Sunshine Cookies

DSC_4465x900Last tropical post! Tomorrow I’ll be posting a very colorful and alcoholic treat for St. Patrick’s Day. But until then, SUNSHINES! Early March is usually the breaking point for people who live in cold, northern climates. Spring is so, so close — but not close enough. We frequently get snow well into March and most of us have just had ENOUGH. So I’m trying to be optimistic with these little sunshines. I hope your day is bright and happy!

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:

  • The sunshines were made using a flower cookie cutter — a Wilton comfort-grip daisy that I found on Amazon.
  • You’ll need three icing colors: yellow, orange, and black. I used Wilton gel colorings for the yellow and orange, and AmeriColor’s Super Black for the black.
  • I outlined and flooded the sunshines, waited for the icing to dry completely, then piped on the black eyes and smiley faces. I used a small round pastry tip for step.

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 egg, 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). My yield was about a dozen sunshines; if you need to make more, double the recipe.

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.

One batch of this icing was enough. The cookies are large, but not much icing is used because of the design.


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