Best Sugar Cookie Recipe For Royal Icing
Hey, y'all! Welcome to the Sarah Grace Cookie Co. Kitchen!
Today, I'm going to be walking you through my sugar cookie recipe that has worked for years for me! It's a really good sugar cookie recipe that's perfect for those flat cookies we want for decorating. I originally found this recipe on the Preppy Kitchen blog, but I’ve modified it slightly and changed the process a bit just so that it's better for sugar cookie decorators specifically, and I've found a few ways to save myself time over the years.
Now, you may have seen my original sugar cookie recipe blog post that I made when I first started my cookie decorating journey, but I thought it was time for an update! Over the last few years of having my website, Facebook page, and YouTube channel I've had several people ask questions and I wanted to include answers to those questions here.
If you'd like to find the printable PDF version that has links to everything that you may need, click HERE! My sugar cookie and the royal icing recipe is a printable PDF page with links to all the handy gadgets you need to make your own dough that's perfect for decorating as well as measurements for doubling the recipe.
Click Below to watch the video version of the recipe
So, our recipe starts with my trusty PINK KitchenAid! We've got to have our paddle attachment and I like the ones with a silicone edge on them. I find it helpful when it comes to scraping all that dough up.
A lot of people have told me over the years that they enjoy a Bosch mixer as well. I've never tried Bosch, but I've loved my KitchenAid. I've recently had to have it rebuilt because I have used it so much!
I'm starting with half a pound or two sticks of butter that has been softened. This has been sitting out for a couple of hours at room temperature, just getting nice and soft and ready to go into the mixer.
Now, in my opinion, the key to a nice soft cookie is to cream the butter and sugar together until they're light and fluffy, and airy. When we say cream, butter, and sugar together, that's not just giving them a few whips and calling it good. That is letting this mixer go for a while and waiting until that butter has gone from a yellow color to a more heavy cream top white color.
Next, I'm adding one cup of white granulated sugar.
I'm going to allow those to cream for probably 1 to 2 minutes just so that they get nice and fluffy and incorporated together.
Now, along with the cup of white sugar, I'm adding a quarter cup of dark brown sugar. This gives the cookies a little bit more of a caramel flavor and a little bit more depth. It also helps the batter from tasting like a hunk of sugar and gives it a bit more flavor as well as creating a nice browning in the oven. I don't let mine get very brown when I bake them, I like them just shy of raw, but this still adds a great flavor.
You want it to look beautiful and a fluffy cloud. The butter has aerated through the sugar and you want it to be a light color and fluffy.
Next, into that same stand mixer, I'm adding two grade A extra large eggs. Now, my local hometown grocery store, the Piggly Wiggly, sells these extra large eggs that I found perfect for baking. They just add a little bit more and more moisture to anything that you're baking. But if you can't find an extra large, then just use your large. It will be fine! I just really love the extra large.
I do like to break my eggs into a separate bowls before mixing because I've just always heard that you want to make sure that you don't have a bad one before you ruin all the ingredients that you're working with. So, I'm going to add these one at a time and let them fully incorporate them. I let it go just a little bit longer than some because I want to make sure there are no little strands of yellow and there are no pieces where you can see egg remaining. You want it to be mixed.
I'm going to scrape down the sides of my bowl, then we're going to add our vanilla. I love Watkins vanilla. It's a really good brand of vanilla, but you can use McCormick whatever kind of vanilla you prefer. Some people even like a vanilla bean paste, But keep in mind that a paste is going to have a little bit stronger flavor. So, you might want to use slightly less now when I'm adding vanilla, I measure with my heart. I like it a lot of it. Don't come for me for not being exact! I just give it a good glug and call it a day. I think the recipe calls for a teaspoon, but you go with what you like.
Now that our ingredients are all mixed, it's time to measure out and sift our dry ingredients. Now, I love a little sifter. My mom got one for me, but I've seen them before at Publix and Walmart.
It has a little sifter inside and you turn the crank. I can only get two cups of flour in mine at a time, so I have to do it in batches by measuring my flour, always making sure to give it a little fluff with a butter knife or a fork. That way it's measured accurately because sometimes when it comes from the store in those packages, it can get packed down.
When you're measuring it, you want a nice, fluffy measure. Some people even say to spoon it into the cup, but I ain't got time for that, y'all!
I'm going to level this off with the flat side of my butter knife and we're doing four cups of all-purpose flour. It's very important to use all-purpose flour because self-rising flour contains baking soda and baking powder already, which is very handy when you're making something like a cake or pancakes and you need those ingredients.
But the thing about baking soda and baking powder is soda spreads and powder puffs. When we're making cookies that we don't want to spread in the oven because we want them to be nice and flat, we don't want them to spread or puff. A little bit of baking powder is okay because it'll add some height to your cookies I've used that before and it's not been detrimental to my recipe. The few times that I have in a pinch used self-rising flour, I have regretted it because I had to pretty much scrap the entire batch. So be sure and get all-purpose. My granny Lorraine says White Lily is the best, but you can use any bread you choose.
This is my favorite tip for getting soft, delicious sugar cookies that won't spread in the oven because we've all had a snowman that turned into an unrecognizable blob before, and that is not what we're going for here!
So, I've got a third cup of cornstarch going in with our other dry ingredients. Sift that, together with the flour and the salt. I like to give that a little whisk to make sure that it all comes together nicely. We don't want one cookie that has a big bite of salt or cornstarch in it.
Okay, now the key here is to add your dry ingredients slowly. So you're going to want to add these in batches.
It's okay if it doesn't come together right away. Start with one cup measure at a time. Something that makes this process easier is a cover for your mixer.
Mine broke from overuse.
But you can use a kitchen towel or something to keep all that flour from splashing up onto your face. But if you'd like to use the cover, go ahead and place that now.
We're going to add our dry ingredients, 1 to 2 cups at a time, waiting until they're fully incorporated into the wet ingredients before adding the next addition. When our dough is fully mixed we are almost ready to roll.