I had every intention of getting this post up before the Super Bowl with hopes of inspiring someone to make these cookies. Clearly, that did not happen. Between battling a stomach bug and handling other adult responsibilities, the Super Bowl was here before I knew it. As part of a great weekend though, I did manage to cook and bake and enjoy the Super Bowl. Yes, you read that correctly, I enjoy the Super Bowl.
I’ll admit I like the celebration more than the game sometimes (especially when “my team” isn’t involved, which is more often than I’d like . . .), but I do enjoy any chance I get to feed the people I love, and I love a good football game. I’m always a little sad to see the season end, but it does free up time for me to enjoy hockey, which occupies me until sunny days come. I can’t play a sport to save my life, but I sure do enjoy being a spectator.
I also enjoy any chance I have to play with royal icing. It used to seem so complicated and so time-consuming to me. The last thing I ever wanted to do after mixing up, rolling out, and baking dozens of sugar cookies was fuss around with piping and flooding cookies to make them look pretty. After a few good experiences with the stuff, I’m getting much better at it. So, as Green Bay is celebrating victory, I’m celebrating a victory of my own- I made sugar cookies with royal icing that actually look like footballs. I didn’t use the outline and flood method I’ve been working on. Instead I filled a dinner plate with colored royal icing, and dropped the cookies face down into it. It wasn’t as pretty as outlining and flooding them properly would have been, but it got the job done and the cookies were still delicious. If I ever master royal icing completely, I’m sure it’ll feel just as good as winning the Super Bowl.
Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing
for the cookies:
1 cup butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups sifted flour
for the royal icing:
4 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 Tbs. meringue powder
5 Tbs. water
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Cream the butter and add the powdered sugar.
Blend in the egg, almond extract, vanilla, salt and flour.
Chill dough until firm, at least a half an hour.
Roll the dough out to 1/4 inch thickness on a well-floured surface.
Cut into desired shapes and place on greased baking sheets.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, cookies should not brown.
Cool completely before decorating.
To make the royal icing, combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.
Mix on low speed for 7 to 10 minutes until the sheen has disappeared and it has a matte appearance.
Transfer the icing into an air-tight container and slowly stir in water (1 Tablespoon at a time or less), until it has reached the correct consistency for piping. If you are having any difficulty piping the outline of the cookie, the icing is still too thick, add more water.
If using the flood and fill method, use a piping bag to pipe around the edge of each cookie. Let the outline set completely before flooding.
To flood the cookie, thin the icing out with water, a little at a time. Transfer the thinned icing to a squeeze bottle.
Squeeze icing out into the center of the cookie, and use a toothpick to move the icing to the outline, popping any bubbles that form.
Let the flooding set completely before piping on any details.
(Or, you could fill a rimmed dinner plate with the icing, skip the outlining, and drop the cookie face down into the icing and remove, smoothing icing with the back of a spoon. It won’t be as pretty as outlining and flooding).
Makes about 40 cookies, depending on size of cutouts.