These are some of my favorite recipes for cookies and icing. I prefer a soft cookie with lots of flavor. These recipes give me consistent results and are crowd pleasers.

I like Sugarbelle’s sugar cookie recipe with a couple modifications. I usually use salted butter and skip the added salt. This recipe has been customized to fit my preferences, my oven, and my altitude. You may need to play with the recipe to make it fit your individual needs.

Sugar Cookies

1 cup ( 2 sticks) of salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 egg
1 Tablespoon flavoring
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder

ALWAYS preheat your oven as the first step. It takes much longer than your oven indicates to reach the correct temperature. Cream the butter and powdered sugar together. Then add the egg and flavoring and mix on the low speed. Finally, add the baking powder and flour a little at a time. The dough should pull away from the sides into a ball. Let the dough sit for about 10 minutes to firm up before rolling out. I do not refrigerate my dough or roll between parchment paper. I roll it out using flour, and it doesn’t hurt it at all. In fact, it helps prevent the cookies from spreading. I highly recommend LorAnn’s bakery emulsions for flavor that won’t bake out.

Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes

Royal Icing Glaze

1/4 cup meringue powder
3/4 cup warm water (less for a thicker consistency)
2 lbs powdered sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1 Tablespoon vegetable glycerin
1-2 teaspoons oil free flavoring of choice

This is where I found the inspiration for my modified royal icing. Start with 3/4 cup warm water. Add the meringue powder and whisk it with a sauce whisk for 30 seconds or until smooth. Pour it into the powdered sugar through a small strainer. Start mixing on low speed, adding the flavoring, glycerin, and corn syrup. Scrape the sides and mix well.

When you are done, separate into bowls, color with gel food colors, and add small amounts of water until the desired consistency is found. Or thicken with powdered sugar if you are piping something that needs a stiffer icing, such as flowers or leaves. Store icing in the refrigerator in ziplock bags and massage the bag well before using. Icing will store in the fridge for a few days to a week before separating and becoming unusable. Royal icing can also be frozen, if you need to save it longer.

Check out this tutorial to learn more about icing consistency. Don’t take this lightly- icing consistency is the one thing that will make or break you when it comes to decorating cookies.

Here is an alternate roll out cookie from LilaLoa that is popular. I usually pair these chocolate cookies with peppermint flavored icing.

Chocolate Roll-Out Cookies

1 cup butter
1/4 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
2/3 cup cocoa
3 or 3 1/2 cups flour

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Add baking powder and salt and mix again. Stir in the cocoa until well blended. Add flour 1 cup at a time. Roll out on lightly floured surface.

Bake at 375  for 7-8 minutes