Tuesday, February 12, 2013

One dough, three ways (part 3)


Are you all sick of butter cookies yet? The answer to that question is obviously no.  Today marks the climax to a thrilling trilogy of baked goods… if you missed the nutella pinwheels or Linzer cookies, be sure to check those out. 

The last cookie of the bunch is simple to make - as soon as you master Royal Icing.  I made these fun Valentine's cookies and handed them out to my coworkers at the restaurant. I immediately wished I had used slightly less provocative catch phrases on the cookies… there are a lot of "studs" and "hot stuffs" who have big heads over there now. Hopefully they didn't get the WRONG IDEA (don't laugh. If anybody is the type of girl who would try to hit on someone via a witty cookie, it's me). 

For the cookies, follow the recipe below and roll out the dough just as you would the Linzer cookies (obviously, you can use any shaped cookie cutter you desire!). Bake them at 350* for 8 minutes and allow them to cool completely. I actually made mine several days in advance (when I made the Linzers) and let them chill out in a tupperware.


Blank canvas. 

Royal icing is kind of gross, but it's really the only way to make these classic sugar cookies.  Basically, you take some powdered sugar (I probably used about a pound) and then mix in a bit of egg whites to get the consistency that you want. A little bit of egg white goes a long way, so start with just a few drops.  I used my mixer to avoid any lumps. 


Ta da!

It's a good idea to buy those little cartons of pasteurized egg whites because 1) you don't have to separate eggs and 2) they are pasteurized so it's safe for little kiddos and old people to eat. No salmonella on my watch, jokers. 

So the concept of Royal Icing is to make a dam with stiff frosting and then "flood" the inside of your dam with much jucier frosting. I made the thick white icing first and put it in a piping bag with a small tip. 


Dam, girl. 

I made the heart outlines on my cookies and then made my "flood icing", which I did by adding more egg whites and red food coloring to the icing I already had. Make sure you save some of your thick icing so you can write provocative sayings on your cookies as you see fit! (FYI "Stud Muffin" is way too long to fit on a cookie. If you can do this, you are amazing)

To flood the cookie, place a spoonful of runny icing on the center of the cookie and then tilt it around so it drips to the edges. If it's not drippy enough, add more egg whites. If it's too drippy, add more sugar. It's not exactly rocket science. A toothpick can help you get the frosting all the way to the edges. 

Ooh - Here's a fun trick that will help you make heart shaped decorations on your cookie.  'Tis the season, right? First, fill the cookie with a light colored icing. Then, add a few drops of darker colored icing on top.


With a toothpick, drag a straight line from just above the red circle to the bottom of the red circle. You want to catch some of the pink icing on your toothpick, because this will give the heart it's v-shaped top. Check it out! 


Hearts on hearts. Swoon.

Of course, my favorite way to decorate cookies is to dump a ton of sprinkles on them. SPRINKLES!  That looks good here too.  If you want to pipe a design or write something on your cookies, just be sure that you give the icing ample time to dry (30-60 minutes).  Nothing is more frustrating than spending tons of time making beautiful cookies and then smooshing them because you try to touch them before they are dry. Take it from one who knows. 

And there you have it! Three different cookies with one batch of cookie dough. Go forth and impress your neighbors, friends, and significant others this Valentine's day. 



1-2-3 Dough (Recipe)

  • 4 ounces sugar (aka 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon if you don't' have a scale)
  • 2 sticks butter
  • 12 oz (2 2/3 cups flour) + 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 egg + 1/2 tsp vanilla


  1. In a mixer, cream butter and sugar on low speed until light and fluffy
  2. Add egg and vanilla and mix to combine. Scrape your bowl and mix a bit more.
  3. Dump in flour and salt mixture all at once and mix on low to combine.
  4. Proceed with recipe as described above! 

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