Sugar Cookie Recipe: (yields 2-3 dozen cookies)
1 cup or 2 sticks of unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 cup of granulated sugar
3 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
5 cups of all-purpose flour
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Place parchment paper on cookie trays to ensure your cookies will not stick to the pan. This recipe does not call for any baking powder/baking soda, so your cookies will not spread. They will keep their shape. In a large bowl, add flour and salt. In another mixing bowl, using the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. On a low setting, add eggs one at a time to the butter/sugar mixture, while scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla to the mixture. Slowly incorporate the flour/salt mixture into the mixing bowl (keep mixer on low). Once the dough begins to clump in the middle and the flour is fully incorporated, you can remove the dough and place on parchment paper. To make your life easier, put the dough in the refrigerator for thirty minutes to an hour. This will harden the dough making it easier to roll out. Once you let the dough chill, you want to roll out the dough with a rolling pin. If the dough feels too sticky, you can add flour to both sides of the dough and begin to roll. You will want to flatten the dough and create a smooth top. You should roll your dough so the thickness is about 1/4 of an inch. Now you can use cookie cutters to create whatever shape you want. I am working with a lip cookie cutter and a octagon cookie cutter for this particular set, but you can use whatever you have on hand. You will need to re-roll your dough a few times in order to get as many cookies as possible. Once you have finished cutting out your cookies, place them on the cookie trays lined with parchment paper. Bake your cookies for 10 minutes or until the cookies are golden brown. You will need to let you cookies cool for 20 minutes before you can start decorating.
1 lb confectioners sugar
2 1/2 Tablespoons meringue powder
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup water
In medium mixing bowl, using the whisk attachment, add confectioners sugar and meringue powder. In a small bowl, add the vanilla to the water. Slowly add the vanilla water to the confectioners sugar and meringue mixture. Mix on low for 2 minutes and then increase speed to high for another 5 minutes or until your icing has stiff peaks (when you lift your whisk attachment and there is a peak that keep its shape). This is your basic royal icing.
Food coloring (pink, red)
Edible gold and gold leaf (optional)
Piping tips (#1 and #3)
For the lip cookies, mix together a reddish-pink icing in a small bowl. Fill your piping bag with this color using piping tip #3. Pipe the edges of the lip cookie. Then with the left over reddish-pink icing, water it down to create a flood icing. If you draw a line through this icing and the line immediately disappears, then you have the right consistency for flood icing. Flood each lip cookie with the reddish-pink icing and let them dry for an hour. Once the cookies are dry, you will use your piping bag and piping tip #1 to create the ridges of the lip. Scoop some white royal icing into a small bowl and water down the icing to create 20-second icing. When you draw a line through the icing it should take 20 seconds for the line to disappear. Then begin adding the ridges of the lip to the cookies. Once the ridges dry, you can take a paintbrush and paint edible gold on the ridges. Let this dry for another 15 minutes.
For the octagon cookies, create a pink and red 20 second icing. Put both of the icing colors into piping bags with piping tip #3. Then begin icing the cookies by adding pink to the right side of the cookie and red to the left side of the cookie. With a paint brush, you can blend the two colors together to create a cool ombre effect. Once these cookies dry for an hour, you can use edible gold to paint on the cookie. Add some edible gold leaf on the opposite side of the gold paint for an added cool factor. Thanks @nutmegandhoneybee for the recipe!