Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

by byn on March 17, 2010

in Cookies

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Over on Annie’s Eats, Annie decorates these cookies for every holiday and event you can think of: Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Halloween, Baby Showers, Weddings, Housewarmings etc. Danielle and I have been obsessing over these cookies for the longest time. She actually made them at Christmastime, and they looked amazing! I was amped to try them out around Valentine’s Day, and got all the supplies, but with the Elimination Challenge, I wasn’t really up for it. So St. Patrick’s Day Cookies it is!

First, let me air my grievances. The cookie part was easy – this dough rolls and re-rolls very easily. I liked the almond extract, but it’s quite strong, and you could definitely just use only vanilla if you want. But the Royal Icing is kind of a Royal pain in the ass. I won’t get into the specifics of how this works, because Annie has an extremely detailed tutorial on her site. The main problem for me is that this is really not a project for a weeknight, and absolutely not a project to complete during the commercials of American Idol. You need time and patience, two things I was short on while decorating these cookies.

Overall, I think they turned out okay. My main issues were with the consistency of the icing while piping the borders – it was way too thin. I should have taken the time to mix in more icing sugar, but only realized that about halfway through. Flooding the icing inside the borders was easy, but using a toothpick to spread it out tried my patience. This is totally a project for a weekend afternoon, especially since you have to wait for the cookies to cool before decorating, and then wait for the borders to set before flooding.  After all this though, I admit that they did look very pretty! Everyone at work loved them. The next phase would have been to pipe detail on top, but I didn’t want to get too ambitious my first time out. Now that I know I can do it, I will definitely try it again.

Sugar Cookies

Source: Annie’s Eats


1 cup butter, room temperature

1 cup icing sugar, sifted

1 egg

1 1/2 tsp almond extract

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp salt

2 1/2 cups flour, sifted


  1. Cream butter. Blend in icing sugar until incorporated.
  2. Mix in egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour.
  3. Shape dough into a disc and chill until firm, about 1 hour. Note: I made the dough the night before and put it in the fridge. It will take about an hour or so to come to room temperature and be able to roll.
  4. Roll dough to a 1/4″ thickness on a well floured surface. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters.
  5. Bake cookies in a 375° oven on parchment lined baking sheets for 8-10 minutes. Cookies will not brown. Cool completely before decorating.

Royal Icing

Source: Annie’s Eats


4 cups icing sugar, sifted

2 tbsp meringue powder

5 tbsp water


  1. Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Mix with an electric mixer for 7-10 minutes until icing has a matte sheen.
  2. Follow instructions in Annie’s tutorial and get to work.

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