The Recipes


The One & Only Cookie Recipe

 
I don't know if I'd call it a secret.

I actually got the sugar cookie recipe off the back of a gift. The gift was a copper cookie cutter and the tag had a recipe for sugar cookies. I copied it down only because it was so simple. And it morphed into the only sugar cookie recipe I use.

So after a lot of people have asked me for it and I've memorized it and can recite it on command I thought I'd put it down for others to enjoy. Everyone I know will just be waiting for me to make them.

Ingredients:
  • 2 sticks butter (1 cup) - I prefer salted sweet cream butter
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract, 1 tsp. almond flavoring
  • 3 cups flour

Directions:
  1. Cream butter in mixer, then add in sugar and mix together.
  2. Add in one egg and mix together until combined
  3. Add in vanilla a mix together until combined
  4. Add in flour and mix until combined. Dough should pull away from the mixer walls and form a ball. If it doesn't add in a little more flour (2 tbsp at a time) until its ball form.
  5. Remove from mixer and wrap in saran wrap. I find it's easier to form the dough into a log form before wrapping up.
  6. Store in refrigerator for at least 4 hours up to overnight.
  7. When ready to bake, take out of fridge, roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters.
  8. Bake 10-12 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven when you see just a hint of tan on the cookie.

I promise you, it's incredibly simple. I find that using the best vanilla really makes a difference. Same with good butter and flour. Good ingredients yield GREAT cookies!

 

It's Royal Icing


Just like my sugar cookie recipe I only use one frosting recipe. I just morphed it a little depending on what I need. But to start - here's the basic frosting for the sugar cookies. 
 
Ingredients:
  • 2 - 2 lb bags of powdered sugar
  • 3/4 cup of meringue powder (I use AmeriColor brand but in a pinch the Wilton Brand that you can find at places like Michael's or Hobby Lobby works just fine)
  • Liquid to equal 1 1/4 - 1/1/2 cups of the following:
    • 2 tsp. vanilla flavoring
    • 2 tsp. almond flavoring
    • 1 tbsp. light corn syrup 
    • Lukewarm water to fill up to 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups of liquid

 Supplies:
  • Enough mixing bowls (or cereal bowls) to mix the frosting and food coloring in.  I use one for each color I need.
  • Food coloring - I strongly suggest purchasing the gel kind (not from your grocery store).  The brand I use is AmeriColor - but Wilton works too.  I just like the AmeriColor bottles because they are squeeze bottles. Plus they don't change the flavor of your frosting and have the most brilliant colors!  Click here to see where they sell it in your town!
  • Spatulas or spoons to mix the frosting
  • Squeeze bottles to put the frosting into - think of those red and yellow bottles for ketchup and mustard that you see at restaurants.  I found some at Wal-Mart or Target that would work great.  Or buy actual icing bottles at a store that sells bakery tools!
  • Reusable or disposable pastry bags with tips and couplers (I find mine at a baking store in town)
  • Piping tips #1, #2, #3, #4 and piping bags (disposable are the kind I prefer and ones that are clear). Don’t forget the couplers to connect the tip to the bag. I own 20 #3 piping tips because that way I don’t have to change and clean one out each time I need to do a different color.
  • Saran Wrap
  • Squirt bottle filled with water

Directions:
  • Place meringue powder into bowl of mixer along with both bags of powdered sugar.
  • Turn on mixer slowly to incorporate together (think very slow speed or you'll be wearing it)
  • While the dry ingredients are slowly mixing add in liquid (flavoring, corn syrup and water mixture) and mix on slow until it's all incorporated with the dry ingredients and looks a little runny.  Like a thick soup.
  • After it's all incorporated, turn your mixer onto the highest speed and let it beat together for 8 minutes or until your frosting has formed stiff peaks.  They should be able to stand on their own when you take the beater out of the bowl.
  • Upon mixing everything together you'll notice the frosting is rather stiff. Here's where I make adaptations to fit what I need:
 
 If I need stiff frosting for outlining:
  • I remove the amount of frosting I need from the main mixing bowl and place it into a separate smaller mixing bowl (or cereal bowl). Cover up any extra frosting in the main bowl with Saran Wrap or lid so a crust doesn't form on the top of the frosting. Otherwise you'll have crusty frosting pieces in your good frosting and you'll go crazy!
  • Select the color you want to make, add in the food coloring and mix together with spoon, spatula or whatever your fancy. I normally add in a large amount of frosting, because I’d rather just color my frosting once, no matter if I need a stiff red for outlining, and a more runnier one to fill in my outlines. You’ll see why in a minute.
  • Lay out some saran wrap on the counter, place a blob of the stiff frosting in the middle of the saran wrap.
  • Wrap up the frosting like you would a burrito, so it’s tight and forms a log shape.
  • Put the coupler in a piping bag, and feed one end of your burrito frosting roll down into the piping bag so the end comes through the bottom (where the frosting will come out when you have a piping tip in place). Take scissors and cut off the excess saran wrap sitting out of the end of the piping bag.
  • Place selected piping tip onto end of piping bag filled with frosting burrito roll and secure with coupler.
  • Outline to your heart’s content.
 
If I need frosting to fill – called Flow Icing:
  • When making your stiff icing, you’ll only put half of it or part of it (depending on the amount of outlining in that color) onto the saran wrap. The rest you’ll leave colored in the bowl.
  • Here you’ll spray about 10 – 12 squirts of water into the bowl. Stir it into the colored frosting. Flow icing should coat the back of a spoon but run off easily. When it drips back into the bowl the drips should disappear semi-slowly into frosting. If it doesn’t do that – and appears stiff – squirt a few sprays into the frosting and mix. Just be careful…you can’t take away water…so squirt carefully.
  • After the flow frosting is at the correct consistency put it into a bottle and frost away.


And that’s it! ENJOY!