I made these cookies for Valentine's gifts. I used my favorite sugar cookie cut out recipe. Used Fondant to decorate and gel food coloring mixed with clear almond extract and a clean paint brush. Used royal icing to pip designs on cookies to give three dimensional look.
Sugar Cookie Cut Out Recipe
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
2 Cookie Sheets with silpat or parchment
2 cups room temperature unsalted butter
2 cups sugar
2 large room temperature eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
5 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling
Special note: There is no leavening in this recipe. The cookies hold shape and do not spread. This is ideal for cutouts holding their shape. It is a delicious, shortbread cookies. You can use lemon or almond extract instead of vanilla or use the seeds of one whole vanilla bean for intense vanilla flavor.
In a stand mixer, cream butter with sugar, until light and fluffy. Add room temperature eggs and continue to cream. Add extract and pinch salt. Slowly add flour until dough is well incorporated.
Place dough into fridge for 30 minutes to chill. Roll out dough into desired shape. If I have time I will place cutouts into fridge to firm up. They will even hold their shape better if chilled before going into oven. However, when you are doing volume and you are baking from a home kitchen this is impossible. I still have great results skipping this step.
Bake for about 8 to 12 minutes depending on how thick you cut them. For these cookies they were thick and I baked for close to 15 minutes. You want a slightly golden brown on bottom, not too dark.
Place on cooling rack and decorate as desired.
1 pound confectioner's icing
3 Tablespoons powder meringue (I use wilton)
1/2 tsp. cream of tarter
water: approx. up to 1/2 cup plus more for thinner consistency
If you want to flood cookie you need to thin out accordingly. First use a thick royal icing to outline the border of each cookie. Then use a thin icing to flood. You can use a toothpick when flooding to help spread thinned out royal icing and pop air bubbles. It works like a charm. Let cookies dry for 24 hours then you can pipe on with a thicker consistency of royal icing to decorate using a piping bag and specialty tips. Let that dry before wrapping.
In a stand mixer, mix confectioner's sugar, cream of tarter with meringue powder. Slowly add water until desired icing consistency is reached. You might have to use less or more water depending on what consistency you desire. If too watery, just add more confectioner's sugar.
Assembly and Decorating
Pre-made Fondant (use cookie cutter to cut exact shape)
Gel food coloring
Heart shaped cookie cutters
Special Note: Use thin out corn syrup, brush cookies with thin glaze or use pre-made piping gel to attach fondant to cookies to adhere.