Tips to Making Pretty Royal Iced Holiday Cookies

Every year at Christmas time, I love making cookies for my friends and family. This year I tried a new recipe from Fancy Flours that is fantastic. The recipe is below or you can click here to go to their website.
Here are some of the final cookies. Read on for some helpful tips to make these yummy cookies.
 
Use a stand mixer to get the best results with your dough. The consistency of the dough will be pretty soft.
Here’s a tip that I loved from their recipe. Plop a large dollop of dough onto a piece of parchment paper and place another piece of parchment on top.
With a rolling pin, roll the dough between the two pieces of parchment paper. OMG…no flour all over the place! I recommend purchasing parchment paper in sheets from your local restaurant supply store versus buying it at the grocery store. It is much less expensive, you get about 100 sheets per pack and it’s flat which is the biggest benefit.
I placed the rolled out sheets in the freezer.  After chilling for a bit, I pealed one sheet off of the dough, then flipped it over the pealed the other sheet off. I then placed the dough back on a piece of parchment. I did this to prevent any sticking to the paper when cutting. It worked great! I did roll my dough pretty thin, and would suggest rolling to about 1/8 inch thick or a bit thicker. Make sure the dough is chilled when cutting.
I placed the cut cookies onto parchment paper and baked them on cookie sheets. I never bake cookies directly on the trays…they tend to stick and baking on parchment will prevent sticking, plus your trays don’t get dirty. I love this recipe because the cookies did not spread at all. It’s the worst when you bake cut out cookies and they look like unidentifiable blobs when they come out of the oven.
I used Martha Stewart’s royal icing recipe which turned out very nicely. I’m not big on piping and flooding…mainly because it takes so long and I don’t really like the outlines on the cookies. I just use a very small spoon (like a baby spoon) and place the icing right onto the cookie and use the spoon to spread it around. I also use a small brush to move the frosting around for detail areas. To create the pretty line pattern, all you have to do is pipe straight lines horizontally in red and get a toothpick and drag lines vertically from bottom to top. You will get this pretty pattern very easily.

 
Yes…these cookies are a bit of work but so much fun to make and a holiday tradition I love!
 The recipe for the cookie dough from Fancy Flours is below. 
Happy holiday baking! It’s still not too late to start 🙂
Delicious Sugar Cookie Recipe
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
This is a great recipe when using cookie cutters. It doesnt spread! Your cookies will be the same shape after you bake them as they were before.
Note that this recipe makes up to 4 – 6 dozen.
Cream sugar and butter until fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add eggs and flavoring. Mix dry ingredients in separate bowl and add to butter mixture. Mix well.
Put a handful of the freshly made dough between two sheets of parchment paper and roll to desired thickness. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Put the rolled dough, including the parchment paper, on a cookie sheet and refrigerate for 10 minutes or longer. Your dough will be chilled and ready to cut and bake with no wait and no added flour! Repeat the process with scraps after cutting cookies.
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. Let cool on rack.
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Royal Icing
1 box confectioners’ sugar (1 pound)
5 tablespoons meringue powder or 2 large egg whites
  1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar and meringue powder. Mixing on low speed, add a scant 1/2 cup water. For a thinner consistency, usually used for flooding, add more water. A thicker consistency is generally used for outlining and adding details. Mix until icing holds a ribbonlike trail on the surface of the mixture for 5 seconds when you raise the paddle.

http://www.couturecakery.net

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