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Kelly's Sugar Cookies

Categories: Baked GoodsHoliday(Christmas), Desserts
Contributed by: Kelly CA

Sugar cookies are not hard to make. The thing I don't like about the pre-made dough is that you get all kinds of nasty additives and trans-fats along with that yummy SUGAR!!
Here is a good and EASY recipe.

Makes about 16 large cookies or thirty 2 1/2-inch cookies  [Royal Icing recipe to follow]


  • 4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract or 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/4 cup fine sanding sugar, for decorating (optional) [Jacq's note: Included below is Kelly's royal icing recipe]


1. In a large bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.

2. Use an electric mixer to cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs.

3. Add flour mixture, and mix on low speed until thoroughly combined. Stir in vanilla or lemon juice and zest. Wrap dough in plastic; chill for about 30 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 325°. On a floured surface, roll dough to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. ** Transfer to ungreased baking sheets; refrigerate until firm, 15 minutes. Remove from refrigerator, and decorate with sanding sugar, if desired. Bake until edges just start to brown, 8 to 10 minutes. Cool on wire racks. May be stored at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks.
**Just make sure your dough is COLD...refrigerate unused portions as you work on the first bit. Dip your cutters in flour and then shake it off.
The best thing ever for rolling out cookies and dough is the Matfer non-stick rolling mat. use the tiniest dusting of flour and the dough refuses to stick. I LOVE this thing!!
Of course, the baking mats are a must-have...no more greasing the pan, no more stuck cookies. You don't even have to wash them between batches...I just reuse the same mat over and over, till I am done baking. Keeps your pan clean too.
I LOVE these things! 

Royal Icing Recipe (for sugar cookies)

Several of you have asked for this recipe, so, I am starting a new thread. I have added a couple ingredients to the original recipe because I think it tastes better with vanilla and a tiny bit of salt.
Here goes:

-5 Tablespoons Meringue Powder [Jacq's note: If this isn't available at your grocery, try a craft supply store like Michael's.]
-1 pound(4 cups) Confectioners Sugar
-pinch of salt(adds flavor balance)
-1/3 Cup Water
-1 teaspoon vanilla

-Sift confectioners sugar to make sure there are no lumps
-Combine and beat on low speed of an electric mixer till smooth(about 1 minute).
-Add more water, a tablespoon at a time, till mixture is the consistency of honey
-Pour icing into individual bowls to color.
-Tint with paste food coloring for best results(although the liquid is fine)
-Pipe onto cookies using pastry bags and small decorating tips.
If you pipe the colors onto each other while they are still wet, you can do the feathering thing like in the mittens and Christmas trees...just drag a toothpick through the wet icing. That part is pretty fun!
You have to pipe a line all the way around the cookie(or the area of the cookie you wish to color) to act as a dam so the icing doesn't run off the side when you ice the cookie.With the penguins, I outlined the body color first, then filled it in. Then I outlined the tummy, feet and beak and filled that in with the other color. The wing and eye were done on top of the wet icing...it just sinks right in.
~~The icing takes at least an hour to get semi-solid and probably doesn't REALLY dry for several hours. I left mine out overnight before I put them away in tins...so I was sure they wouldn't stick together.
Have fun and prepare to get STICKY!

Kelly's alternative to the above icing made w/ meringue powder:
Here is a royal icing recipe using powdered egg whites instead of meringue powder:

Royal Icing With Powdered Egg Whites

1 lb. confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
5 1/4 tsp. Egg White Powder
6 Tbsp. water
1/2 tsp. vanilla (optional)

Stir together sugar, cream of tartar and egg white powder in mixer bowl. Add water and vanilla and beat at low speed until sugar is dissolved, then at high speed until mixture is light and fluffy, about 10 minutes. Icing must hold its shape before using. Keep bowl covered with a damp cloth to prevent drying. warning: Any grease will break down icing.