Chocolate Sugar Cookies frosted
with Royal Icing are not only beautiful to look at but are delicious to eat.
They are sweet and buttery with a subtle chocolate flavor that comes from adding
unsweetened cocoa powder to the dough. There are two ways to decorate these cookies; one is
to simply sprinkle the unbaked cookies with crystal or sparkling sugar. The
other way, which has become very popular, is to frost the baked cookies with
What I like about Royal
Icing, as opposed to Confectioners Frosting, is how it dries to a
wonderful smooth and hard matte finish. Royal Icing can be made with powdered sugar, egg whites and lemon juice or
powder and water. I prefer the taste of royal icing made with egg whites,
but if you are concerned about the risk of salmonella, I have also
included a recipe for royal icing using meringue powder. If you are
unfamiliar with meringue powder, it is a fine, white powder that contains
dried egg whites, sugar, salt, vanillin and gum. It can be found at most
cake decorating and party stores or else on-line.
It is important
when working with royal icing to keep it covered as much as possible as it dries
out very quickly. Another way to prevent a crust from forming on the
icing's surface is to add a few drops of glycerin (glycerol) to the icing. Glycerin is a sweet, odorless, clear, and syrupy liquid (chemically an alcohol)
that comes from fats and oils. It is available in cake decorating and
party stores (like Michaels). Once you are ready to frost your
cookies you want to make sure the royal icing has the proper consistency. Too runny and it will run over the sides; too stiff and it won't spread nicely.
So, for the right consistency to cover (or flood) the cookies, first test the icing by
lifting your spoon and letting the icing drip back into the bowl. The
proper consistency is when the ribbon of icing that falls back into the bowl
remains on the surface for about 5 seconds before disappearing. Another
way is to take a cookie and place a small amount of icing in the middle of the
cookie. Using a small knife or spatula, push the icing to the edge of the
cookie. If the icing runs off the edge, thicken the icing by adding a
little more confectioners sugar. Do not add too much sugar at once. You want the icing to spread smoothly but don't worry about a few light streaks.
They will disappear as the icing dries, and be aware that the icing can
take several hours, or even overnight, to dry completely.
Lastly, let's talk about
which type of food coloring to use. Personally, I like the concentrated
gel paste dyes that are sold in small 1/2 or one ounce (14 - 28 grams)
containers. Only a very small amount is needed to color the icing, and I
measure it out using the end of a toothpick. Make sure to thoroughly mix
the paste into the icing as you do not want streaks. You can buy gel
pastes at cake decorating stores or craft stores.
to the Chocolate Sugar Cookies recipe page.......
Let's get baking!