Yesterday Candice wrote about planning and decorating for the children’s cookie party, and today I’m going to give you the recipe for the cookies we decorated. The great thing about a cookie decorating party is that you can do all the prep beforehand and keep things simple. This recipe makes about 2 dozen large cookies, and they freeze well if you want to make them a few days in advance. Just make sure to thaw the cookies before you start decorating. I love almond flavoring in sugar cookies, but you can switch out the almond for citrus or anything else you like (maybe tint the cookies pink and add a berry flavor).
We used two versions of royal icing to frost the cookies. Because this was a party for kids I made the icing with meringue powder so that there wouldn’t be raw eggs. For the cookies the kids decorated we used a thinned out version of this recipe. It flows more easily, and it’s a lot less work for little hands. After the kids poured on the frosting, they went to town with sprinkles!
For the cookies I decorated, I outlined the cookies first with the original royal icing, and then I filled in the cookies with the thinned out version. Depending on the age and interest of your decorators, you might want a couple of different colors. I used Wilton decorator bottles that you can find in the baking section of any craft store.
Valentine’s day is tomorrow, but that’s plenty of time to bake some cookies and get some kids together!
Sugar Cookie Cutouts
- 3 1/4 c. flour
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 c. butter
- 1 c. sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1/2 tsp almond extract
- Sift together dry ingredients.
- In a separate bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add the egg and extracts to the butter mixture and mix until completely blended.
- Add flour mixture to the butter mixture and blend. If you’re using a stand mixer or a food processor, you’re going to be tempted to add some liquid, but be patient, the dough will come together.
- Roll the dough out to 1/4 thick. You can roll between two sheets of waxed paper, or you can roll on a counter top dusted with icing sugar.
- After your dough is rolled out, cut your shapes. Continue to roll any scraps until you’ve used all your dough.
- Place the shapes on a parchment lined cookie sheet, and place the cookie sheet in the freezer for the time it takes to pre-heat your oven. Chilling the dough after you’ve cut the shapes will help them maintain their shape in the oven.
- Bake in a 350º oven for 10 minutes.
- Let the cookies cool on the sheet for a few minutes and then transfer them to a cooling rack.
- 3 Tbsp. meringue powder
- 4 c. powdered sugar
- 6 Tbsp. water
- 1 tsp flavoring (if you’re not coloring your icing, make sure you use clear flavoring)
- food coloring (optional)
- Beat water and meringue powder until frothy.
- Add powdered sugar, flavoring and food coloring.
- Mix on high speed until stiff peaks form (about 6 minutes)
- To thin out the recipe for the kids or for filling in cookies, gradually add water until you get the desired consistency.
- Make sure the beaters, spoons and bowls you use are grease free. Also pay attention to the humidity levels. This doesn’t work nearly so well on a rainy day!
*Photos by Candice Stringham