Christmas Sugar Cookieson Dec 23 in featured by Sumi
It seems as though all the food blogs had an agreement that everyone will feature elaborately decorated sugar cookies in their sites this month. As I read the stories and drool over those beautifully decorated cookies, it all makes since to me why there is a big wave going on about these ornamental confections.
It just can’t feel like Christmas without them. They are festive. They bring families together. They are pretty to look at. And they are delicious.
I am happy to share with you a unique sugar cookie recipe which uses vanilla bean and zest of lemon. I usually use a recipe with vanilla extract or almond extract, but the flavor of the lemon gives these cookies a hint of zing which is very addictive.
I am an amateur at cookie decorating, but I’ve learned so much from Annie, Bakeat350, and Sweetopia. They are geniuses at cookie decorating, and I am filled with gratitude that they freely share their knowledge through their websites.
Preheat the oven to 375º. Roll out the dough and cut out with cookie cutters. Place the shapes onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Let the cookies cool before decorating.
Lemon and Vanilla Bean White Sugar Cookies
Recipe from Annie’s Eats
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Zest of half a lemon
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt
In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and lemon zest until blended. Mix in the flour and salt on low speed just until incorporated. Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1-2 hours.
When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper. Roll the dough out on a well floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters as desired and transfer to the prepared baking sheets. Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, until fully cooked but not at all browned. Allow to cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Recipe is from Bakeat350.
4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup of water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
few drops clear extract (optional)
Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until foamy. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine.
Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.
Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.
This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called “flooding.”
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