‘Tis the season to be baking, fa-la-la-la-la… that’s what I sing to myself when I’m in the kitchen on my third sugar cookie recipe because the other ones didn’t make the cut. Oh yes, the dough is flying! I absolutely love decorating sugar cookies, especially around this time of year, but I’ve never been a huge fan of eating them. I’m such a gooey, chocolate lover that I would never choose a sugar cookie over a yummy, warm chocolate chip cookie. So this year I decided to add some gingerbread spices to my sugar cookie batter, giving me a Gingerbread Spice Sugar Cookie! I ended up liking the sugar cookie recipe from Dori Greenspan’s book of Baking the best. They’re crispy and have a delicious, buttery flavor. The spices add a nice touch to the flavor as well and of course the royal icing gilds the lily! I even went decorating crazy and created the super easy snowflake design! Oh and I’m just a tad bit obsessed with my copper cookie cutters! See the recipe and decorating how-to below.
Gingerbread Spice Sugar Cookies (Recipe adapted from Dori Greenpan’s book of Baking) Makes about 15-18 cookies depending on the size of each cookie.
10 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon all-spice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Beat the butter until soft and fluffy.
Add in the sugar and beat for another 3 minutes on high.
Add in the egg and egg yolk and beat on high for another 2 minutes.
Beat in the vanilla.
Combine flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a bowl.
With the mixer on low add in the flour mixture. Mix for a minute and then finish with a spatula. You don’t want to overwork the flour.
Refrigerate the dough for 1 to 2 hours.
Roll the dough out with flour to cut cookie shapes.
Bake for 7-10 minutes. Let them cool before you frost.
Royal Icing Recipe
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
8 tablespoons warm water (more or less depending on consistency)
Beat all of the ingredients above on high for a few minutes.
The goal of this frosting is to to get a consistency that won’t spread when creating an outline, but blends perfectly for filling in the center… sounds easy right? If it’s too thick add a little more water (like 1 teaspoon at a time) and if it’s too thin add more powdered sugar.
Remove 1 cup of the frosting and set aside to dye red. The remaining white frosting can be placed in a pipping bag with a small round tip.
Place the red in a piping bag with an even smaller round tip.
To Decorate the Cookie
You have to work fast with this design because the frosting dries quickly. The white frosting needs to be wet in order to create this design. So I decorated one side of the cookie fully before moving to the next.
Outline and fill in one side with white frosting.
Make a zigzag line down the snowflake sides. Then, gently run a knife straight down the middle. That’s it!