On to the icing! Happy mid-week and happy day! If you didn’t catch part one for these little flower cookies, you can jump back here for an intro and dough overview.
I’m just starting to experiment with royal icing, so for one of my first recipe batches (also used on the sunflowers featured here), I used an ever-so-modified version of Jennifer’s from SeaKettle at a friend’s suggestion.
Powdered Sugar Icing
2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 T butter, softened
1/4 t vanilla
3+ T milk
In a mixing bowl beat butter and vanilla until fluffy. Slowly add sifted powdered sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Finish the icing by pouring the milk one tablespoon at a time into bowl, mixing until smooth.
I found that the key to royal icing is to have two different icing consistencies – a slightly thicker icing for piping, a smoother icing for ‘flooding’. I started by making the somewhat thicker icing in all white using the above recipe, and then divided my batch between small bowls.
To those small bowls I added different amounts of food coloring:
I piped the outside shape of my cookies using the various colors and a plastic bag + metal piping tip.
Here’s a picture of what that combination looks like:
That’s an everyday plastic sandwich baggie with the corner cut off (just a small snip) and a standard piping tip that can be purchased from the grocery store.
I also piped a small circle in the center of the cookie – these barriers will be what keeps my ‘flooded’ icing in place. Repeat for each color and all cookies (convenient if you have multiple tips, but just as easy to wash between uses).
Once the icing has had a chance to set (perhaps 15-20 minutes), now comes the fun part – flooding!
I experimented with watering down my current little bowls of icing with water and with milk and found that I preferred the water. To create a thinner icing, simply add a tablespoon of water to your current icing and mix with a spoon by hand. You may need to continue to add water until the icing coats and drips off of the spoon easily.
See? I told you I was fairly fresh at this (ignore the imperfections):
It’s amazing at how not precise you can be with flooding. Simply glop teaspoons of icing between piped edges and allow the icing to fill in. Use a toothpick or the back of a spoon to help nudge along if needed (but you probably won’t).
I’m not too worried about the center of the flowers because next up is covering those in a yellow icing and LOTS of sprinkles.
Bring on the sprinkles! I love how they cover the center and then a good chunk of the flower as well. I used a plastic sandwich bag again as my piping bag and filled it to the brim with yellow icing (you could use store bought lemon icing to make it easy, or mix up another batch of powdered sugar icing) and ice in a circular shape to fill the center of the flower. I omitted the piping tip and just used the snipped corner of the bag as my control – this part doesn’t have to be as precise. Use the back of a spoon to help spread if needed.
Shake generously with yellow nonpareils!
And enjoy :).
I wish I could claim the little sugar bees as my own but they were a craft store find but my co-hostess and added later at the party to match the rest of the decor. Though they may be my favorite part of the full flower!
There you have it. And now possibly a favorite sugar cookie of mine (though looking at these photos I’m dying to do this project over again and better). Don’t forget to start over here for a great sugar cookie dough recipe. Have a bee-autiful day.