A great project for kids out of school or the kid out of school in all of us. This recipe allows the cookies to keep their shape – perfect for cookie cutters.
We like the simplicity of royal icing – it is a simple layer of icing that allows sprinkles to adhere to the cookies!
Ingredients needed for Sugar Cookies:
1 3/4 cups (245 grams) all purpose flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (113 grams) unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Ingredients Needed for Royal Icing:
1 large egg white
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 cups (165 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
Directions for Sugar Cookies:
In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out cookies using a lightly floured tree cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
Bake cookies for about 10 minutes (depending on size) or until they begin to brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing, if desired. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours.)
Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.
Makes approximately 20 4-inch cookies.
Directions for Royal Icing
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. 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.
With a knife, spread a thin layer of royal icing on cooled cookies. Then sprinkle generously with colored sugar or sprinkles. If you place a few on a plate, they are easy for kids to decorate because the sprinkles will adhere to the royal icing. Enjoy!