Now on to cooking topics. Karen and I tested five versions of sugar cookies last year and four versions of Gingerbread. I sent the Gingerbread last week but some of you missed my correction on my typo for the 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. (it was in the directions but
missing from the ingredients!) So I’m reposting the corrected version below.
Also, here is a quick and easy recipe for royal frosting that you can use either with the sugar cookies or the gingerbread. Just remember that Royal frosting is the kind that hardens when exposed to air. To me it is ideal for decorating. But you need to keep it in a piping
bag or covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t harden.
3 tablespoons of Meringue Powder (available at Michael’s and other
stores that carry cake decorating supplies)1 pound confectioners sugar (1 box, about 4 cups)6 tablespoons warm water for stiff icing (1/2 cup water for thin icing)
Mix until well combined. Keep wrapped tightly with plastic wrap or in
piping bags. The icing will harden when exposed to air.
Makes about 3 cups
You can use this basic sugar cookie for a number of different
recipes. You can add nuts, make jam sandwich cookies, linzer hearts,
or just make the traditional rolled Christmas cookies that you ice and
decorate. This recipe can easily be doubled. I use royal icing to
decorate them. If making jam hearts I sprinkle them with powdered
2 cups unbleached flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Zest from one lemon, optional
1 stick unsalted butter (1/2 cup)
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons brandy or bourbon, optional
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. Have butter softened and at room temperature. Preheat oven to 350
2. In a bowl combine the flour, salt, baking powder and lemon zest.
3. Cream the butter and the sugar together in a mixer. Add the dry
ingredients a cup at the time to the butter mixture and combine. Add
the egg, brandy and vanilla and beat again until well mixed.
4. Shape dough into two round disks, wrap in plastic wrap and
refrigerate for at least one hour or up to 3 days.
5. On a well floured surface, roll out the dough until it is 1/8 inch
thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutters and place on parchment
lines baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Do not brown.
Transfer to cooling racks.
Ice or decorate however you wish.