Thursday, October 21, 2010

Royal Icing Halloween Sugar Cookies

Pumpkins



Cats


Bats


and Ghosts


OH MY!

This is my second time trying royal icing if y'all remember my first trial. I think I have improved a little, which is always promising! Definitely not perfect, but I thought the cookies and icing were super cute this time. This was all thanks to Bridget at Bake at 350 and her whole crew over at University of Cookie. Their tips are right on and really helped with everything from recipe suggestions to how to draw a straight line with royal icing!


Vanilla Sugar Cookies with Butter Royal Icing

Cookies:
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup granulated sugar
2 sticks butter, softened
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Royal Icing:
4 tbsp meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup water
1 lb (3 and 3/4 cup) confectioners sugar
1/2 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 tsp clear butter flavoring

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside. In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar till creamy. Add in egg and vanilla until combined. Slowly add in flour mixture and beat until combined scraping bottom and sides of bowl as needed. Roll dough out using a floured surface or between two pieces of parchment paper (see below). Place cut cookies on baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes or until slightly browned. Let sit on sheet for two minutes then set on cooling rack.

For icing, combine meringue powder and water with your paddle attachment until foamy. Sift powdered sugar into bowl and beat on low until combined. Add in corn syrup and butter flavoring and increase speed to high. Beat for 4-5 minutes checking icing just until stiff peaks have formed (icing on tip of paddle does not fold over). Divide as needed and add gel coloring. Fill pastry bags with icing and use immediately, otherwise place in bowl covered in plastic wrap and a lid. To prepare flood icing, slowly add water till a smooth syrup is formed. Fill pastry bags or squeeze bottles and have fun decorating!


For the cookies, instead of using a floured surface I laid a quarter of the dough in between two sheets of parchment paper and rolled till ~1/4 inch thick. I stuck the rolled out sheet in the fridge for 30 minutes, then cut out my shapes, and put them straight in the oven. I found that the longer I left the dough in the fridge the less "puffy" the cookies were. This is a great idea not only to keep your kitchen clean, but also so your cookies don't lose their shape or round up making it difficult to ice. Check out a weblog about it at University of Cookie.


For my icing I went with a clear butter flavoring, but you could skip that or add in any clear flavor like vanilla or almond extract. If you aren't sure what a scant 1/2 cup is, it is measured as slightly less than 1/2 cup.  If I haven't talked enough about how important it is to sift your confectioners sugar, don't be fooled, this is the most important step here. So SIFT or else! I let my icing whip for 4 minutes and almost thought I had let it go too long. So monitor your icing until stiff peaks are formed and no more. Over-beating the icing can cause it to be brittle and crack.


For the icing colors I used Americolor Super Black and Wilton Orange. For the outlining I used Wilton tip #3 and for details I used tip #2. For flooding I took Bridget's advice and bought some craft squeeze bottles. Just pour the flood icing in the bottle, cap it, and let it sit for 5 minutes letting the bubbles rise to the top. I promise, if you are frustrated with royal icing to try this tip. It made it so easy to just grab the bottle and squeeze, while not worrying about it drying out!


I did have one issue, my black flooded icing is taking forever to dry. That's right, it is still not dry an entire day after making them! It is slightly tacky to the touch whereas all the other colors are hardened with a nice shine. Could I have used too much coloring?


Hope you enjoy and if you have further tips or questions feel free to comment away!


Happy Baking!

35 comments:

  1. For only your second try at making royal icing sugar cookies, these look awesome! Making cookies like that has been on my to-do list forever but a lack of a steady hand has me chickened out so far. :o)

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  2. I've taken cake decorating classes and I remember basic tips like #2 & #3 not being my favorite. These look fantastic.

    Maybe next time add more powdered sugar to your black icing?

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  3. These are SO adorable, Debbie! You did a great job on them. Your icing job is perfect! ... And I bet they're really tasty, too.

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  4. LOVELY job, great detail. A very special treat.

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  5. Wow you did an incredible job! I can't believe it's only your 2nd time trying it out. I'm a huge Halloween fanatic so you know I LOVE your cookies. They're so cut and delicious looking. Great job!

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  6. Royal Icing is so hard to work with. You did a great job, though! I'm still trying to master that task. I'm going to try these steps! Did you use a tooth pick to guide the icing?

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  7. So cute!! I really don't think I have enough patience to do that lol : P

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  8. These came out so cute. I wonder why the black didn't dry, maybe too much water? I love Halloween!
    -Gina-

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  9. I love holiday cookie cut-outs. Yours are adorable!

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  10. I love them, they are adorable. Makes me want to have little kids in the house again. :)

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  11. These are adorable. I plan on featuring them on my Fall Friday post later today. You should check it out. :)

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  12. How can you achieve SUCH perfection??? Congratulations!!

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  13. ADORABLE!! So cute! Stop by my blog when you have a sec...I have a little something for you!!

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  14. Perfect cookies for halloween. You did a fine job!

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  15. Excellent! Very, very cute, I love the ghosts!

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  16. Hi there! I haven't come by and said hi in a couple of weeks, and I apologize for that! Your cookies are so much fun, and it was great to see you in the Top 9! Congrats! =)

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  17. Ah, my 7 y-o has been asking me all day to make Halloween cookies (I left out the cutters and she's itching to decorate). Thanks for this!

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  18. Those cookies are so cute! I have never made royal icing but I think it is time.

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  19. I love your black and orange bats!

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  20. Beautiful cookies! These must have been lots of fun to decorate :)!

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  21. Those cookies are gorgeous!! You did an outstanding job with the royal icing and decorating...I have absolutely no skill in that area.

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  22. Bravo! Those are great looking Halloween cookies. I haven't ever attempted royal icing on cookies. I am afraid my crew would mutiny if I stopped using buttercream. I sure like the looks of the royal icing, though.

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  23. Way, way cute! You've got some serious piping skills!

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  24. Beautiful cookies and what great icing! I haven't been able to creat this kind of detail. Will keep working at it. Just lovely!

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  25. Debbie, I "tagged" you in the Blog Tag Game, I hope you don't mind. Love the cookies.

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  26. What an amazing job you did. I have to look at this kind of stuff while Dudette's not home. If she happened by my office while the picture was up, I'd be in the kitchen right now!

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  27. I use this recipe too!!! http://anickh.blogspot.com/2011/10/blog-post.html

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