Christmas Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

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Who can ever resist sugar cookies with royal icing?

Definitely not me.

So, it's high time to do some Christmas baking!

Here’s the recipe for the cookies. It’s pretty easy and most suitable for beginner bakers.


Ingredients:
(Approximately 80 cookies but it depends on how large you cut your cookies too.)


Cookies 
- 500g all purpose flour (if you don’t have an electronic balance at home, 100g would be about the capacity of 1 small disposable plastic cup)
- 200g unsalted butter (or 1.5 cups)
-  1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 whole egg
- castor sugar/ brown sugar, whichever you want. (add more caster sugar for crunchiness and more brown sugar for chewiness. You wouldn’t want the cookies to be too sweet by itself for we’ll still have to top them with icing, so I’ll say that 150g-200g of sugar would be sufficient! 1.5 cups.)


Icing

– 5 tablespoons of powdered sugar
– 1 small egg’s white
– 1 teaspoon corn starch
– 2-3 drops of various types of edible food colouring (red and green seems best to suit the festive mood)

Method

1. Cream together the softened butter, sugar, salt, baking powder, vanilla extract and etc. Add flour slowly into the mixture. If the butter proves to be too hard to melt, you could always heat it in the microwave for half a minute to soften the whole block (well, I do that all the time to save me the trouble of waiting for it to melt the slow way.) Then, continue mixing it/kneading it till it becomes dough-like. It should be ready when the dough sticks to your fingers slightly (but it shouldn’t be too wet or gooey too!) If the dough’s too dry, you may add some water carefully to dampen it a little.



2. Remove a ball of dough around the size of your fist and roll it out to a thickness that you desire. Sprinkle a fine layer of flour on the table surface to prevent it from sticking to the table. Using cookie cutters (or a small butter knife), cut out the dough into desired shapes.



3. Heat up the oven to around 200 degrees Celsius (or 400 degrees F) for 15 minutes before putting in your first batch of cookies. Leave them there for around 10 minutes and only remove them when they turn slightly golden brown. Cool them on a tray.



4. To prepare the powdered sugar, add corn starch and castor sugar into your blender and blend at high speed. (It might be a little noisy at first). After a minute (or 10 seconds, depending on how good your blender is), pour the egg white and food colouring into the blender once the sugar becomes powdered and mix again.



5. Pour the mixture into a plastic bag (those small clear plastic bags where you put sandwiches in) and tie up the top, squeezing the liquid icing into a corner (like some hideous triangular bulge). Cut a mini hole (I repeat, MINI hole) in the corner of the triangle and you may squeeze the icing out from there to decorate the cooled cookies. If the icing’s too watery or too dry, add more powdered sugar/water. You’ll definitely get the knack of it after a few tries for it’s somewhat like a trial-and-error experience.



6. Decorate your cookies with icing and wait for it to dry/solidify.



Final product! Christmas tree-shaped sugar cookies with green and white royal icing! =)

That was definitely a fun session of Christmas baking!

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