It’s no secret that I love to bake, and I jump at the opportunity to make cookies, practically for every occasion. I am always eager to try new recipes for cookies and icings, but always end up falling back on my go-to sugar cookie recipe and royal icing. Until now. I may have found a new recipe folks, and I can’t wait to share it with you!
One of the downfalls to sugar cookies is they aren’t the easiest dough to work with. Sticky, constantly having to add more flour, and often losing their shape in the oven, I have stuck with this recipe for one reason: the flavor, well that, and the fact that I hadn’t found anything better. The other day I made some Rosemary Shortbread cookies ( I will share this recipe later) and was amazed at how easy the dough was to work with. I thought to myself, wouldn’t it be lovely if every cookie was this easy! I set out to look for the perfect shortbread cookie that would fulfill this longing…I didn’t exactly find it, but I found a few that I tweaked into exactly what I wanted! Here it is! A luxurious dough that rolls out, cuts, and bakes beautifully! And we are just getting started…I found an equally impressive icing to accompany my new pal!
Lemon Shortbread Cookies
(Adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Shortbread Cookie Recipe)
2 sticks of butter
1 c powdered sugar
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/4c flour
1/2 tsp salt
Beat butter, lemon zest, sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Combine flour and salt in a small bowl and slowly add to butter mixture. Mix until combined and remove from bowl. Roll mixture into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 smaller balls. Roll each ball out onto floured surface about 1/4″ thick and cut shapes. Re-roll scraps as needed. After cutting cookies, chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or up to 24 hours. Bake in 300 degree preheated oven for 16-18 minutes or until barely golden on the edges, rotating pan(s) halfway through.
Okay, now lets talk icing. For as long as I’ve been decorating cookies, royal icing has been my tool of choice. It is wonderful to decorate with and dries to a hard shell, perfect for stacking and packaging cookies. On the downside, it is practically flavorless, other than the vanilla sweetness, and is pretty “crunchy” when it dries. But, what’s a girl to do when you want to decorate cookies with detail and then stack them to store, give as gifts, etc. Maybe I’ve been living under a rock, but until a few weeks ago, I thought royal icing was the only solution. OH was I wrong! I stumbled upon a recipe for a cookie “glaze” that promised to dry hard with a shiny finish. How wonderful. Would it really work? YES! This icing glaze is not only delicious, but most certainly lives up to it’s promises of drying hard, perfect for stacking!
Here it is!
Cookie Glaze- dries to a hard, shiny finish
2 c powdered sugar
4-7 tsp. mik, depending on desired thickness
1/2 tsp almond OR vanilla extract
3-4 tsp light corn syrup, again, depending on thickness
Mix powdered sugar, milk and extract together, add corn syrup and mix until smooth. Divide and add food coloring, if desired. Now, if you mixed your ingredients together on the lower end of the spectrum, you should have a good consistency for piping the edges of the design you want for your cookies. The larger end of the spectrum results in a better consistency for flooding, or filling your cookies. Alternately, if you desire a less polished, but equally delicious result, you can simply spread the glaze with a spoon or even dip your cookie tops directly in the glaze.
Enjoy! I would love to hear, or even better see your results!