Recipes: PERFECT Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing for A Brambly Hedge Tea

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For years I have worked with sugar cookies and royal icing. These recipes are new additions to this webpage because I finally perfected them! I always struggled with icing the cookies and wanted my icing to look professional. It never did! It was always a little sloppy. I experimented and tried many things and finally figured it out! So here it is! In another post I will show you the results of the recipes in a “Tea With: Brambly Hedge” story!

Let’s start with sugar cookies. I never really liked sugar cookies. I always found the taste to be too buttery or too cloyingly sweet. By accident, we ran out of vanilla when making the last batch so we used almond. Oh, what a wonderful difference! They were delicate and not too sweet (important when you are going to cover them in icing!), light on the tongue, and with a softer flavor profile. My family wanted to plow through them before I could ice them!

 

Sugar Cookies

4 Cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 Cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)
2 Cups sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons almond extract

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar. Then beat in the eggs and almond.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add dry ingredients to creamed butter and sugar mixture and mix until a dough is formed. Use right away or wrap and refrigerate.

For large cookies follow the directions for cutting out here. This recipe makes about 16 large cookies. I use Martha by Mail large cookie cutters for my creations, but any cutters can be used!

Bake cookies at 350 Fahrenheit for 13 minutes, or until the edges are slightly brown. Let cookies cool about 10 minutes before removing from sheets. Store in a covered container.

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I just finished flooding the mint green of the cakes. The engagement rings have their icing dusted with colored sanding sugar to make them look metallic. I haven’t done the icing for the diamonds yet. Can you guess what we are having a party for?

 

Perfect Royal Icing

This recipe walks you through both the outline/detail icing and the flooding icing. You will need two icing bags for each color you use.

You can use egg whites in this recipe, but be aware of the risk of food illness from possible salmonella contamination. My family chooses to use Eggland’s best because they have the best record of safety and we eat lots of raw or under-cooked eggs. When I make cookies that will be shared with other people I always purchase Pasteurized egg whites so as not to make others sick!

6 Tablespoons of Pasteurized egg whites or the equivalent of 2 egg whites.
4 Cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water

Beat egg whites until fluffy. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and water. Mix until smooth. This is the outline and detail icing. Put about 3/4 Cup of icing into a bag with a #2 round tip. This tip is small and works well for outlining and detailing. Keep the rest of the icing in the mixer bowl.

For the flooding/filling-in icing add:
1 teaspoon water
to the rest of the icing in the bowl and mix. Put this icing into a bag with a #6 round tip. Flood/fill-in the outlines with this. Once your base coat is mostly dry you can go back over with the icing in the #2 tip bag to make details.

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Here are the finished cakes with detail icing. I couldn’t get silver dragees, so I improvised with rock candy. We were having rock candy suckers at the party too.
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The rings on the left have their diamond detail icing on. The diamonds have a white icing layer and then are dusted with regular sugar before the detail icing. Aldi’s sugar is great for sanding sugar because it is not ground very fine. It is very sparkly because of this.

Perfect Pastel Colors

For my favorite colors of mint green and aqua  I use Country Kitchen or CK food coloring. The perfect mint green is 1 drop mint green and 1 drop teal. The perfect aqua is 2 drops of teal. Also, adding 1 drop of ivory with 1 drop of a color makes it soft and lovely. You can get great-looking pastels this way. Wilton works well too, but they don’t have a good teal color.

After we are all done, and the cookies have dried overnight, we put them in treat bags and give them to everyone! Stay tuned for my Brambly Hedge post. I think you will really like it!

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P.S. It’s a wedding anniversary party!

Sweets to you from Kansas Street,

-Jaime

 

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