Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I’m launching this blog at the very end of my first winter break at college. Today I’m making marshmallows (more on that later), but the blog is looking sparse so I thought I’d share some of the best results of this long, long break.

I started break with sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. After spending so much of my free time this past semester browsing my favorite blogs (Bake at 350 in particular), I was excited to decorate some cookies of my own. I had made royal icing in the past, but my icing was usually too watery (my first attempts at icing were just guesstimated mixtures of powdered sugar and egg whites). Armed with Bridget of Bake at 350’s recipe and some new supplies (Americolor icing, Ateco Meringue Powder, and silvery edible decorating dust!) I set out to make cookies.

I adapted these butterfly designs from Bake at 350 and another terrific
blog, Sweetopia.

I decorated butterflies (my favorites), Christmas trees, mittens, and some snowflakes. I filled the trees with green and made the tie dye designs with white icing. Once the royal icing dried, I mixed edible decorating dust with a little bit of vodka and painted it onto the cookies with a (new and clean!) fan paintbrush. I was a little disappointed with the results. I could only see the sparkles if I looked carefully and tilted the cookie at a certain angle. The vodka also had a funny effect on the royal icing (I think it was intended for fondant). Maybe next time I’ll try lemon juice instead of vodka, and add more dust.


Finally, I decorated some mittens. I don’t have a mitten cookie cutter, so I drew a mitten on a thin sheet of cardboard, cut it out, and used that to make mitten cookies. With all of the other cookies, I used Bake at 350’s outline and fill technique: thicker icing in piping bags for the borders, and thinned, syrup-consistency icing in tubes for the fillings. I had trouble working with the thicker icing, and it was a pain to make two consistencies of each color for just a few cookies, so in the end I made a happy medium icing, not too thin and not too thick.

That worked fine for the butterflies, but I had some trouble with the mittens. I prefer using plastic bags to piping tips, so I cut a small hole in one corner of each plastic bag. It was difficult to create the right size hole. I needed a pretty small hole for outlining, but a bigger hole for flooding the cookie. The hole I created worked all right for flooding, but I had trouble with the designs on top of the base layer. You can see that some of them flooded together, and they’re not very delicate.
The cookies were delicious though, and (as I have to remind myself constantly), that’s what really counts.

1 thought on “Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

  1. >I can't believe those butterflies. They are beyond something I'd buy at a bakery. And I love the lower left mitten. You're too hard on yourself. They're ALL delicate and perfect!

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