Donut Cookies

DSC_0799x900Deep sigh. School starts up again today. I am beginning my third (and last!!) year of law school this afternoon. As a result, my coffee consumption is going to exponentially increase — and I think we will all be eating our stress feelings a bit more. And what could be better for that than donuts?! I was tempted for a nanosecond to try to make real donuts from scratch, but then I realized it involves hot oil and deep frying. Nah! I decided to make cookies that look like donuts instead, cause they are just as cute and just as delicious. Well, maybe not quite as delicious, because nothing comes close to the joy of a donut!

Below are the recipes I used and the details as to how I made these. Happy Monday!

If you are a new to decorating with royal icing, here are some helpful tips and links:

  • I used my grandma’s sugar cookie recipe, which is listed below.  Another good cut-out cookie recipe can be found at Bridget’s wonderful Bake at 350.
  • I used a royal icing recipe from Annie’s Eats, which is listed below.
  • If you are new to decorating with royal icing, please visit this post by Annie’s Eats, which will teach you about outlining and flooding.  Bake at 350 is also a great resource for cookie decorating and ideas (I love Bridget’s book, too!).

Here are the specifics on how I made these cookies:

  • I bought a donut cutter at Vanilla Bean in Madison. You can find them online as well.
  • I made royal icing and a batch of chocolate icing as well. I dyed the pink icing with Wilton gel dye.
  • I outlined each donut cookie first; once the outlines have dried, I flooded the donuts with the corresponding icing.
  • You can use anything you want to decorate. I used sprinkles, but nuts would also be good!

Omi’s Sugar Cookies
Print Recipe
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup sour cream
1 teaspoon nutmeg

Beat butter and sugar. Add eggs, sour cream, and nutmeg. Add dry ingredients gradually. Chill the batter overnight or for at least 4 hours. Roll out dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 350F until golden (in true fashion, my grandma didn’t give a specific baking time. I baked the cookies for about 8 minutes).

White Royal Icing
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tablespoons meringue powder
5 Tablespoons water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes).  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.

Chocolate Royal Icing
3-3/4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup cocoa powder
7 Tablespoons water
3 Tablespoons meringue powder

Mix all ingredients using a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Transfer icing to an air-tight container. Add water, small amounts at a time, until you’ve reached a consistency appropriate for piping.


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