first the mixture will be liquidy, but increase the speed to high and beat for 7-10 minutes.  The royal icing will become thick and smooth.  Test the icing by spooning out sample over the bowl and creating a line, the line should disappear in about 12 seconds.  I use this consistency for outlining and detail. Add more water as needed to get to the right consistency.  I find this icing to be really thick, but that is always preferred because it is easy to thin with water.

Separate the icing into bowls and color with gel color.  Fill your piping bags as needed for outlining, thin the rest of the icing a drop of water or two at a time for flooding purposes.

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