These wonderful textured cookies are basically sugar cookies that are frosted with royal icing. They have a mild vanilla flavor and are crisp along the edges. The Royal icing makes them look incredibly inviting and wrapped in cute bags they make wonderful Christmas gifts. They have become all time favorites and are no longer just holiday or Christmas cookies.
Complexity – Moderate
The preparation as such is quite simple but the time taken is usually more than 5 hours, making them fall under moderately complex dish.
Time taken – 5 to 6 hours
For the sugar cookies
- Flour (All purpose) – 3 cups
- Sugar (Granulated) – 1 cup
- Butter – 4 ounce (114 grams)
- Vegetable Shortening – 4 ounce (114 grams)
- Egg yolk – 1 (large)
- Whole egg – 1 (large)
- Pure vanilla extracts – 2 tsp
- Salt – 1/2 tsp
For the blue royal icing
- Confectionery sugar – 1 cup (sifted)
- Milk – 1 tbs
- Light corn syrup – 1 tbs
- Blue flood color
For the white royal icing
- Meringue powder – 3tbs
- Water (warm) – 6 tbs (little less or more depending on the consistency)
- Confectionery sugar – 4 cups
For the cookies
In a big bowl, cream together shortening, sugar and butter at medium speed for at least 3 minutes. Add the pure vanilla extract, yolk and whole egg and mix for 1 minute. Add salt and sieved flour, mix on high speed till it forms nice dough. If the dough does not hold together sprinkle some water. Divide the dough into 2 parts, roll it and then flatten. Cover it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate at least for 3 hours. For better results refrigerate overnight and then using a rolling pin spread the dough. Lightly flour the surface to get a nice thin cookie (3/16 inch thick). Using a snowflake shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough. Place them at least1 inch apart on a baking tray. It is not necessary to grease the tray.
Bake it on a preheated oven at 350F for 8 to 10 minutes till the edges just start turning golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow it to rest in the tray for few minutes before transferring on to a wire rack. Allow it to cool completely.
For the blue icing
Mix the sugar and milk till it is completely dissolved. Add the corn starch and mix again. Add the required quantity of food color and mix thoroughly before spreading it on the cookie. Allow it to dry completely.
For the white icing
Take all the ingredients in a big bowl and beat at high or medium speed till it forms a peak. Transfer the contents into a piping bag and pipe along the shape of the snowflake cookie. Allow it to dry and store them in an airtight container.
It is always good to use good quality vanilla flavoring. Avoid the ones labeled imitation.
Gel based food colors are preferred.
Royal icing can be made with egg too.
It is not advisable to make the icing ahead as it hardens.
The consistency of the white royal icing has to be thicker than the blue icing as the later is used for flooding the cookie while the later is used for piping definite patterns.