Happy Valentine’s Day! ❤
I made these delicious cookies for my daughter and some of her friends for their Valentine’s (Galentine’s!) Day celebration. Tanya Ott, the amazing baker of globalbakes.com, promised that they would hold their shape and she was right. I was so pleased! 🙂 Because the dough does not contain a rising agent, the cut out shapes stay completely intact while baking.
The cookie recipe was adapted from globalbakes.com. I made half the recipe, used fine sea salt, increased the chilling time, and baked the cookies in a convection oven. Tanya’s blog has many informative videos with amazing royal icing techniques and ideas. I highly recommend checking it out. 🙂
The royal icing recipe is from Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook.
Yield: about 48 3-inch cookies
For the Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie Dough:
- 227 grams (1 cup; 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 114 grams (4 oz) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 200 grams (1 cup) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg yolk, at room temperature
- 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 337 grams (2 1/4 cups plus 2 T) all-purpose flour
- 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together the butter and cream cheese until well blended and smooth.
- Add the sugar, vanilla extract, and egg yolks, and mix until just combined.
- Add the flour and salt, and mix to form a soft dough.
- Shape the dough into a ball, press into a 1/2-inch disk, and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours, or until firm.
- Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut the dough into desired shapes with cookie cutters, and place them on a plastic wrap-lined cookie sheet. Place another layer of plastic wrap between each layer of cookies. (I stack similar shapes on top of one another.)
- Chill for at least 15 minutes. (I chilled the cut shapes overnight.)
- Preheat the oven to 350F, preferably on convection. Line 2 or 3 baking sheets with parchment or silicone baking sheets.
- Place the chilled cookies one inch apart on prepared baking sheets. (Bake cookies of similar size at the same time.)
- Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, until light golden brown around the edges. Bake time will vary with the size and thickness of the cookies. Allow to cool completely before frosting or decorating.
For the Royal Icing:
- 1/2 pound (8 oz) Confectioners’ sugar
- 2 1/2 T meringue powder
- liquid or gel-paste food coloring
- sanding sugar or sprinkles, as desired
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, meringue powder, and a scant 1/4 cup (4 T) water on low speed. Beat until mixture is fluffy yet dense, 7 to 8 minutes.
- To thin the icing for flooding (filling in areas with additional icing), stir in additional water, 1 teaspoon at a time. Test the consistency by lifting a spoonful of icing and letting it drip back into the bowl; a ribbon should remain on the surface for 5 to 7 seconds.
- To tint icing, dip a toothpick or wooden skewer into food coloring, and gradually mix it in until the desired shade is reached. (I used 3 shades of pink once the icing was “flood” consistency.)
- Using a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip, pipe a border around each cookie. Then, thin the icing to a flood consistency and fill in the border. (I used a larger tip to fill in the cookies.)
- Decorate with sanding sugar or sprinkles before the icing has set, if desired.