The Ultimate Guide to Icing Cookies

READY IN: 15minsYIELD: 20 cookies

INGREDIENTS

  • Traditional Icing
  • 4cupspowdered sugar
  • 4 -6tablespoonswhole milk
  • 12 teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 1pinchsalt
  • 3 -5drops gel food coloring
  • Buttercream Icing
  • 12 cupunsalted butter, softened
  • 12 cupvegetable shortening
  • 4cupspowdered sugar
  • 2 -3tablespoonshalf-and-half
  • 1teaspoonvanilla extract
  • 1pinchsalt
  • 3 -5drops gel food coloring
  • Royal Icing
  • 4cupspowdered sugar
  • 3tablespoonsmeringue powder
  • 6 -9tablespoonswater
  • 3 -5drops gel food coloring
  • NUTRITION INFO

    Serving Size: 1 (1848) g

    Servings Per Recipe:1

    Calories: 370.8

    Calories from Fat 90 g 24 %

    Total Fat 10 g 15 %

    Saturated Fat 4.6 g 22 %

    Cholesterol 13.1 mg 4 %

    Sodium 19.6 mg 0 %

    Total Carbohydrate72.1 g 24 %

    Dietary Fiber 0 g 0 %

    Sugars 70.6 g 282 %

    Protein 0.2 g 0 %

    DIRECTIONS

  • Traditional Icing:
  • In a large bowl, whisk together the powdered sugar, vanilla, salt and enough milk until you get an icing that is smooth yet not too thick but not too runny. Add a teaspoon of milk at a time if needed to create the right consistency. Divide between bowls and tint with food coloring, if desired. This makes about 1 ½ cups of icing.
  • You can spread this icing onto cooled sugar cookies, or use the dip method, which is what I prefer. Carefully dunk each cookie, one at a time, into the icing and allow any excess to drip off before turning right side up and placing on a baking sheet to set. If you plan on decorating with sprinkles, you want to do that right away while the icing is still wet so that they stick. Continue dipping each cookie until all are decorated. Allow the icing to set for at least 10 minutes before storing or eating.
  • Buttercream Icing:
  • In a large bowl, cream together the butter and shortening until creamy. Add the powdered sugar vanilla, salt and enough of the half and half as needed to create a smooth and creamy frosting. This should be on the thicker side and not runny at all. If the icing is too thick, you can add more half and half, a teaspoon at a time until the correct consistency is reached. Divide between bowls and tint with food coloring, if desired. This makes about 2 ½ cups of icing.
  • To decorate, you can spread the frosting onto cooled sugar cookies with a small spatula or use piping bags with various decorating tips to create a more professional or intricate design. If you plan on decorating with sprinkles as well, you want to place them right after decorating with the icing before it sets.
  • Royal Icing:
  • In a large bowl, beat together the powdered sugar, meringue powder, and enough water to create a thick and glossy icing. Divide between different bowls and tint with food coloring, if desired. Cover each bowl with plastic wrap or a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. This makes about 4 cups of icing.
  • Royal icing usually has two different applications to it. One is the outline which is slightly thicker icing that you use to outline the designs on your sugar cookies. To achieve this, uncover one of the bowls of icing and whisk in ¼ teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the correct consistency. It should be thick but still pourable. Transfer to a piping bag with a small circle decorating tip. Create an outline of frosting around the edge of your cooled sugar cookies and then let set for about 5 minutes.
  • The second royal icing application is referred to as flooding. To achieve this, uncover one of the bowls of icing and whisk in ¼ teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the correct consistency. It should be thinner than the first and pourable. If you lift up the beater the icing should fall and disappear in a matter of seconds. Transfer to a piping bag with a medium circle decorating tip. Then quickly pipe the icing into the center of each outlined cookie, tilting the cookie so that the icing spread out towards the outline. Use a long skewer or toothpick to help spread the icing a bit if needed or to remove any air bubbles. Allow the icing to set for about 10 to 15 minutes before storing or eating.
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