Vanilla sugar cookies:
Makes around 25-30 medium sized cookies.
300 grams (11 oz) granulated/caster white sugar
(OR 200 grams (7 oz) sugar and 100 grams (4 oz) of confectioners powdered sugar)
300 grams (11 oz) of unsalted butter, diced.
2 large eggs.
1 tsp of vanilla.
500-550 grams (18-19 oz) all-purpose flour, sifted.
Extra flour for kneading and rolling.
In a bowl or in the kitchen mixer with paddle attachment, mix the two types of sugar, vanilla and the egg. Add the flour and the butter and keep mixing just until the dough comes together.
Knead the dough lightly by hand on your flour dusted kitchen counter and wrap it well in cling film and put it in a plastic bag. Chill the dough for 2 hours.
I always roll out my dough on a sheet of parchment paper lightly dusted with flour and I set my oven to 325F (170C) when I bake cookies and place the baking tray in the middle of the oven. Depending on size I bake them from 15-20 mins. You want them to be light golden brown without being raw in the middle.
2 lb icing sugar sifted (Not all may be used)
1 tsp lemon juice
Handheld mixer with hooks or kitchen mixer with paddle attachment
Combine eggwhites and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add some of the sifted icing sugar to the mixture and start the mixer.
Keep adding icing sugar a little at a time. When the mixture looks like thick whipped cream and makes soft peaks when you push down the hooks/paddle in it, you can use it for piping.
When you have the soft peak icing, you start to only add 2 tbsp of icing sugar at a time because from now on the icing will get more and more stiff. When you can pull out small stif peaks the icing is ready. Cover the icing with cling film and a lid or wet cloth and store it in the fridge.
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If you want to make runny icing for flooding cookies or making run-outs then take some royal icing (stiff made) into a bowl and start mixing it with water, a few drops at the time. Continue this until the icing it thin and liquid. It should be smoothing out when you lift the spoon. The mixing with the water will most likely cause many air bubbles in the icing, so it is always good to cover up the icing and let it “rest” for 30 min. Then give it a slow stir and you have reduced the amount of air bubbles in your icing.