Thanks to my mother, I have been baking since I was a young child, especially once Thanksgiving and Christmas rolled around. My mother would start her holiday baking early and make and assortment of cookies, breads, and candy to assemble delicious gifts for friends and neighbors. One thing I will never forget, and I now do is as well, she would make up a few extra gifts boxes or gift bags and leave them by the front door in a decorated basket. If an unexpected guest stopped by (or if she forgot someone on her list... it happens), she would have a gift all ready.
Sugar Cookie and Royal Icing Recipe (Photo steps are below)
Makes about 30 – 40 cookies depending on size
Pre-heat oven to 350
Sugar Cookie Ingredients
3 Sticks of Butter (room temperature)
2 ¼ cups of sugar
3 large eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 ¼ tsp baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
Combine the butter and sugar and mix until creamy
Then add your three eggs and vanilla
Slowly add in the dry ingredients and mix well.
Remove the dough from the bowl and wrap in plastic wrap and chill until the whole dough ball is chilled and firm.
Cutting from the chilled dough (I leave some in the fridge as I work so that it stays chilled), roll out the dough to about 1/8th inches thick
(I roll mine out on parchment paper and pull away the cuttings. It is so much easier to then lift the paper and put the cookies on a on a cookie sheet. This helps the cookies retain their shape while also prevent them from sticking to the pan)
Bake at 350 degrees for 8 – 12 minutes depending on your oven.
Royal Icing Recipe
1 Pound confectionary sugar
3 large egg whites
½ teaspoon lemon juice
For the Royal Icing that flows with a paint brush… add ¼ teaspoon of egg white to the remaining icing once you edge your cookies (pipe edges with a small tip)
Once your cookies are completely cool, edge the cookie with your first batch of icing (the one that has less egg whites). Once the piping is dry, fill with your second batch of icing (the one with the additional egg white that makes it flow smoothly).
Let dry, then eat, serve, or wrap as the perfect gift!