Bridal Shower Sugar Cookies

I was a little naughty last week.  My Aunt Sally sent our wedding gift a couple months ago, and I’ve had it sitting in my sewing room unopened, because after all, it’s bad etiquette to open wedding presents early!  However, a few days ago I was updating my bridal registry and noticed that one item had been purchased.  And when I saw what it was my heart started to pitter patter.

I brought the box downstairs and set it on our kitchen counter.  To open or not to open…..that was the question.

Surely taking it out of it’s cardboard prison would be acceptable.  And to leave it in there would be an injustice!

Oh man!  I know I need what’s in this  box desperately!  It would make the next few days so much less stressful, and make my baking for the bridal shower so much faster!  Have you guessed what it is yet?

I’m seeing some pink!

Oh my goodness!  I’m starting to get excited!

It’s my pink Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer!!!!!!!!  I’m very sorry for opening your generous gift early, Aunt Sally.  I thought if you knew how much I needed it this past week you’d understand.  At least my wedding is less than 3 months away! 🙂

And I LOVE IT!!!!  Mixing is a breeze!  If you don’t have a stand mixer, I HIGHLY recommend getting one!  Now, onto the cookies.

Start by putting 2 sticks of cold butter and 1 cup of sugar into your mixing bowl.

Cream together using the paddle attachment.

Next add an egg, 3/4 tsp of vanilla extract, and 1/2 tsp of almond extract to the butter and sugar.

Mix until combined.

Next, add 3 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour and 2 tsp of baking powder.  You might not want to add all the flour at once.  Try adding it a cup at a time, and start mixing on a low speed, or else you’ll have flour all over your face and your kitchen.

Mix until thoroughly combined, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.  I didn’t take pictures while rolling out the dough and cutting out the shapes.  For one, I had flour all over my hands, and the main reason is……I forgot.

So just know that you need to roll out your dough on a floured, flat surface with a floured rolling pin.  Dip your cookie cutters in some flour before you press them into the dough.

Place your cut out cookie dough on some parchment paper on a cookie sheet, and bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

Next it’s time to make the royal icing.  Clean your mixing bowl and add 4 Tbsp of meringue powder and 1 scant cup of water.

A scant cup means not quite 1 cup.

Beat meringue powder and water until nice and foamy.

Add 1 lb. (about 4 cups) of sifted powdered sugar to the bowl.  Beat on low until combined.

Add 1/2 – 1 tsp of light corn syrup.   Try not to notice my lovely chipping nail polish.  Oh man, I just directed your attention to it, didn’t I?

Beat the icing on medium-high for about 5 minutes, or until a stiff peak forms.  This is not quite stiff enough.

This is perfect!  The peak should stand straight up even if you wiggle it around.

Transfer icing to bowls where you’ll add the coloring, and cover with plastic wrap so that the plastic is touching the icing.  Royal icing dries really quickly so you need to make sure no air comes in contact with the icing if you’re not working with it right away.

Add some coloring with a toothpick or knife.  There are several different gel colorings out there.  I use Wilton brand since it’s what I have on hand.

Mix all the colors you’ll need and cover the ones you’re not using with plastic wrap.

Transfer the icing to piping bags filled about half way.  Place the bags in a cup with a wet paper towel at the bottom.  This will ensure that your icing doesn’t dry up at the tip when you’re not using it.  Place plastic wrap over the remaining icing in your bowls.

Start outlining your cookies using a #2 tip.  You’ll want to outline them in the same colors that you’ll be filling them in with.

When you’re done piping, take your remaining icing in the bowls and add water 1 tbsp at a time until it has the consistency of syrup.  Place a wet paper towel over the bowls and let sit for 10 minutes to allow the air bubbles to come to the surface.

Stir the icing gently with a spatula or knife to pop all the bubbles.

Pour into a squeeze bottle.

Now you have both piping and flooding consistency icing.

After letting the piping dry for about an hour, flood the cookies with the thinned icing.  You can use a toothpick to spread the icing into all the corners.

Let the cookies dry overnight, and then you can pipe on the decorative details.  If you’re in a hurry, you can let the cookies dry for a couple hours and then decorate them, but since I had applied the flooding icing pretty late at night I decided to let them dry overnight.

Use the piping icing you had in your bags from before (just put the whole cup with the piping bags in the fridge until you’re ready to use them).

Above all, remember to use your creativity and have fun!  This cookie and royal icing recipe can be found on Bake at 350.

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