I can’t tell you how thrilled I am, this past weekend was my baby shower! I never shared the news but it’s a GIRL! After all those boys, both sides of the family are thrilled. It’ll be the first grand-daughter for each side. Of course our sister-in-law is also pregnant, due 4 days after me (my original due date) so she might have a girl too, 50/50 shot! We aren’t disclosing her name yet since it’s original and also a family name. Silly to say but I want to ‘protect’ it. The theme is Dr. Suess, One Fish Two Fish and I had so much fun planning it. I have a bunch of pictures to upload but for now I’ll upload the cake! I absolutely loved doing that too! It was a blast to try and make it look like the invites and thank you cards we had. We had fish shaped sugar cookies that I decorated with pastel royal icing as favors, chicken and ham salad sandwiches, goldfish crackers, swedish fish and goldfish pretzels. We got a ton of books to start her library with and I’ll be super thrilled to read them to her. Sorry to go on, I’m just bursting with excitement! Here are the cake and cookie pics!
I absolutely love Sweetopia’s Sugar Cookie Recipe and it works wonderfully with royal icing!
2 1/2 cups butter (at room temperature)
2 cups sugar
2 large eggs
seeds from 1 vanilla bean (or 3 tsp vanilla)
5 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder (*take this out if you don’t want your cookies to spread)
1 tsp salt
1. Cream the butter and sugar together in the bowl of an electric mixer on low to medium speed. (Use the paddle attachment). Mix until thoroughly incorporated – for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a plastic spatula and mix again for a few seconds more.
Over mixing the butter and sugar in this step will cause too much air to be incorporated into the dough. If you’d like a light and fluffy cookie, that’s ideal, however the dough will spread more during baking; not ideal if you’d like the cookie to hold its shape.
2. Add eggs slowly and mix. Scrape down the bowl with your spatula at least once and mix again.
3. Cut open your vanilla bean and scrape the seeds out. Add to mixing bowl. Alternatively, add liquid vanilla extract. Stir briefly.
4. Sift your dry ingredients together. (Flour, baking powder and salt).
5. Add all of the flour mixture to the bowl. Place a large tea towel or two small tea towels between the edge of the bowl and the electric mixer so that the flour won’t escape. Mix on low speed for 3o seconds. Remove the tea towels and observe the dough mixing; when it clumps around the paddle attachment it’s ready. It’s also important at this stage not to over mix the dough (the glutens in the flour develop and the dough can become tough).
6. Roll the dough out between 2 large pieces of parchment paper. Place on a baking sheet and into the fridge for a minimum of 1 hour.
7. Roll out the dough further if you need to, and cut out cookie shapes. Place on parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Re-roll scraps and repeat.
8. Put cookie dough shapes back into the fridge for 10 minutes to 1 hour to chill again. They will then hold their shape better when baked.
9. Preheat your oven to 350°F or 176°C.
10. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the edges become golden brown. The baking time will depend on the size of your cookie.
I’ve found that taking them out almost immediately when they start to turn, the cookies are soft and moist, like those iced sugar cookies you can buy at the grocery store. Only these, are WAY better! Also, I’ve made half batches and whole batches, both turn out equally well!
2 lbs (1bag) confectioner’s sugar
1/3 c. plus one Tbsp. meringue powder
3/4 c. warm water
1-2 Tbsp. OIL FREE extract
Mix dry ingredients first, slowly mix with paddle attachment.
Add the extract to the water, slowly add to dry mix. It will seem to be more like a liquid than solid.
Mix at medium-high until fluffy and stiff peaks form, between approximately 7-10 minutes. Stop mixing as soon as it forms stiff peaks! Over mixing and oil-containing extracts can keep the icing from setting up.
If you’re using it to pipe/flood a cookie, keep it thick until you’re ready to use it. I typically thin it to a “15 second” icing (video coming soon!) so I can both pipe the outline and go back to flood without having to switch bottles/bags out. Use very little water at a time to thin as you can’t take away excess. It’s so much easier in that you only color this stuff once, no need to match! Once you finish flooding the cookies, let them dry for 6-8 hours. Perfect!