SUGAR COOKIES AND ROYAL ICING


SUGAR COOKIES

Yields: Approx. 30 medium cookies (depending on size/ shape)

INGREDIENTS
750g (6 cups) all purpose flour
1 teaspoon (8 g) salt
454 g (2 cups/ 4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened for about 5 minutes at room temperature
400g (2 cups) castor sugar
2 large eggs, cold
1 tablespoon (15 ml) pure vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon (1.25 ml) pure lemon extract

DIRECTIONS
1. In a large bowl, sift together flour and salt. Set aside.
2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or hand mixer), cream butter and sugar until fluffy and pale, about 3 - 5 minutes. Beat in eggs.
3. Add flour mixture and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Add vanilla and lemon extract and blend.
4. Remove 1/2 of the dough from the bowl, make a ball, and place it on a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Wrap the sides of the wrap over the ball, then press down with the palm of your hand and make a disc about 2" thick. Finish wrapping the disc with the plastic wrap. Repeat with 2nd half of the dough. Chill both discs of dough for about 45 minutes.
5. Remove one disc and remove the plastic wrap. Place it on top of a large piece of parchment paper, then place two 1/4" wooden dowels on either side of your dough, then another sheet of parchment paper on top. (You don't need the dowels if you have a rolling pin with guide rings)
6. Roll dough so it's flush with dowels-- they will ensure that your dough is of even thickness.
7. Preheat your oven to 160° C (325° F). Slide your parchment paper and dough onto a board, then place in refrigerator for about 15 minutes.
8. Remove from fridge, and cut your shapes using the cutters of your choice, placing them on a baker's half sheet lined with parchment (or a silicone baking mat), with 2" clearance around each one and the edge of sheet. Place sheet with cookies into freezer for 15 minutes before baking. Bake 12-14 minutes, or until edges are golden brown.
9. Cool sheets on a wire racks for 10 minutes, then gently remove cookies and place on wire racks to finish cooling. 

ROYAL ICING

INGREDIENTS
1 kg (2.25 lb) powdered sugar
75g (5 tablespoons) meringue powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon clear extract (orange or lime)
1/2 to 1 tablespoon lime juice (optional)
125 - 160 ml (1/2 to 2/3 cup) water

DIRECTIONS
1. Sift powdered sugar into the bowl of mixer.
2. Add meringue powder and cream of tartar. Mix dry ingredients with a fork or whisk.
3. Add clear extract and lime juice to the water. Add to the dry ingredients.
4. Mix with the paddle attachment (or hand mixer) just until the ingredients are mixed, less than a minute. The mixture will resemble the consistency of sherbet. Scrape down the sides and mix for a few seconds.
5. Store in an airtight container well covered until ready to use. Icing can be stored at room temperature for up to a week. 

NOTES
- The cookies may be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. They also freeze well.

(Bake & Bait // Cooke recipe from Sweetapolita, Royal Icing recipe from CancunCookies )