Vanilla Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

I have tried a couple of sugar cookie recipes, and would have to say that this one has been the best! It has a beautiful sweet, buttery vanilla flavour, and is perfect for decorating with royal icing. I'm still getting accustomed to the whole cookie decorating thing, but practice makes perfect so practice it is - make yourself a batch today and practice too!

Vanilla Sugar Cookies
375g all-purpose (plain) flour
2 tsp baking powder
230g caster sugar
235g butter
1 egg
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Line two baking trays with baking paper.

Into a medium bowl, sift flour and baking powder. Whisk until mixed. Set aside.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla, beating until well combined. Gradually add the flour mixture, beating on a low speed until just combined. Make sure to scrape down the bowl when necessary!

Turn cookie dough onto a floured surface, and knead lightly until smooth. Using a well floured surface and rolling pin, roll out and cut into shapes (approximately ¾ cm thickness).

Note: dough can be rolled out between two sheets of non-stick baking paper, or on a floured pastry/silicon mat).

Bake for approx. 10-12 minutes. Let cool briefly on trays, then transfer to a wire rack.
Royal Icing
40g meringue powder (I use ‘pavlova magic’ in the egg-shaped container)
110mls water
450g pure icing (powdered) sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract (optional) Note: if icing is to be white, use a clear extract 
In the bowl of an electric mixer add meringue powder and water. Beat with the paddle attachment until well combined, light and foamy. Sift the icing sugar over meringue mixture, and beat on a low speed until well combined. Continue to beat until icing holds stiff peaks. (It took me quite a while to reach this stage, feel free to keep adding more sifted icing sugar if the mixture does not stiffen up enough. More water can always be added if you make a mistake!)          

Divide and colour icing if desired. (Gel icing colour paste is recommended as it doesn’t alter the consistency compared to liquid food colouring).

This stiff icing is ideal for piping the outline of decorated sugar cookies, using a piping bag and small round tip. 

To prepare for flooding, simply add small teaspoons/drops of water, stirring carefully with a rubber spatula, until it reaches a syrupy consistency. Let sit for a few minutes to let the air bubbles come to the surface then carefully stir them back in. I then fill a squeeze bottle with this icing and fill in/flood the cookie, using a toothpick to move the icing around to fill the gaps. Let dry overnight. (To make the dots, fill another squeeze bottle with different coloured icing, and squeeze small drops onto the cookie. The drops will settle into the flood icing and make cute round dots.)

Storage: The royal icing can be stored in a sealed plastic container with plastic wrap covering the surface of the icing to prevent it hardening (as it does when exposed to air). The cookies can be stored in an airtight container for around one week. See for tips about freezing cookies. Bake@350 also has a great FAQ section for any questions you might have.

Source: both Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing  adapted from Bake@350.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Bec, Thanks for your great post. I have tried the frosting and abosolutely fabulous, thank you so much. I have just started on my cooklie adventure and am hooked, but have a long way to go yet. Keep cooking. Cheers from Olinda, Victoria. Jennie