If you can’t tell, those cookies say ‘W’ and ‘L’. WL doesn’t have any significant meaning, and it certainly does not stand for wavelength, wetland, or some programming language. W and L are simply the initials of two ladies in attendance at my sister-in-law’s wonderful bridal shower last weekend. The shower will be the subject of another post, so for now, let’s stick to the cookies. They were part of the favors given away at the shower, iced with the first initial of all the ladies’ names.
I used Stephanie’s (Joy of Baking) sugar cookie and royal icing recipe, and I was happy to find making the cookies from start to finish took me just over a couple hours, including the time to freeze the dough. This recipe was straightforward and resulted in firm cookies that were not too stiff. The icing was great for flooding, but not the best for writing. My icing was a bit on the runny side, so writing any more than one letter turned into a big pink blob.
For easier icing, I used a squeeze bottle (available at most craft and cake stores) and grew to love it. I didn’t get icing all over my hand, I could take a quick rest whenever I needed, it was great. I’m going to stock up on those for my future icing needs.
That was just a quick peek into the bridal shower, stay tuned to see how it all panned out.
Sugar Cookies (makes about 36)
adapted from Joy of Baking
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1. In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 to 4 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
3. Divide the dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Freeze for about 30 minutes or until firm enough to roll.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in center of oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
5. Remove one half of the chilled dough from the refrigerator and, on a lightly floured surface, roll out the dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch. (Keep turning the dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to the counter.) Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer cookies to the prepared baking sheet. Place the baking sheets with the unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
6. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes (depending on size) or until they are brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling. Frost with royal icing. Be sure to let the royal icing dry completely before storing. (This may take several hours.) Frosted cookies will keep several days in an airtight container. Store between layers of parchment paper or wax paper.
adapted from Joy of Baking
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
drops of water, as needed
few drops food coloring gel (optional)
1. In the bowl of your electric mixer, beat the egg whites with the lemon juice. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.
2. Drop in water little at a time to create desired consistency. Add in food coloring gel and mix well to achieve color.
3. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.