Monday, February 10, 2014

Deluxe Sugar Cookies with a Simple Cookie Glaze

Back in the day, before my adult son was  born, I used to host an annual Christmas Cookie Party. I would bake this sugar cookie dough recipe, and set out different colors of buttercream frosting and all kinds of sprinkles. My guests had fun, decorating the sugar cookies and taking some of them home-- plus we'd divvy up all the different cookies that we each brought to share.  I got to benefit by not having to decorate all of the sugar cookies, too. Great memories!

Over the years, I stopped hosting the party.  My life became immersed with raising an active toddler and some of my girlfriends had either moved away, or became busy moms themselves.  I continued to bake these cookies for my family, at Christmas time.  These cookies are just so darn good, and everybody loves them. I admit, though, that I just don't have the patience to decorate sugar cookies.  To me, it felt like a lot of work with a big mess to clean up. 

I've lost count on how many "how to decorate with royal icing" blog posts that I've pinned.  I just don't consider myself to be that artistic, to fill squeeze bottles with icing and to outline each and every cookie. Then, to "flood" inside the lines with frosting-- and to take a toothpick to swirl or write all kinds of gorgeous designs.  I mean, I admire then, but I just don't have the confidence in my amateur artistic talent-- not to mention my lack of  patience.

Last week, I found some sugar cookie dough that I made at Christmas. During the holidays,  I just couldn't find the time to decorate them, so I put the dough into the freezer.  This weekend, I was nesting at home and enjoying the rainy weather that we so desperately need.  I thawed the dough,  stuck in my smart phone ear buds so I could listen to an audio book.

This helped me to immerse myself into rolling out the sugar cookies, while enjoying a good story.  I debated if I really wanted to dig out my piping bags and make buttercream frosting.  I just wasn't feelin' it.  So, I decided to make a simple glaze recipe that I found on my trusty King Arthur Flour website.  I weighed my ingredients, which I found to be really helpful.  Unlike royal icing, which uses egg whites or meringue powder-- this recipes uses powdered sugar, corn syrup and milk. Best of all, it was quick and easy.

I admit that my icing precision isn't as stellar as using a squeeze bottle. Still, I found this glaze to be very easy to work with.

The consistency should be like "room temperature honey".  I am using Ameri-Color "hot pink" gel food coloring. It's definitely pink!

This is about as good as it gets, for my cookie decorating.  All I have to do, is let the glaze set.

Why not leave some of the glaze white? For the boys, you know...

The glaze set in about 45 minutes, thank goodness.  The corn syrup gives this glaze a nice shine. I am one happy baker.

TASTING NOTES: I had forgotten how much my husband loves sugar cookies.  His love of them dates back to when he was a little boy. He tells me that his mother made pumpkin shaped sugar cookies for him, for his birthday (that falls on October 27th).   He filched a few of these, before I could even ice them.  Well, now he gets them for Valentine's Day!
The cookies are tender, and I love the very light notes of almond.  The glaze isn't cloyingly sweet, and I might play around with adding extracts to them-- such as almond, lemon-- maybe even butter flavor.  Of course, I love buttercream the best, but this a whole lot less work. Works for me!

My other favorite sugar cookie, that you don't have to roll out or frost is this one

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Joanne said...

These are so deliciously festive! Can't go wrong with a good sugar cookie.

TheFitnessFreak said...

Uh oh, how much flour?

Debby Foodiewife said...

Oooops. I fixed it. 2-1/2 cups flour. Thanks for pointing out my boo-boo.

Cathy at Wives with Knives said...

I'm with you, Debby. As much as I love the fancy decorated cookies I don't have the patience to make them and always end up with a big mess. I love these old recipes that can be counted on year after year. Your hearts are so festive and pretty.

TheFitnessFreak said...

Thanks Debby! Can't wait to try them :-)