So this post is really a lie. Because I am a busy law student I really didn't have time to make these cookies for today but rather brought them to my class on Monday, so I could make them over the weekend.
Good thing too, because we had moot court contract negotiations this week and my partner and I made it into the semi-finals which meant lots of hours preparing for the silly contest. It was a lot of fun though I have to say, I really enjoy negotiation, more so than reading cases anyway.
But back to cookies, so as I was saying I thought everyone could use a pick-me-up and I never need a very good excuse to be able to bake. Let alone play with royal icing! These sugar cookies are fabulous and the recipe was given to me by a friend during my sophomore year of high school and has proved itself a keeper over the many years of use, and I still think of her whenever I make them.
Soft Sugar Cookies (this made 60 heart cookies)
1 cup butter (at room temperature)
1/3 cup shortening
2 cups sugar
1/4 cup heavy cream (like unbeaten whip cream you can get at the store)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1) First thing, cream together your butter and your sugar, until very smooth. then add your eggs one at a time, and incorporating just a little at a time.
2) Next add in your cream, vanilla and salt
3) In a separate bowl sift together your baking powder and flour, and then add this into your butter mix.
4) Refrigerate for a few hours, I leave mine overnight, but a few hours is plenty. Then roll out on a floured board and cut into the shapes you want. Also a few basic cookie tips which are always go a little under what you think for cooking time. I like my cookies soft, so I take them out when they are still at the stage where they couldn't hold their shape if you grabbed onto one side, then very carefully I use a spatula to lift them off and let them cool. By this time they have firmed up, and you can move onto decoration.
1 lb powdered sugar
5 teaspoons meringue powder (you can use egg white but as I don't want a lawsuit on my hands.. I go with the powder for law class)
1 teaspoon lemon juice
You just add water until it is thin enough that you can pipe it onto a cookie. Once you outline the shape you want on the cookie you can add more water and flood the inside of that outline with more frosting too.
For the colored ones I added paste colors which I use for decorating cakes, but a little goes a long way and food coloring is just fine. For the chocolate ones I made a chocolate ganache (with melted chocolate and a little cream) and then drizzled them with royal icing.