Oct 31, 2012

Cookie Dough and Royal Icing Recipes (for Decorated Cookies)

I´ve had been looking for the right cookie dough and royal icing recipes for decoration for a while, and either they were too sweet or just blah. And the worst part is that I did spend a lot of money in the process of finding the right one for me.

I got to the point of not wanting to try another disappointing recipe, because you know, more money wasted, until I found this awesome blog called Sweetopia. For some reason I wanted to give her lemon cookies a try, and Thanks God I did, because this recipe turned out to be a keeper.

The first time I made it, I realized it was pretty cool because it gives a lot of cookie dough = a lot of cookies = a lot of fun time decorating to giveaway or keep them. Then I realized I just need half the recipe, so I just make half of it (which still makes a loooot of cookies, where I get to the point where I´ve used all of my cookie cutter shapes and I don’t even know what shape to use anymore haha).

The ingredients themselves:
(You´ll notice I have the measurement by volume and sometimes by weight. I try to use my digital scale more so I have fewer things to wash =P + get more accurate measurements)

Ingredients Quality
Unsalted Butter (room temperature)                1 cup (that´s 226gr.)
Granulated Sugar
1 cup (that´s 200gr.)
1 large
Lemon Zest
Lemon or Real Lemon
1 1/2 Tablespoon
All Purpose Flour 2 1/2 cups (that´s 325r.)
Salt 1/2 Teaspoon
1)      Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl using an electric mixer with paddle attachment on low to medium speed for about 1 minute or until well incorporated. Scrape down the sides to get everything mixed and mix for few more seconds. DON’T over mix. That´ll only bring extra air we don’t need for the dough.
2)      Add the egg and mix. Scrape down the sides with spatula to make sure everything is getting incorporated.
3)      Add both lemon zest and lemon juice and stir briefly.
4)      Sift flour and salt together and then add them to the bowl. Mix until well incorporated. Tip: Mixing flour can be a bit messy, to avoid it; cover your bowl with a humid dishcloth, leaving space for your hand and the mixer. If you use a Kitchen Aid or so, cover the whole mixer with the dishcloth. Remember to not over mix it, just mix until the dough becomes workable and it clumps around the paddle attachment.
5)      Then what I do is cool the dough a bit. I grab a piece of plastic wrap or a transparent bag and I cover my dough with it. Then let it cool inside the fridge for about an hour or so, just until it’s more workable and less soft. This recipe has butter; if the butter is soft then the whole dough is soft, too soft will make the dough too sticky to work with.
6)      Then I take it out and roll it to about 1 centimeter. Then cut all my shapes. Having some flour on the cutting surface sometimes helps to prevent my dough from sticking to my table. 
7)      I then cut several pieces of parchment paper or wax paper. Take one piece of parchment paper on top place several cookies, on top another piece of parchment paper, then again another group of cookies, and so on, until I have a tower of dough shapes layered between parchment paper. Place my tower on the fridge for about 15-20 minutes. It always depends on weather of course. This will help to hold shape better.
8)      Preheat your oven for 350F or 176C.
9)      Bake cookies for about 8 to 10 minutes or until edges are golden brown. Baking time will depend on size of cookies, and of course, the oven. I always keep an eye on them. Tiny cookies will take shorter to bake than big cookies. What I do, I bake my big cookies first then tiny last so I don’t have to open my oven to remove the small ones.
10)   Once baked, let them cool and decorate. Note: If you don’t wait until they are 100% cool to the touch, they will be to hot and icing will melt.

As for the decorations there are a ton of recipes online, some of them use egg whites, and others use other things. I use her recipe as well (half of it, still makes a ton).

Ingredients Quantity
Warm Water
3 Oz.
Merigue Powder
2 1/2 Tablespoon
Cream of Tartar
1/2 Teaspoon
Powdered sugar
500 Gr.
Lemon Juice
1/2 Tablespoon
1)      In a bowl mix together water and meringue powder with a hand whisk for 30 seconds.
2)      Then to that, add cream of tartar, keep in mixing for 30 seconds. (cream of tartar will help the meringue powder, which is basically egg white, powder version, to stabilize)
3)      Now using a mixer and with paddle attachment on, add the icing or powder sugar for 10 minutes. Tip: Use a humid dishcloth to prevent you from ending up with a powder sugar mask. 
4)      Add lemon juice and mix just until incorporated, don’t over mix.
5)      Remove bowl from mixer and cover bowl. Royal Icing dries faster than speed of light if it has contact with air. Just kidding, but it dries super fast.
6)      Use your icing in a medium consistency. Don’t use your icing too thick or else will be too hard to decorate. Don’t use icing too thin or it will spread all over the cookie. Add water to thin it out.
7)      Add food coloring using plastic plates and wax paper cones or piping bags if you feel like cleaning afterwards.

Original recipes from: Sweetopia.net

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