Sugar Cookies with Glacé Icing
Sugar cookies have always been a big part of my life, most specifically at Christmas time since they were a staple on the cookie platters we gave to other families in our neighborhood as gifts. But as a little girl I was in love with the Publix bakery sugar cookies. I’d purposely go grocery shopping with my Mom just so I could get the free cookie since I was a member of the Publix kids cookie club. Something about the pale white chewy cookies with their tops covered in sanding sugar made my day. You see my Mom’s definition of a sugar cookie was using her Grandmother’s recipe for sugar wafer cookies. These cookies are super thin, crispy, and can only be decorated with superfine sanding sugar or a light sprinkle of nonpareils for fear that the decoration would take away from the simplicity of the wafer. As you can imagine as a child they weren’t exactly my definition of a sugar cookie.
So here I am all grown up and still hooked on a simple sugar cookie. My love of sugar cookies with glacé icing started when I was just dating Kyle. At Valentine’s day his mom would get these delicious heart shaped cookies covered with this delicate glass like icing in shades of purple and pink from a local lady we fondly call the “Cookie Lady”. We loved these cookies so much that we wanted to give them as favors at our wedding but much to our dismay the Cookie Lady was having a knee replacement two weeks before our wedding and would be out of commission.
A few months ago, I decided I’d like to try making a delicious sugar cookie myself. I started trying out various recipes over the next weeks and settled on this particular one because of the addition of lemon zest which lends a bright undertone to what could be a very plain cookie. Don’t get me wrong, these by no means taste lemony there is just something about the addition of zest that kicks it up a notch so to speak. I also like this recipe because they roll out quite nicely with little effort unlike a few of the other recipes I tried. The icing is very simple to put together and allows endless decorating possibilities. But be warned it is rather unappetizing if you were to taste it right out of the bowl. I promise though on top of a sugar cookie it is not only tasty but beautiful.
Yields: about 4 dozen three-inch cookies
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup sugar
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
1 large egg
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
In the bowl of a stand mixture, cream together the butter and sugar. Next, add the egg, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat on low until well blended. In a small bowl combine the flour and salt. With stand mixer still on low gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Mix until the flour has been incorporated.
Next, scrape half of the dough onto a sheet of wax paper or plastic wrap. Use the wrap to flatten the dough into a round disc. Repeat with the remaining dough. Refrigerate the dough for atleast 2 hours but no longer than 3 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°. On a lightly flour surface roll the dough out to 1/8-inch thickness. Using your favorite cookie cutters, cut out the shapes and transfer the cookies to a parchment lined cookie sheet. Form the remaining scraps of dough into a flat disc and re-chill before rolling out again. Bake the cookies for 8-12 minutes or until the begin to brown around the edges. Let the cookies sit for about 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Let the cook sheet cool completely before using it again for the next batch. Decorate as desired.
1 lb. powdered sugar, you will need more if you would like to reach a consistency for piping
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons milk
1/4 cup + 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract or extract or your choice
Gel food coloring for tinting the icing
Using an electric mixer or a whisk, combine the powdered sugar and the milk. Continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and lump free. Once this consistency has been reached add the corn syrup and extract. Again, beat until smooth. The icing should run off of the whisk in a pretty thin drizzle. The consistency of the icing at this point is best used for glazing. If you’d like to use it for piping you will need to add more powdered sugar until it will still run off of the whisk but in a very slow, thick stream. It is pretty fail-proof, if you find it is too thick add a little splash of milk and if it is too thin add a little more powdered sugar. This icing is best tinted with gel food coloring. Place the cookies on a wire rack with wax paper underneath to decorate. You can spread the icing over the cookie with the back of the spoon just until you reach the edge leaving a border or spread it to the edge letting the excess drip off. I have done it both ways and have had excellent results.
Filed under: Cookies, Desserts | 5 Comments