The one thing I Love about Easter is that it means that warm weather is finally on the horizon – and if its one thing I am desperate for after this LONGGG snowy winter, is some sunshine !! ( That and the fact that I just bought some new beautiful sunglasses 🙂 ) Anyways – I have to get better decorating cookies and cakes, and what better way to do that is practice! I had so much fun with these cookies – I think the carrots and sheep are just toooooo cute! I used a mixture of royal icing and buttercream – both recipes below!
1 1/2 cups butter
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tbsp. lemon zest
5 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Powdered sugar, for rolling
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cream butter and sugars in a mixer for 5 minutes. Add in eggs one at a time, mixing thoroughly. Add in vanilla, almond, and lemon zest. Beat for 10 seconds.
- 4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp. meringue powder
- 5 tbsp. water
- Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the icing is no longer shiny (about 7-10 min).
- Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, at this point it is still too stiff to use.
- Add water a very small amount at a time & stir by hand until fully mixed. Continue until the icing has reached a piping consistency.
- Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie. Let stand so the icing will set and dry.
- Be sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use or it will begin to dry.
- Once all the cookies have been edged, spoon some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.
- Thin out by mixing in a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted & smooths back into the icing fairly quickly.
- Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle or drizzle a bit from the spoon to the area & flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie. If it doesn’t completely spread, use a toothpick to spread.
- Allow to dry completely.
- Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration.
- Gel icing color is the best type of coloring to use, as it doesn’t affect the consistency of the icing and provides a more vivid color. Mix in a little at a time and stir to combine completely, a toothpick works well for adding the gel to the frosting.
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use