Delicious and Easy Sugar Cookies
The holiday season is upon us, and what better way to spread cheer than with a batch of delicious, beautifully decorated sugar cookies? If you’ve ever faced the frustration of sugar cookies that spread into unrecognizable shapes during baking, fear not! We’ve got the perfect recipe for non-spreading sugar cookies, paired with a smooth and glossy royal icing.
Every Christmas season I host a scavenger hunt for my family and friends. We bundle up, get in our cars and search the neighborhood for holidays decorations (once you’ve solved the clues). It’s a fun evening out for everyone, from youngsters to the adults, everyone has a blast. Before each team heads out, they are given a bag of treats to enjoy along the way. This sugar cookie is always a hit and it goes in the bag every year. Sometimes I add a surprise and put in a new treat or one that’s on a rotation (I have so many, I can’t make them all every year). But the sugar cookie is a standard not to be missed cookie that everyone looks forward to.
How to decorate Sugar Cookies:
I am not a professional cookie maker or decorator but I think we do okay. My daughter has way more talent that I when it comes to decorating cookies! She always does the most intricate ones.
Most often sugar cookies are decorated with a Royal Icing. It gives that shiny finish and you can get very creative. However if you prefer to keep life simple, you can also just do a colored glaze Icing that you brush on then decorate with decorations, nonpareils or candies. However you choose to decorate your cookies, they will be perfect.
Related: Cranberry Orange Cookies
Royal icing is a sweet white icing made by combining confectioners (icing) sugar, meringue powder (or eggs whites) and water. Once you have the base icing made you can divide it and color to whatever colors you like.
My simple Royal Icing recipe is:
1 lb icing sugar
2 Tbsp meringue powder
5 Tbsp water
Combine everything into a bowl and beat with a hand mixer on medium-high until soft glossy peaks form. Then divide into portions and tint or color using GEL food coloring. To keep the icing from drying out, cover each bowl with damp paper towels and saran wrap.
This recipe yields about 2.25 cups of icing.
If you want a thinner icing, add water 1/4 tsp at a time until you reach your desired thickness. For a thicker icing, add icing sugar 1/4 tsp at a time. For details you want a thicker icing and for flooding larger areas you want a thinner icing.
- 1 stand mixer or hand mixer
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup unsalted butter *if using salted omit salt below
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2 lg eggs, well beaten
- 2½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together the 1 cup unsalted butter and 1 cup white granulated sugar, scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary, add vanilla and beat until light and creamy.
- add the 2 lg eggs, well beaten one at a time and mix in.
- In a separate bowl combine, 2½ cups all-purpose flour, 2 tsp baking powder and ½ tsp salt
- Add the dry ingredients into the wet and mix to combine well.
- Roll the dough to ¼" thickness on parchment paper then chill the dough for 15 minutes before cutting out into your desired shapes then transfer to a parchment lined baking sheet
- Bake in a preheated 350℉ oven for 10 minutes or until the bottoms become golden.