I made these cookies for a close friend of mine last year when she and her boyfriend bought their first house (at 21 years old!). I was so happy for her and wanted to do something a little bit fun and special. And of course, being me, I was thinking of what I could do that was fun and special (and house themed) within the realms of baking.
I’m a huge fan of Annie’s Eats – I literally drool looking the pictures of her creations – and I came across this recipe for sugar cookies with royal icing one day while idly paging through her many recipes. Anyone who is a regular over at Annie’s Eats will know that she is a tad bit obsessed with making and decorating sugar cookies – any occasion will do, halloween, easter, christmas, thanksgiving, valentine’s day, baby showers – anything!
I thought it was high time to attempt the old sugar cookie and took myself over to Queen Baker to find myself a house-shaped cookie cutter. Unfortunately, being an Aussie who uses the metric system, Annie’s lovely recipe with imperial measurements wasn’t going to work for me. So instead I used this recipe below from a cookbook my boyfriend’s mother gave me. I included the link above to Annie’s recipe for those of my readers who may be on the imperial system.
- 3 cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon bicarb soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 cup butter/margarine
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla essence (I used extract)
- 1 egg
- 1/2 cup milk
- Sift the flour, bicarb soda and baking powder into a small bowl and set aside
- With an electric mixer, cream together the butter, caster sugar and vanilla until the mixture is light and fluffy
- Add the egg and beat well
- Add the flour mixture alternately with milk to make a soft dough
- Wrap in glad wrap and chill in fridge for at least 30 minutes
- Preheat oven to 180°C
- Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to 3mm thick
- Cut into shapes with cookie cutter
- Transfer to baking tray and cook for 10-12 minutes
- Cool on a wire rack before icing
I wasn’t game enough to try making royal icing from scratch, I’ve heard so many people groan at the thought of making their own royal icing, so I cheated and used the Queen Royal Icing packet mix. Plus, I was a bit pressed for time as I had a mountain of assignments that happened to be due at that time.
In other words, I was procrasti-baking. Yes, it’s a thing. Proof. See?
Some tips for the Royal Icing:
- Don’t add too much water when first mixing or it will go too runny
- Start decorating by tracing an outline of your shape and your design
- Let that dry and then water down the royal icing and flood the area within the lines to create a smooth finish
- For more tips on royal icing see here