This week's Tuesdays with Dorie (TWD) recipe was chosen by Ulrike of Küchenlatein: Grandma's All Occasion Sugar Cookies. I'm not a big sugar cookie fan and I've only made sugar cookies a few times before... so I was curious to see how Dorie's sugar cookies would compare.
The dough came together easily and I had no problems at all rolling it out. There were a few complaints from other bakers that the dough would warm up too quickly, making it difficult to make cut outs, but I refrigerated my dough overnight and had no problems whatsoever. If you run into this problem (after refrigerating it for 2 hours), simply pop the dough in the freezer for a few minutes and you should be good to go.
While I've made sugar cookies in the past, I've never decorated with royal icing before. I've always been so impressed whenever I see sugar cookies decorated in this manner and I have to admit that after I finished decorating these, I was a little impressed with myself too ;) It was very time consuming, but well worth the effort. I scaled down a recipe I found from Williams-Sonoma and it was definitely enough icing to ice the 38 cookies I made with Dorie's recipe. Speaking of recipe yields, I'm not sure how Dorie gets so many cookies out of her dough. According to Dorie, this recipe is supposed to yield 50 two inch cookies. She must have a magical rolling pin, because I even measured my dough after rolling it out to make sure it was the recommended 1/4-inch thickness and still only got 38 cookies from this recipe...
I have to admit that when I bought cookie cutters to make the cupcake pops, I didn't think I would really get much use out of them otherwise. However, I've found them quite useful as of late. They were perfect for the linzer sablés we made last week, and when it came time to make these sugar cookies, I was inspired by Williams-Sonoma to use the flower cut out again. While my cookies did not turn out quite as perfect as the ones sold there (it was my first time working with royal icing!), they still turned out pretty cute, if you ask me :) And way cheaper than the asking price at Williams-Sonoma of $2.75 per cookie.
So how did these taste? I thought that they were good - for sugar cookies (remember, I'm not a big sugar cookie person). My husband loved them and thought they were great. They were sturdier and slightly chewy, compared to the other sugar cookies I previously made that were fragile and almost melt in your mouth.
The one thing that I love about sugar cookies is how versatile they are. The possibilities are endless when it comes to decorating them. If you're looking for something a little different to do with your sugar cookies, check out these posts from my holiday baking last year:
Thanks Ulrike, for choosing the Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies. It was perfect timing for the holidays! You'll find the royal icing recipe below. If you would like the recipe for the sugar cookies, you can find it here. Make sure you visit the TWD Blog Roll to see how everyone else decorated their cookies!
* Recipes notes:
- These are great as slice 'n bake cookies - simply roll them into a log about 2 inches in diameter, refrigerate (or freeze), and then when you are ready to bake, simply slice and you're ready to go.
- These cookies puff up slightly in the oven but do not spread very much, so you can place them close together on the baking sheet.
- I used my baking stone for the cookies and did not need any parchment paper.
- This recipe yielded 38 (2-inch) cookies for me, not the 50 that is promised in the cookbook.
- If you are new to icing cookies (like me), check out these helpful videos here and here.
- The cookie dough can be frozen for up to 2 months. The baked cookies can be frozen for up to 2 months as well.
- For more recipe tips, click here.
I'm submitting these cookies to "Eat Christmas Cookies, Season 2," hosted by Susan of Food Blogga. Click on the logo below to find out more about this event and click here to see the round-up of all the other wonderful cookies being submitted!
2 egg whites, at room temperature
3 cups confectioners' sugar
1/3 tsp. cream of tartar (this is 1/4 tsp + a little bit over half of 1/8 tsp)
Pinch of salt
A few drops of vanilla extract
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, beat the egg whites, confectioners' sugar, cream of tartar and salt on medium-low speed until blended. Add the vanilla or lemon juice, increase the speed to medium-high, and continue beating until stiff peaks form and the mixture is nearly triple in volume, 7 to 8 minutes.
Remove the bowl from the mixer, cover tightly with plastic wrap and store at room temperature until ready to use, up to 6 hours. Makes 3 to 4 cups.
To create the snowflake sugar cookies depicted above, you'll need two sets of royal icing. First, make the recipe as indicated above and set aside a small amount of white icing for the snowflakes. Then add a few drops of blue food coloring to the remainder of the icing. Next, you'll need to add a small amount of water to thin it out until you are able to spread it across the cookie without leaving "tracks." You can use a decorating bag and tip, pipe around the edges of the cookie and then fill it in (called "flooding")... but I simply used a butter knife to spread the icing. To create the white snowflakes, pipe the icing out onto the cookies using a small round decorating tip or by simply placing the icing in a ziploc bag and snipping the corner off.