Patriotic Royal Icing Star Cookies
The other day I was low on snacks for my kids so I decided to make them some Patriotic Royal Icing Star Cookies. Let me start out by saying that I am actually quite awful at making sugar cookies..so much so that I hardly ever get ambitious with cut out shapes. I think a lot of it stems from me having very little patience with allowing the dough to actually chill.
When you make homemade sugar cookie dough, chilling it to the right temperature before cutting out shapes makes all the difference! If you don’t allow your dough to chill and you cut out shapes, the shapes will turn into total blobs and spread a lot! I have actually had this happen to me on numerous occasions. My cute little flowers spread so much that they covered my entire baking sheet with very little space in between.
The worst would have to be when my kids ask me what my cookies are suppose to have been. If even imaginative kids can’t figure out my cookie shapes, I knew it was time to suck it up and let my dough chill for the 2 hours–so I did! I made my sugar cookie dough in the morning and then rolled out each batch as needed to make these Patriotic Cookies.
Here is what you will need for the basic sugar cookie dough:
- 1 1/2 cups of unsalted softened butter
- 2 cups of sugar
- 5 cups of all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon of salt
In a stand mixer, or large bowl cream butter, sugar, and extract; add eggs and combine. Turn mixer on low and slowly add flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until dough forms a ball in center of mixer. Once dough is combined, separate it into two balls and wrap them in plastic wrap. Place them in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
Once dough is chilled, prepare a floured work surface, and rolling pin. Also line two baking sheets with parchment paper, and pre-heat oven to 375 degrees. Roll out cookies to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut them out into desired shapes. I placed my stars 2 inches apart to prevent them from touching. Since cut-out shape sizes vary, I can’t give an accurate count on how many cookies this would make. For me, I got 16 stars and a few standard sized cookies.
As you can see, I used royal icing to decorate these Patriotic Royal Icing Star Cookies. With them help of some Wilton food gels in red, and blue (can’t remember the exact hues) and the perfect consistency of icing, I was able to pull off a swizzled firework look.
Here is what you will need for the royal icing:
- 4 large egg whites
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla or almond extract
- 4 cups of confectionery sugar
- 3 bowls to divide icing
- 3 toothpicks each of red and blue food gel
- 3 forks for swizzling
- wax paper to line work area
In a stand mixer, combine the egg whites, and extract until frothy looking. On low speed, gradually add confectionery sugar until mixture glossy. Increase speed to medium and mix until icing forms stiff peaks. After my icing was mixed, I transfer it into three bowls, and added the food coloring.
I then mixed it well, and used my forks to swizzle the various colors on my cookies. I suggest using wax paper to protect your counters from a lot of splashes of color.
Since I used royal icing, I allowed these cookies to harden on a baking sheet for 6 hours. Basically, the longer the sit, the more the icing can set.