We've been busy making Christmas cookies this weekend! They are delicious and totally got us into the holiday spirit.
We find it easiest to make the dough ahead of time because it needs to cool for at least 2 hours before it can be rolled. Also, if you plan on decorating the cookies with royal icing, the cookies need to be completely cooled. So we made the dough and the baked the cookies on Friday with the following sugar cookie recipe.
Ingredients for the Sugar Cookies3 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup salted butter (at room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 teaspoon yogurt
1 1/2 tablespoon water
2 small bowls
electric mixer + bowl
Directions for the Sugar CookiesSift together the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside.
Beat the egg with a whisk or fork and set aside.
Mix the yogurt and the water and set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and mix on medium speed until soft and creamy. Add in the beaten egg and the yogurt/water mixture. Once combined, set the mixer to a low speed and gradually add the flour and baking powder. Occasionally scrape the sides to make sure all the ingredients get mixed properly.
The mixture should come out very dry and just be wet enough to create a ball of dough. If you find the mixture in too dry, add some more water. If it's too wet, add some more flour.
Divide the ball in two pieces, wrap the two pieces in parchment paper and flatten them a bit. Let them cool in the fridge for a minimum of two hours.
Preheat your oven to 350°
Take one piece of dough out of the fridge and sprinkle some powdered sugar onto the surface where you want to roll it out. Also, sprinkle some powdered sugar onto the dough and the roller and start rolling until the dough is about 1/2 a centimetre (flipping the dough while rolling it helps it from crumbling and flaking).
Once you have an even sheet of dough, cut out the shapes you want and carefully place them onto a baking sheet. Combine the leftover dough into a ball and start repeat rolling and cutting until all your dough is gone.
Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 3 minutes, then turn the sheet around and bake for another 3 minutes. Check the cookies every 30 seconds, they are done when the sides are starting to brown. They will appear very light and will still be a little soft, that is ok as long as they are firm enough to hold their shape. Carefully place the cookies onto a cooling rack, you will notice that they harden as they cool. After 10 minutes place the cookies in a sealed container to prevent them from going too hard.
Ingredients for the Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
8 tablespoons water
electric mixer + bowl
Directions for the Royal Icing
In the bowl of your mixing, sift together the powdered sugar and the meringue powder. Add the water and mix on low speed until the ingredients are combined. Make sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl occasionally.
Place a piping bag in a glass (so it stands up) and poor/scoop in the icing. From the piping bag, transfer the icing into a squirt bottle.
You're ready to start decorating your cookies! To decorate you can use just the icing, or add some little silver balls, sugar, silver powder, etc. just make sure to place them on before the icing sets.