Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Grandma's All-Occasion Sugar Cookies (TWD)


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!



Royal Icing
from Williams-Sonoma

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.

60 comments:

  1. Damn Jaime - those cookies are stunning! Make my iced cookies look like they were done by a kid!

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  2. Nice job, Martha Stewart! The cookies look gorgeous, and I am impressed by your mad decorating skills.

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  3. Loooove your snowflake variation of the classic sugar cookie!!

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  4. Your cookies are gorgeous! Great job! And I agree with you...don't know how she got 50 cookies out of that. I only got 40.

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  5. These are really pretty! I love the light blue background.

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  6. Your cookies are BEAUTIFUL!! You did a fantastic job decorating with the royal icing. Did you pipe around the cookie and then flood it?? I tried that for the first time in October, it's alot of fun to do but your right it takes lots of time. Beautiful cookies Jaime!!

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  7. Your cookies are absolutely gorgeous.

    I just don't have the patience for that kind of thing, but I am always so very impressed with the results when others do it.

    Maybe.....some day......I might......do that.

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  8. Wow!! Those cookies are BEAUTIFUL!! So far, you are the winner in the pretty department. :o)
    I've never worked with royal icing, but I want to and this is what I envision my cookies looking like. Unfortunately, my dreams are kinder to my decorating skills than reality! Great job.

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  9. These are absolutely gorgeous!! I have yet to try royal icing, one of these days I will brave it. I really loved this recipe and decorated in many different ways.

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  10. i love the snowflakes! they look adorable, and are definitely cheaper than anything Williams Sonoma (i work there, i should know! :)) keep up the lovely work!

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  11. Bunny - thanks! actually, I just used a butter knife to ice the base of the cookie, it was faster that way :)

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  12. wow these look beautiful! great job with the decorating! i need to work on my decorating skills!

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  13. Well it is our turn to be totaly impressed with your first timer royal icing talents, Jaime!
    How delicate and dainty... it looks like sugar plum fairy visions, for you must have magical fingers!
    They would look great in a pastel colored tree! ...and you're totaly right, their versatility makes them really cool to play around with!

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  14. Wow, your cookies are beyond cute! I love the snowflakes and teh Santas...and of course Rudolph! Amazing job this week!

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  15. Your cookies came out so cute. I don't know why I never make cookies! Everytime I see some like yours I think to myself I need to try my hand at them. I really like the snowflakes one. Love the blue & white colors. If ya send me some I'll let you know how well they travel and taste after a few days. :-)
    ~ingrid

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  16. Gorgeous, gorgeous cookies - you have inspired me to try royal icing one of these days! I love the soft blue color on the snowflakes.

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  17. Beautiful job on your cookies!!

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  18. wow, they are so lovely!! you are wonderful at decorating. royal icing looks so pretty, but i've never given it a try before.

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  19. These are all adorable! I especially love the snowflake ones!

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  20. They're soooo pretty. I'm jealous. :)

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  21. beauitful cookies, Jamie! I am always looking for that perfect sugar cookie/icing recipie - I'm going to try these for this christmas. The snowflakes are lovely!

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  22. Awesome and beautiful! Love them!

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  23. I envy those perfect cookies. I can never make mine look like that! Ohhh and those santas are absolutely adorable.

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  24. Just to adorable. Wonderful work!

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  25. Very cute! I just made sugar cookies and royal icing for the first time this weekend. I have a bunch of leftover cookies and icing. I think I'm going to try doing something like this. I'll probably have to add a fair bit of icing sugar to my current batch to get it to the required thickness for the decorative parts.

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  26. oooh - gorgeous snowflakes! Love them!

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  27. Gorgeous cookies! I love the subtle colors. They are peacefully festive.

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  28. Looks good and you've gotta appreciate the all purpose cookie, right?


    -DTW
    www.everydaycookin.blogspot.com

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  29. Your snowflakes are beautiful! I'm not a sugar cookie person either as far as taste goes...but they sure are fun!

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  30. Wow! You did an awesome job with these cookies! I'd rather buy them from you than WS!!

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  31. Wow, I love the Santa ones, and the snowflakes are just gorgeous! I have that cookie cutter for the cupcake pops too, but I never thought to repurpose it that way. Brilliant!

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  32. Wow, your cookies look perfect...and delicious!

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  33. Jaime, Gorgeous! Love the blue & white.

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  34. You're so creative. I love Santa's beard and the reindeer is adorable. And your snowflakes are stunning!

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  35. I love sugar cookies. Yours look great. I have never used icing. I use sprinkles.....but I might try icing this year for a change...

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  36. perfection! the snowflakes are extraordinary, but i can't help but be partial to the little santas. :)

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  37. Cookies are cute. Love the reindeer. Making those snowflake cookies is a fun thing to do and easy. Great job.

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  38. Your first time with Royal Icing?! I don't believe it! I had MY First time with Royal Icing this time around and they look NOTHING like yours! Absolutely gorgeous!

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  39. I love the snowflakes, those are awesome.

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  40. Your cookies are fabulous! I am getting seriously jealous of everyone's decorating skills - yours are awesome!

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  41. Those snowflakes are amazing! They look like something you'd see in a magazine (like, a really nice magazine!) I'm so glad you tried royal icing and were pleased with the results.

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  42. Um . . your sugar cookies put all of mine to shame. Your cookies basically told my cookies to go home since they are not cool enough to be in your cookies' presence.

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  43. I can't believe this is your first example of decorating with royal icing. Amazingly beautiful and delicate. The photgraphs are lovely. You could print holiday cards ... ???
    AmyRuth

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  44. Wow your cookies are perfect! Too pretty to eat :)

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  45. These are very pretty Jaime, neatly done! :) Perfect!

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  46. Your snowflake cookies are absolutely GORGEOUS!!!

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  47. great looking cookies! so so cute !! you re amazing

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  48. I am just smitten with the powder blue Royal Icing, Jaime. I'm not a sugar cookie fan either, but these are pretty tempting. Thanks for another festive entry. You make the darn cutest xmas cookies!

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  49. These are really very, very pretty!!

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  50. Those snowflakes are absolutely divine! How could you eat something so beautiful??

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  51. Those are beautiful cookies! I know what you mean about the WS cookies--I just got the most recent catalog, and the prices for some of the Christmas cookies and candies are outrageous for the quantities you get.

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  52. Your cookies came out so cute! I really love those adorable snowflakes :).

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  53. These are beautiful! Well done!

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  54. Beautiful stuff... 2.75 for 1 cookie? Uh, I think I'd rather make them myself.

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  55. I love the look of your cookies... so pretty!

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  56. Nicely decorated cookies! I really like the santa cookies.

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  57. WOW!! Cannot read anything on this crazy background of yours.....you really need to do something about this or ask for help.

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  58. Anonymous - I am sorry you were having trouble. your browser probably did not fully load the page. The text has a full white back drop to it; it's only the borders of the blog that have the purple background w/text. So, try reloading the pages again, or try using another browser :)

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