Sweets for the Sweet!

I love to bake. I love, love, love it. I am obsessive about almond extract in everything and I’m learning how to work with bread dough. I’ve tried and failed at macarons (I’ll try again soon), and I’ve never attempted cheesecake.

But I like to think I do all right with cookies. I don’t make very many cookies in the beginning of the year because I go a bit overboard with Christmas cookies, but I wanted to work on my royal icing technique for some Valentine’s Day treats.

I found the most killer recipe over at Sally’s Baking Addiction. Her Soft Cut-Out Sugar Cookies are perfect. Think Panera perfect. I spent the afternoon making them festive with some royal icing, and my Valentine loved them.

My loot!

What was different about Sally’s recipe was that the dough is chilled once it’s already rolled out into sheets, but before cutting the shapes. It was really easy to just put the dough outside in the sub-zero temps, and bring it in a few hours later.

I’ve only worked with royal icing once, but I think I did okay. This was also the first time I used the marbling technique. I feel stupid for not trying it before. It was so easy! This recipe for the icing is from the meringue powder container. I used a different one at Christmas and I prefer this one. It tastes great!

Royal Icing
3 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups confectioner’s sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Whip the meringue powder with 3 tablespoons of water until foamy. Add confectioner’s sugar, one cup at a time. Add 1 tablespoon water between each cup of powdered sugar.

You need 2 different consistencies of icing: piping and flooding consistency. Piping consistency should be about the consistency of whipped cream. Flooding consistency should be similar to maple syrup. With the piping icing, outline whatever design you want and (once it’s dry) fill it with the flooding icing. To do the polka dots/stripes/etc, I used a squeeze bottle with the background icing still wet. When you do this, the icing has a flat effect. You can certainly wait until the background icing dries and your cookies will be more 3-dimensional.

This cookie makes me think of v-tach. At least I still have my nurse humor. 😉

I tried to vary up my designs. Some turned out better than others, but when hubs came home, he said “Wow, they’re so cool looking!”




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