With Valentine’s Day just two days away, I thought I’d share this simple cutout recipe — a quick and easy way to spread the love. And sticking with the theme of love, why not celebrate my love of sweets? I’ll show you how to make the cookies, the royal icing, and then how to decorate them using food coloring. Here’s what you’ll need:
For the cookies:
1 pound butter (softened)
2 c sugar
3 c AP flour
3 c pastry flour*
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
*Can use all AP flour if necessary
For the icing:
4 or 5 c powdered sugar
2 egg whites
1 tsp lemon juice
almond extract (optional)
food coloring to decorate
In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy — about 3 minutes. Add egg and vanilla. In a separate bowl, combine flours, baking powder and salt. Add to wet mixture. Mix until all ingredients are incorporated and batter begins to form, pulling away from the side of the bowl.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Once the dough has chilled, lightly flour your surface and rolling pin and, rolling from the center, roll dough about a quarter inch thick. Using desired cookie cutters, cut dough and place on a lightly greased cookie sheet (or use parchment paper). Cook for 7-8 minutes.
To make icing, mix egg whites and lemon juice with hand mixer. Gradually add powdered sugar until desired thickness. Once achieved, add almond extract to taste.
Once cookies have cooled, it’s time to decorate! There are many ways to do this — piping, spreading with a knife, etc. — however, I do it a little differently. I simply hold the cookie by the outer edges and dunk it face down into the icing. I let a little fall off, then wipe a little more off on the edge of the bowl.
Now it’s time for the fun decorating! Using your food coloring, carefully dab a few drops onto the wet icing. Using a toothpick, swirl through the colors to make whatever kinds of patterns you can think of! Here are a few of mine: