Thursday, November 7, 2013

Sugar Skull Sugar Cookies

What you need:

2 cups all purpose flour (sifted)
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten (room temperature)
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Royal Icing for decorating (optional)

Royal Icing - 
1 pound confectioner's sugar (sifted)
5 TBsp meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup water

How to make them:

Cookies -
Whisk or sift together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl; set aside.
In a medium bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; mix until light and fluffy.
with mixer running, add egg, milk, and vanilla; mix until well combined.
With the mixer on low, slowly add reserved flour mixture.
Mix until just combined.
Transfer dough to a work surface.
Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350˚F.
Line baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness.
cut into desired shapes (I used a skull cookie cutter).
Transfer to the prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between.
Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more.
Bake for about 10 minutes or until lightly golden; DO NOT allow to brown.
Transfer to wire racks to cool.
Decorate with royal icing.

Royal Icing -
Beat ingredients in a mixer bowl on low speed until smooth, about 7 minutes.
If icing is too thick, add more water; if too thin, beat 2-3 minutes more.

*To decorate the Sugar Skulls - divide the icing in 5 bowls.
Using food coloring gels, color 1 bowl of icing teal, another fuchsia, another marigold, and another black, leaving 1 white.
Put each bowl of icing in a prepared piping bag fitted with a thin tip.
Use the white icing first and cover the cookie to make it look like a skull.
Let dry, then using the other colors decorate the skull.
Let dry, then ENJOY!

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