Decorated Sugar Cookies

2          Large Egg Yolks

3          Tablespoons Heavy Cream

3½      Cups All Purpose Flour

1          Cup Granulated Sugar

2½    Sticks (10 Oz.) Cold Unsalted Butter, Cut Into 1 inch pieces

In a small bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cream.  In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the flour and sugar.  Add the butter and beat at low speed until the mixture resembles crumbs, 2 to 3 minutes.  Add the cream-egg mixture in a slow steady stream, beating at low speed until the ingredients are just combines.  Divide the dough into 2 equal pieces, shape into disks, wrap in plastic and refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.  Let the dough stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before rolling.

Preheat oven to 350° with rack in the middle of the oven.

Line several baking sheets with parchment paper.  On a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough ¼ inch thick (thick is important) and cut out shapes.  Place on the parchment lined baking sheets and bake one cookie sheet at a time for 16 to 18 minutes, or until pale golden, rotating pan half way through the cooking time.  Cool on the trays.

When cookies are completely cooled, frost them with Royal Icing.  Let cookies sit overnight uncovered.  This gives the icing time to set.  Cookies can be stored in tins for a long time, 3 to 4 weeks.

Royal Icing

5          Tablespoons Meringue Powder

1          Box (1 Pound) 10X Confectioners Sugar

Place meringue powder and scant ½  cup water in bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and mix on low speed until blended.  Add confectioners sugar and mix on low speed until soft peaks form, about 10 minutes, scraping down sides periodically.  At this point you can add more liquid a drop at a time to make the icing perfect for icing cookies.  Add food coloring and mix until well blended.

To ice the cookies use the flooding technique by outlining the cookie with the icing in a pastry bag fitted with a very small plain pastry tip and then flood the cookie.    Do not outline all of the cookies first because the outline will harden and you will not be able to blend the flooding.

Hints and Tips:  You can purchase Meringue Powder at a baking supply store or Williams-Sonoma.  I have purchased Meringue Powder from both Williams-Sonoma in the store and CK Products on line. 

To color the icing, divide it into smaller containers and use food color to achieve the colors you would like.  I use food color paste which you can buy at a baking supply store such as CK Products, Williams-Sonoma or Michael’s Craft Store.  I don’t like the liquid type of food color you can easily get at the grocery store because it will change the consistency of the icing:  It actually makes the icing too thin to work with.  The paste is much better.  Keep the icing covered with a lid or plastic wrap when not in use.  It hardens faster than you think.

Decorated Christmas CookiesSugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

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