One of the reasons I love my sister in law is she gets into the holiday spirit as much as I do, for every holiday! Big or little!! Today she had us over to make cookies for Valentine’s Day!! She bakes on the side for fun and makes absolutely amazing cakes && cookies!! She’s having me practice being her baking assistant!!! Look at this gorgeous geode cake she made for a friend’s birthday && the lobster cake for my other sister in law’s engagement party!! She even made the candy geode pieces!!
OK OK, back on track sorry!!
She found her recipe for Sugar Cookies on Pinterest, she changed the vanilla extract for lemon to add a little extra fun flavor! We live in a humid climate so she half’s the baking powder so the cookies don’t spread! Here is her version with slight tweaks:
- 3 cups flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1 cup unsalted butter
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. lemon extract
- In a separate bowl whisk together flour and baking powder.
- Beat together unsalted butter and sugar. Once mixed well, add in egg. Mix again, then add in the lemon extract. She used her Kitchen Aid!
- Slowly add in flour mixture about a cup at a time. Mix until dough forms and begins to clump together.
- Gather up dough and knead it with hands until it’s nice and smooth. Roll it into a ball, wrap with plastic wrap, and place in fridge to chill. I like to let min chill about 20-40 minutes. You will want it to be kind of firm but not hard. If it’s too hard…just leave it out on the counter for just a little bit until it softens up. Then you can work it a little bit to soften it back up.
- Roll the dough out and use a heart cookie cutter.
- Bake at 350, time will depend on cookies size and thickness. Normally between 7-11 minutes.
While the cookies are finishing up in the oven, let’s get started on the Icing!!
- 3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
- 4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- In large bowl of stand mixer combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy.
- Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and mixture is shiny.
- Turn speed up to high and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add food coloring or flavor, if desired to liking. We made a batch of light pink, yellow, green and white!
**For immediate use, transfer icing to pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired.
If you’ve never worked with wet royal icing, here is a great video tutorial!!
Once the cookies are cooled down you can start decorating!! Make the cookies pink, yellow, and green and the white is for the letters.
Now to add the cute little sayings!! Some of the cookies she added the words in as soon as she put the color on the cookies so the words were smooth on the cookies. Then, she made some where the colored icing hardened and then wrote the words so they were more 3D on top!
Jennifer’s Baking Tips:
- Use cling wrap to keep air out of wet royal icing if not using immediately and make sure cling wrap is touching the icing! Any air able to get to the icing will start to harden the icing!
- Use a cool cookie sheet. Don’t put cookie dough on a warm cookie sheet to bake them. This will help avoid spreading; meaning, they look how they did when you cut them with the cookie cutters once finished baking!
- Using parchment paper on your cookie sheet will also help them from spreading!
- For clean up with flour, use a wet washcloth to avoid flour going up in the air or all over the place. The wetness will help clean it all up the first time around!
My favorite part was getting to be the taste tester on mini cookies!! 😉
She even let the kids decorate a few for their best friends at school!! It was so cute!!
Now for a glass of milk and to eat as many cookies as she’ll let me!
Until next time,