Introduction: Best Tasting Sugar Cookies and Icing

About: Welcome to my kitchen! Whether I'm making cookies with the little ones or specialty desserts for the big ones, I'm having fun in the kitchen creating food that's yummy to eat

Let's talk Sugar Cookies. We love 'em, we hate 'em! Strong words, I know. But to find a sugar cookie recipe with the perfect texture that isn't too dense or breaks in half before you can get it to your mouth can be a long journey. And icing???; I have experimented with so many recipes, I should have invested in sugar cane!

In this Instructable, I share my favorite recipe for sugar cookies along with a great tasting icing that isn't too sweet, easy to decorate with, and melts in your mouth when you bite into it!

Presenting...the Best Tasting Sugar Cookie and Icing Recipe.

Step 1: Cookies: Tools and Ingredients

Tools for Cookies:

Ingredients for Cookies:

  • 2 cups (500 g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs (use 3 if eggs are smaller)
  • 2 cups (400 g) granulated sugar
  • 5 1/2 cups (768 g) all-purpose flour (plus extra for rolling)
  • 1 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter)
  • 3 tsp flavor (1 ea of almond extract or emulsion, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract)

Note: Recipe can easily be halved for smaller mixer

Step 2: Cream Butter and Sugar

Cream together softened butter with sugar. Blend until light and fluffy

Step 3: Add Eggs, Flavoring, and Salt

Add egg, flavorings, and salt. Blend until incorporated

PRO TIP: Crack eggs and flavorings in glass bowl or 2 cup measuring cup. Whisk together before adding into creamed butter, sugar mixture. This will ensure egg mixture is smoothly incorporated.

Step 4: Add Flour

Add flour one cup at a time. Mix on low just until incorporated.

Over-mixing can result in a tougher cookie

Step 5: Wrap Dough in Plastic and Refrigerate

Shape dough into a flattened brick for easy rolling. Wrap in plastic.

Chill dough in refrigerator for at least 2 hours

PRO TIP: Dough can be chilled up to 3 days. If not using all dough, vacuum seal remaining and store it in freezer anywhere from 6-12 months. Dough needs to be stored correctly. A vacuum sealer is a good kitchen tool investment.

Step 6: Roll Out Dough and Cut Cookie Shapes

Lightly dust counter or rolling space with flour. Roll cookies 1/4" thick and cut into desired shapes. Scraps can be re-rolled and cut again. Keep rolling pin and rolling space dusted with flour to prevent sticking

PRO TIP: Dipping the ends of cookie cutter in flour before cutting dough helps prevent dough from sticking to cookie cutter

ANOTHER PRO TIP: Use a clean silicone pastry brush to "dust off" any excess flour on cookies before baking. Excess flour on top of cookie will brown faster and leave a "coating" on the baked cookies

Step 7: Bake 350 F for 11-13 Minutes

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Bake for 11-13 minutes. Cookies should just barely be light brown on the edge.

Cool cookies completely before decorating

Step 8: Icing: Tools and Ingredients

Tools for Icing:

Ingredients for Icing:

  • 2 - 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 8 tsp milk (use heavy cream for stiffer icing)
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 - 2 Tbl corn syrup
  • 2 tsp extract (1 tsp almond, 1 tsp vanilla)
  • 1 Tbl lemon juice (freshly squeezed only, juice from 1/2 lemon)
  • white food coloring
  • food coloring of your choice

Step 9: Icing: Mix Ingredients

Mix ingredients for the icing

  1. Sift powdered sugar. Set aside
  2. Place milk, kosher salt and flavoring extracts in mixing bowl. Using whisk attachment, blend.
  3. Then add powdered sugar 1/4 cup at a time. Whisk until combined.
  4. Midway through add approx 1 Tbl fresh lemon juice (use half a lemon) and 1 Tbl white corn syrup
  5. Continue adding 1/4 cup powdered sugar, blending until just mixed in until finished or icing consistency is right for you.
  6. Add white food color to the icing.

PRO TIP: Adding white food coloring to all of the icing, helps makes other colors "pop".

Step 10: Icing: Decorate

Pour a portion of the white icing into a small dish. Decorate the sugar cookies with a background glaze of white by dipping the tops of the cookie or spooning the glaze on each. Because this is thinner icing, bubbles will appear. Use a toothpick to gently pop the bubbles.

Add 1-2 Tbl more of powdered sugar to the remaining icing to get the consistency a bit thicker. After separating the icing into small bowls, use gel food color as desired; I used red, green, and white.

After the glaze is set, about 4 hours, finish decorating with simple designs

Let the completed cookies dry overnight before stacking. Transfer to an airtight container to keep fresh.

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