Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

The following recipe is something that has intimidated me for so long. I just looked at them as such an opportunity for mistakes! I decided to make them for my friend Jill's wedding shower at work and I am so glad I did. They were not as hard as I expected at all. I do have a few hiccups to work on, namely those air bubbles in the flooded icing, but otherwise I can't wait to make them again. I have already started planning the multitude of occasions I can make them for. I should go buy stock in a cookie cutter company because I need so many cutters for all the cute ideas I have planned. What I love most is how durable they are. You can stack them, they store well, and they last awhile. Perfect!

I will say, don't make these if you are crunched for time. It is a time consuming adventure but I am sure I will get faster as I gain experience. Please visit Annie's blog, linked below, and check out her cookies. She is awesome with royal icing and is truly inspirational all around!

Source: Annie's Eats


1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 ½ t. almond extract
1 t. vanilla
1 t. salt
2 ½ c. sifted flour

Cream butter. Add powdered sugar. Blend in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour. Chill dough until firm, about 2-3 hours. Roll to ¼” thickness on well-floured surface. Cut with cookie cutters. Place on greased cookie sheets. Bake at 375° for 8-10 min. Cookies should not brown. Frost and decorate when cool.

4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tbsp. meringue powder
5 tbsp. water


Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes). Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping. (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick. Add a little more liquid and try again.) Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie. Let stand so the icing will set. Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.

Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container. Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl. If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again. Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie. If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along. Allow to set.

Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired. Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid. Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.


  1. I'm so glad you have a new-found love of royal icing now, and thrilled that my tips were useful for you!

  2. they look yummy!!!
    but when i tried them they got burned from below and if i had taken the cookies out earlier it woild have been raw!!! can u pls tell me what to put or do so that they wont burn!!!

  3. Hi Nadine! I cook them on a Silpat ( a silicone baking mat, you put it right over the cookie tray) and bake them for the smallest number of the baking time range. They will be completely white, no golden parts, and perfect. You can get silpats from Bed Bath & Beyond or any cooking store. They are worth it- I use them constantly.

  4. Are the cookies supposed 2 be shaped like a wedding dress?

    1. They can be any shape, but the ones I made this time were wedding dresses!