Sunday, September 19, 2010

Sugar Cookies for Diane's Shower

My wonderful friend, Diane, who works with me at both of my jobs was recently engaged.  For the last show of our concert season we threw a potluck feast to celebrate.  I thought it was the perfect opportunity to use my engagement ring shaped cookie cutter.  I used white icing for the diamonds topped with clear sanding sugar and used black gel coloring to tint the remaining icing grey for the bands.  Often these sugar cookies look really pretty but are rock hard and flavorless.  Here is my tried and true recipe for chewy and flavorful sugar cookies.

Sugar Cookie Dough
Makes about 2 dozen
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; mix until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add egg, brandy, and vanilla; mix until well combined. With the mixer on low, slowly add reserved flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
  2. Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.
  5. Decorate with Royal Icing, optional.
Makes about 3 cups
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder (found at specialty stores or Michael's)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (you can use any flavor you'd like)
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup warm water
  • Food coloring (optional)
  1. In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder until combined.  
  2. Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. To cover or 'flood' the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.
  3. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.


  1. Very cute Katie! I'll have to remember that you can make these when my shower comes around!

  2. I'd be more than happy to make some for you any time! :)