Sugar cookies + artists = some delicious awesomeness.
On a recent rainy afternoon, my daughters and I made geode and agate cookies, and we had an absolute blast. We used a simple sugar cookie recipe from PureWow (I’ll include it below), Alton Brown’s royal icing (recipe below), some clear rock candy (which I bought at Party City), a few colorful sugar sprinkles, some food coloring and our imaginations.
The Geode cookies had metallic sprinkle edges and rock candy centers. We broke up the rock candy in a plastic bag using a rolling pin and then painted the crystals with food coloring to make them look like citrine, amethyst and sapphire. For the Agate cookies, we let the royal icing dry a bit and then we painted our rock layers with food colors, which we mixed and shared.
3 cups all-purpose flour
1¾ teaspoons baking powder
Pinch of salt
2 sticks butter, softened
1 cup sugar
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
- Sift the flour into a bowl. Add the baking powder and salt and then whisk gently to combine.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter with the sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the egg and vanilla, then mix to combine. Scrape the side of the bowl to make sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated into the mixture.
- Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, and mix until the dough comes together. Form the dough into a disk and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350°. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface to ½ inch thick. Cut the dough into amorphous shapes with a samll, sharp knife. Then transfer the cookies to an ungreased baking sheet.
- Bake until the cookies are lightly golden around the edges, 10 to 12 minutes. For even baking, rotate the pan halfway through baking. Transfer the cookies to a cooling rack, and cool completely before decorating or serving.
Makes about 3 dozen odd-shaped cookies.
3 ounces pasteurized egg whites
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 cups confectioners’ sugar
- In large bowl of stand mixer, combine the egg whites and vanilla and beat until frothy.
- Add confectioners’ sugar gradually and mix on low speed until sugar is incorporated and the mixture is shiny. Turn speed up to high, and beat until mixture forms stiff, glossy peaks. This should take approximately 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add food coloring, if desired.
- For immediate use, transfer icing to a pastry bag or heavy duty storage bag and pipe as desired. If using storage bag, clip corner.
- Store in airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.