I have to admit, cookie decorating is not one of my favorite things to do. I get excited about the idea of doing it, but once I gather up the bags, couplers, tips, color gels, cookies, baking sheets....(I really could go on), the whole thing just loses it's coolness to me. But when I saw this Power T cookie cutter, I knew I had to have it!
Even though cookie decorating may not be my thing, I will definitely continue to make these. Now I just have to get a Michigan "M" cookie cutter for my husband.
|Here's the Pride of the Southland Marching Band in Power T form|
Vanilla Almond Sugar Cookies
2 tsp. baking powder
1 C. sugar
1 C. (2 sticks) salted butter, cold
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 tsp. almond extract
recipe from Annie's Eats
4 C. powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp. meringue powder
5 T. water
Directions:Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom. The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling.
On a floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4" thick sheet, and cut into desired shapes. Place shapes on parchment or silpat lined baking sheets. Place entire baking sheet in the freezer for 5 minutes (this step is important in helping the cookies keep their shapes nice and clean). Remove and bake in preheated oven for 10-12 minutes or until edges are just barely starting to turn golden. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack and cool completely prior to decorating.
For the royal icing:
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance (about 7-10 minutes). Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container. This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating. Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated. Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping. (Remember, if you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick. Add a little more liquid and try again.) Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie. Let stand so the icing will set. Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.
Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container. Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl. If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again. Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle (or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner), and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie. If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along. Allow to set.
Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired. Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid. Liquid food coloring can be used as well – add powdered sugar as needed to compensate for any thinning that occurs.