Aside from love being in the air, one of our favorite parts of Valentine's Day is all of the sweet treats! Chocolates are of course the most popular item on Cupid's menu, but we really love sugar cookies for their delicate flavor and myriad design possibilities. This delicious dessert can be made in a number of different ways, allowing you to embrace your creativity and come up with your own unique and special creation for your sweetie.
Our favorite way to dress up a sugar cookie is a technique called "flood icing". This creates a beautiful, glossy layer of icing on the cookie that is simply irresistible. Just use your favorite sugar cookie recipe or even a store-bought mix to bake up a batch of cookies. While they're cooling, it's time to create your royal icing for decoration! We recommend this recipe from the Joy of Baking blog for a perfect batch of homemade icing:
4 cups confectioners' (powdered or icing) sugar
3 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 teaspoon extract (vanilla, lemon, or almond)
1/2 - 3/4 cup warm water
1) In the bowl of your electric mixer using a paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer) and on slow speed, beat the confectioners' sugar and meringue powder until combined.
2) For coloring, start with 1 small drop of your favorite Valentine's pink or red gel paste food coloring and add it to the sugar and meringue powder mixture, add more color until you achieve your desired shade.
3) Add the water and beat on medium to high speed until very glossy and stiff peaks form (5 to 7 minutes). If necessary, to get the right consistency, add more powdered sugar or water. To cover or 'flood' the entire surface of the cookie with icing, the proper consistency is when you lift the beater, the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl remains on the surface of the icing for a few seconds before disappearing.
Now that you have your paint and canvas, it's time to decorate! Add the mixture to a piping bag or squeeze bottle to begin your flood design. Make sure the cookies have cooled so that the icing does not run. To "flood" the cookies, use the piping bag to draw a thin line around the edge of the cookie. Let the outline dry a few minutes, then, "flood" the entire area inside of the outline with icing. The outline acts as a dam to hold the flood of icing inside! Use a toothpick to smooth over any air bubbles, then give the cookie a slight shake side to side to smooth out the icing. You're left with a beautiful, shiny layer of delicious icing that looks like a professional created it! Now you can add colored sugar coatings or draw in dots and lines with additional colored icing if you like. Just remember to let the icing dry overnight to avoid smudges.
At Pink Posy we make delicious handmade and decorated sugar cookies for all occasions. Stop by or visit us online to learn more about our sugar cookie collection.