Royally Iced Sugar Cookies

Nope, that wasn’t what I was planning on baking.

I thought I was going to be way more creative than that.  Unfortunately, I made a little mistake…

(This is a cautionary tale for all of you Pinterest people out there: just because a blog post has a ton of pictures that look like a particular recipe, and the title of the blog post mentions a particular type of food, you still need to be sure to read every word on the blog to double-check.)

As I was browsing Pinterest, I saw a gorgeous picture of the Mother’s Frosted Animal Cookies.  When I clicked on the link, I came to a blog post entitled, Goodbye Mother’s Cookies, and it contained several lovely pictures of homemade cookies that looked very similar to the ones my family loves.  It had a recipe for the cookies and a recipe for the icing.  I was so excited to try it.

I skimmed the well-written, but very lengthy, blog post.  It discussed childhood memories, the closing of Mother’s Cookies, etc, etc, so I kinda just moved on to the recipe.  (I usually read all the words, but after seeing the pictures, I was sold – so I just pinned it for later.)

That’s where I went wrong.  Because in the second to last paragraph, the blogger mentions that she wasn’t able to replicate the taste of the original cookies – just the look.  Ooops.

Not knowing this, I was going ahead with my plan to replicate the taste (through this recipe), but not the look.

I didn’t realize my mistake until we ate them.  At the end.  After all the work.

I wasn’t too happy.

The Recipes:

Sugar Cookies, from the Field Guide to Cookies book (She used a recipe from this book, and I’d feel bad linking to her site now – though really, it was all my fault.)

1 2/3 c all-purpose flour

1/2 t baking powder

1/4 t salt

1/2 c softened unsalted butter

3/4 c plus 2 T sugar

1 egg at room temperature, beaten

1 t vanilla extract

Royal icing (below) and sprinkles if decorating

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl and set aside.

In stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium speed for several minutes until light and fluffy.  With mixer on low-speed, gradually add the egg and vanilla and mix until well combined.  Add the flour mixture gradually.  Mix until fully incorporated and the dough is smooth and uniform.

Divide dough into 2 pieces and flatten into 1/2 inch thick discs.  Wrap dough and refrigerate for 2 hours.

When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease several cookie sheets or line them with parchment paper.

Place dough on a lightly floured surface and dust with more flour.  Gently roll the dough 1/8 inch thick.  Using a cookie cutter, cut out cookies and place on sheets about 1 inch apart.

Bake for 14–16 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through, until edges are golden brown.  Transfer cookies to wire racks with a spatula to cool completely.

Once cookies are cooled, decorate them with icing and colored sugars.

Royal Icing

2 egg whites

1 T lemon juice

3 c powdered sugar

food coloring in desired colors

Using a mixer with the whisk attachment, combine all the ingredients and whisk for several minutes on high-speed until the mixture is thick and shiny opaque white.  It should have the consistency of glue.  If it is too thin, add more powdered sugar by teaspoonfuls as needed.  If it is too thick, add water by teaspoonfuls as needed.

Divide icing into bowls for coloring.  Keep the bowls covered or the icing will dry and harden.  Add food color to icing to achieve desired hues.

{Printable Recipe}

The Results:

Well, as I was chugging along and making these, it seemed like a typical cookie baking event.  (But I still under the impression that I was making a copycat recipe.)

We (my children and I) decided to make the cookies in the shape of letters – mostly because besides Christmas cookie cutters, that’s all we had.  My oldest picked out the four letters we used (M – for mom, D – for dad, and T & H for the boys’ names).

We did have to make sure that the rolling-pin and counter surface were very well floured (the first roll-out did not work when we tried to lift out the cookies from the cutters).  And I did end up baking them a couple of minutes longer than suggested to get the golden brown color.

My oldest picked our decorating colors: an orange and purple combination that looked so lovely.  (He’s at an age where he definitely knows what he wants and really could care less what I think.  I think this phase is supposed to last another 13 or so years.)

And yes, he was in charge of the sprinkles, too.

I took charge of the actual frosting process – I ended up just dipping them into the bowl of frosting to get a good coverage.

As I was licking cleaning off my fingers, I realized that the frosting did not have a flavor anywhere close to that of Mother’s Cookies…so I sampled one of the cookies to check their taste.

This is when I realized that I had basically just made a plain sugar cookie with a plain frosting.  (Boring – and honestly not one of my favorite kind of cookies to eat.)

My oldest wanted there to be two orange T's in the picture.

The good news was that everyone else liked them.  And my oldest has enjoyed doling out the correct letter to the correct person.

It’s just too bad there are a lot of M’s left.

Oh, well.


11 thoughts on “Royally Iced Sugar Cookies

  1. Argh that’s such a bummer, especially after all the hard work, but they’re still cute!! Your son did a great job with the sprinkles. The more sugar the better, right?? 😉


  2. Aww…that’s disappointing! But as soon as I saw your post I loved the shape of these cookies!! How cool to do letters!! My kids would have loved to have their names in cookies!!! Cute idea!!


  3. Aw… That’s a little sad. I always try to put any type of “things to note” right above the ingredients so that the recipe is clear – many people don’t read through the paragraphs preceeding the recipe, or stop at the first or second. Like yourself, I’m not a fan of sugar cookies with sugar icing but I do like the way yours turned out to look at. *hugs*
    PS Any “W”s you could gift your “M”s to?


  4. I pinned this same recipe…I guess I won’t be making it! I really wanted it to taste like the animal cookies, not just look like them. I hope you guys still had fun baking together!


  5. Even though you don’t care for sugar cookies, I think they turned out wonderful. But I completely sympathize. I just hate when I make something and it doesn’t turn out as I hoped. But I think we cooks all go through that. I know you will find a way to make this recipe worth your while :).


  6. Oh I’ve done that before. It’s never fun, but what can you do. And I once had a birthday cake that was sprinkled very similarly to that “T” in the bottom of the picture. Love it! 🙂


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