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Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

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This recipe makes a soft, chewy cookie and is so easy do do with the kids!

Recipe courtesy of Lisa Maher Watson, Fredericton, N.B.

Ingredients:

Cookies
  • 5 to 5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/4 cups unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 tsp vanilla
Royal Icing
  • 3 large eggs
  • 4 cups confectioners' sugar

Directions:

Cookies Stir 5 cups flour with baking powder and salt. In another large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter with sugar on medium-high for 2 min. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, scraping down side of bowl as necessary. Beat in vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, gradually stir in flour mixture just until evenly blended. If dough is too sticky to form into a ball, stir in remaining 1/2 cup flour, 2 tbsp at a time, until dough is easy to roll. Divide into 4 portions. Shape each into a ball, flattening slightly into a disc. Wrap separately with plastic wrap and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour or up to a week. Preheat oven to 375F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough no thicker than 1/4-in. Cut out shapes with a cookie cutter. Place on baking sheets, about 2 in. apart. Bake in centre of oven until cookies are pale golden, 8 to 10 min, depending on thickness. Place cookie sheet on a rack for 5 min. Remove cookies to wire rack, and cool completely. Repeat with remaining dough. Royal Icing Place egg whites in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat using the whisk attachment until frothy. Add 1/4 cup of the sugar and mix well. Gradually add the remaining 3 3/4 cups sugar, beating on low speed and scraping down the sides. Increase the speed to high and continue to beat the mixture until soft peaks form, about 5 minutes. At this stage, the icing will be very thick. Add water, a few drops at a time, to thin it to the consistency appropriate for the kind of decorating you are doing. Store icing at room temperature in an airtight glass or metal container. It should be used within two days. Note: As a rule, the icing should be stiffer for lettering, more malleable for making petals -- but you will need to experiment to find the consistency that works best for you.

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