I told you all how my goal was to make some Halloween cookies with royal icing the other day. Well? I did it! I had so many people tell me so many awful things about royal icing. How it is hard to work with, how it doesn’t taste good, how you have to have a lot of patience to work with it. The only thing I found true about all the things people said about royal icing, is that you need patience. I personally thought it was not as hard to work with as a lot of people were telling me. I mean, I am by no means a professional baker and I do NOT decorate things that look amazing…but I had a lot of fun AND I actually like the taste of the icing. That could be because I changed the ingredients a bit, haha ;-)
Ingredients for Sugar cookies (orginal recipe can be found at Brown Eyed Baker):
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter (room temp)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Cream butter for 1 minute and add your sugar. Beat that mixture until it is light and pale.
- Add egg and egg yolk and beat for another few minutes and then add vanilla.
- Reduce the mixture to low speed and steadily add in the flour mixture (baking powder, salt, flour). Stop the mixer before all the flour is blended into the dough and finish the mixing with a rubber spatula.
5. Divide the dough in half.
6. Wrap the 2 sections in plastic wrap and place in refridgerator. Cool for at least 2 hours.
*After the dough has cooled for 2 hours, take 2 pieces of wax paper and lay them on your counter. Take one section of the dough and place in between the 2 pieces of wax paper. Roll dough out until it is about 1/4″ thick.
Center a rack in your oven and put oven at 350ºF. Place your cookies 1″ apart from one another. Cook them for 9-11 minutes. They will not change color. Let them rest 1 minute before taking them from cookie sheet. Place them on rack for cooling. (Have to get to room temperature before you can decorate).
Now for the royal icing!
Ingredients for Icing:
- 4 cups powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons meringue powder
- 6 tablespoons water
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
I sifted the powered sugar 8-10 times before I started actually making the mixture. I read a lot of recipes about lots of people said it is better to sift the sugar before. So that’s what I did!
*Add water and vanilla and beat for 10 minutes or until the icing has lost its shine.
After you have your icing beaten to your liking, divide it into containers (how every many colors you are planning on using). I divided mine into 3 because I was using white, black, and orange.
I covered the containers with dampened paper towels and placed the lids on them when I was not working on them. Royal icing does in fact dry really quickly so I just wanted to take precautions on making sure it did not dry out on me.
The next step was to make the outlines for all the cookies. I used #3 tip for this and the disposable pastry bags (my mom has a crapload of those because she is a baker). I also had a squeeze bottle handy for the flooding later on in the post.
You have to have a lot of patience for the outlining of the cookies and the slower you go and the farther away from the cookie the better I found.
Now for the flooding…
I was told to use the 5-10 second rule and I think I succeeded in it. You have to add a few drops of water to your icing until the consistency changes for you. You have to be really careful not too add too much water because if it gets too runny it won’t work. I then put it in my squeeze bottle for the flooding.
Use the squeeze bottle to put some of runny icing in the middle of your outline on the cookies. My method was don’t add too much up front and if I needed more I added more as I went. Use a toothpick to move the icing to the outside edges.
Then they look like this….
Pretty cool huh?
You have to let the cookies dry before you start decorating them. I waited about 2 hours before I started to decorate. Here is my finished products:
I hope you all have a great Halloween!