Updated: Oct 23, 2019
Decorated sugar cookies. They are delicious & can be absolutely stunning if you know how to decorate them. I've been working on my cookie decorating skills lately as they are completely different from cake decorating skills. Using royal icing is far more finicky & the cookies are much smaller so getting that detail is hard. But even with the perfect decoration on top, nothing is more important than the perfect sugar cookie base. I was given this recipe by Sweet Miss Artisan Cookies during a decorating class (which I highly recommend by the way!) & it is super easy & oh so delicious. It's the only cut out sugar cookie recipe you will ever need!
Like most baking recipes, first you cream together sugar & butter. I personally always bake with salted butter. I like the taste better & it has the added benefit of being slightly cheaper than the unsalted (I even use it in my buttercream icing for my cakes).
Once it's light & fluffy add in the egg, salt & emulsion & mix well.
Have you ever heard of emulsion? I had been baking for a few years before I had heard of it, but now it's my best friend. Emulsion doesn't bake out like regular flavourings, so you can keep that yummy taste in your baking without using a huge amount.
Next you add in 1 cup of the flour with the baking powder & mix well. Add the remaining flour 1 cup at a time until incorporated. (I'd just like to mention that this picture of the flour being dumped into the bowl makes me oddly happy...& it was a pain to take with the wrong hand haha...)
Next, you roll out your dough between 2 sheets of wax paper. This fancy tip is by far the best thing I've ever learned. You don't have to cover your counter in messy flour! No added flour means your dough doesn't get too crumbly with each roll out, & it never sticks to anything! Seriously, if you aren't rolling dough out with wax paper yet, you should start. An added tip for rolling out those cookies is to use a rolling guide so you always roll the same thickness. Keeping every cookie the same makes getting that perfect bake easy.
I like to roll out my cookies nice and thick, around 1 cm thick (1/4" ish for those US people out there). Then you can use any cookie cutter to cut out some cookies, just re-roll any scraps until you use up all of the dough. As you cut out your shapes, place them on a wax paper lined baking sheet (or anything flat really) to place them in the freezer. The original recipe says to roll out the dough, and place the dough sheets in the freezer, but I found it so hard to re-roll the scraps when super cold, so I just freeze the shapes. Leave them in the freezer for at least 10 min. I like to start my preheat on my oven once they are in the freezer to kill some time. Freezing your dough before you bake helps prevent the dough from spreading & losing it's shape.
Once the oven is ready, place the shapes onto a parchment lined baking sheet (however many you can fit while still giving some breathing room) & bake for 10-15 min (time varies by oven & by cookie size, so keep a good eye on them!) With sugar cookies, you want to keep that clean light colour & not the golden brown, so I like to watch the tops of the cookies. A sugar cookie that is done no longer looks "wet" on the top.
Let them cool completely before you decorate them.
Decorating is the fun, but difficult part. If you use royal icing, it definitely takes some practice, but once you get the hang of it, you can get pretty detailed with it.
I'll leave you with just the cookie recipe for today. If you'd like me to write a post about using royal icing & the recipe I use, leave a comment below, or message me!
- Emily xox
Here's a handy image version of the recipe you can easily save for later! (you are welcome)