Monday, April 11, 2011

Custom Sugar Cookies & Royal Icing

So....I have to admit...

Eating regular food all not eating brownies and cookies for breakfast....felt kind of nice during the past couple of weeks while on vacation. My uncle cooked for us every morning - I felt a bit spoiled and I liked it.

I was eating more fruit, fish, fresh bread and vegetables in the morning. It was...great! I felt great. Maybe I even had more energy. I thought...hmm....perhaps I should make this permanent.

Then I came back home.

And that was the end of that.

I'm back to my routine. I'm back in the "cookies for breakfast" club stronger than ever. It just goes to show that my will power sucks. If cookies are not around me, I wont eat cookies. But when cookies are around can bet I'll be all over them like white on rice.

The exception is...however....these custom Sugar Cookies that I made for an engagement party.

They were shipped off as soon as I tied on the last ribbon.

These cookies are such a sweet and not to mention delicious way to personalize any party. Sending your guests away with food can never be a bad thing and will only guarantee a happy ending.

This particular happy couple is having a winter wedding themed around the colour blue. The bride and groom both have the initials "M". I must say....a marriage inspired by candy-coated chocolate can't be any less than incredible.

Sugar cookies are similar to shortbread with the exception of egg.

The added egg gives them more structure and durability for decorating so that they wont break, crack or crumble under the pressure. 

Royal icing is most often used to decorate them because it dries hard so that the cookies can be stacked and wrapped without smearing. This hardness is attributed to the addition of egg protein in the form of egg whites or meringue powder (a combination of sugar, flavour and dried egg whites). Egg proteins bind water and do a great job of drying out the icing.

It's simple to make - the trick is achieving the right consistency for "flooding" or filling the background of your cookies.

Just combine 2 tbsp of meringue powder with 4 tbsp of water and 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, and beat with an electric mixer until foamy. Add about 2 cups of icing sugar and beat on medium-low speed until smooth. Increase speed to medium and beat until just a bit fluffy, about 1-2 minutes. This stiffer icing is great for outlining cookies or building gingerbread houses. To thin it out, just stir in some water a teaspoon at a time. You've reached the right consistency when the icing leaves a ribbon that lasts about 5 seconds before disappearing on the surface of the icing when lifted up with a spoon and allowed to fall back into the bowl.

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