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Roll out sugar cookies

For some reason I was intimidated by making roll out sugar cookies until recently when I decided I was ready to face my fears. I went to a baby shower hosted by my friend, Buddy, who had made some tasty, pretty heart shaped cookies as a party favor. She shared her recipe with me, then months later I finally tried it out. That got me started and now I'm really into making them and have had such a blast creating my own, and have come up with a cookie dough and royal icing recipe that I like a lot.

Cookie Dough
  • 2/3 cup salted butter, softened to room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 3 1/4 cups all purpose flour
Mix everything together in the order listed.  Do not refrigerate the dough. That was the first thing I figured out that I'd done differently in the past.  Sprinkle some flour on the counter top, then dump out all the dough into the center.  Sprinkle more flour on top of the huge ball of dough, and with your hands, turn it over a few times as you flatten it out to make something like a super thick pancake shape.  Keep sprinkling flour as needed until you are ready to use your roller.  Roll it out flat, so that the dough is quite thick, about one-third of an inch approximately.

Use about a 3-inch cookie cutter, then cut out as many as you can.  You will get ten or twelve to start off.  Then lift away the outside edges of the dough using a flat spreader or knife, then slide the spreader under the cookies that you cut out, and gently place them onto a cookie sheet. With the discarded dough, simply form another ball, and keep repeating the roll out process until you have cut out as many cookies as you can.  For the last cookie, I sometimes fit the remaining dough inside the cutter, then press it down flat to shape it, then gently push it out so I have used every ounce of the tasty dough.  I use a Silpat sheet to bake mine.  Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for 8 minutes.  This is the temperature and time that works for me, but ovens vary greatly.  You may decide to bake yours at 350 or 400 for as short as five or six minutes.  Cool the cookies completely on a rack until you decorate them with royal icing.
    Royal Icing
    •  3 egg whites, beaten until fluffy and white
    • 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
    • 1/2 teaspoon coconut extract
    • 4 cups powdered sugar
    Mix the egg whites together in a stand mixer until they are white and fluffy, then add the other ingredients and get ready to create! There are various thicknesses that I've discovered for icing the cookies.  There are some fantastic websites with tips and instructions.  I've determined that to make this particular pumpkin shaped cookie, I need to add about two tablespoons of hot/warm water to the icing to get it to the consistency that I can spread it onto the cookies without it flowing all over the edges.  I add the coloring first, then spoon it into squeeze bottles, then section the pumpkin off into fourths.  Let it dry a bit in between sections.  Allow several hours overnight to let them set completely, then package them individually or on a plate to serve.  I'm crazy about how they turn out and look forward to sharing many more of my cookie creations.  Enjoy!


        Buddy Roberts said…
        Kelly, these are gorgeous. Do you just use the bottles to put the icing on? no knife involved?
        Kelly said…
        Buddy, thank you so much for inspiring me to get started with these! I just use the bottles, no knife at all. Thank you!
        Katie said…
        Those cookies are so beautiful. I remember when I lived in Austin telling my mom that when I grow up I wanted to be like you. So put together, so fun, so festive. Simply put amazing. Anyway, I am glad to have stumbled on to you from Holly's blog. I will peek in on you from now on. I am happy to see the additions to your beautiful family.

        Katie Schroeder (we served together in YW once upon a time)
        Kelly said…
        Katie, I'm not sure if you'll see this reply to your comment or not, but I want to just say HI!! And that it's so great to hear from you after all these years, and I hope you're all doing fantastic. Thank you for your sweet comment.

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