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Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

by Alton Brown, Colin Chan

Cookies

Ingredients

Directions

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and milk and beat to combine. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sprinkle the rolling pin and the surface where you will roll out the dough with powdered sugar. Remove a piece of dough from the refrigerator and roll out to 1/4-inch thick. Check frequently to make sure the dough is not sticking. If the dough has warmed during rolling, place a cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes before continuing.

Arrange cookie cutters on top of the dough, push them straight down, and then transfer the cookies to a parchment-lined cookie sheet one at a time (use a spatula!). Bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until the cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges. Let the cookies sit on the baking sheet for 2 minutes, and then move them to a wire rack.

Icing

Ingredients

Directions

In a stand mixer, combine the egg whites and vanilla, and beat until frothy. Gradually add the confectioners’ sugar, and mix on low speed until the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is shiny. Switch to high speed and beat until the mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Add food coloring if desired (remember that the color will darken over 24 hours).