Cake queen Peggy Porschen is behind the sugar cookie recipe I used for the butterflies. Obviously you can use any cookie cutter shape you have at hand to make these, but the butterflies look quite sweet with the two shades of icing swirled together. On top I’ve piped a thicker royal icing for the border and a thinner royal icing to fill or “flood” the inside of the cookie.
Makes: 30-36 Difficulty: Intermediate
· Stand mixer / electric mixer
· Cookie cutter in the shape of your choice
· Rolling pin
· Large baking tray
· Two bowls
· Piping bags (at least 3) and small round nozzles (size 1-5)
· Toothpicks or skewers
· 200g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
· 400g Plain Flour
· 200g Caster Sugar
· 1 large Egg, lightly beaten
· 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
Royal Icing Outline
· 190g Icing Sugar
· 1 large Egg white
· ½ teaspoon Lemon Juice
· Liquid food colouring (I used black)
Royal Icing Pattern
· 315g Icing Sugar
· 2 large Egg whites
· 1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
· 2 different liquid food colours
- Add the butter, sugar and vanilla to the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk on medium speed until the mixture just starts to become creamy. Beat in the egg until it’s well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.
- Use a paddle attachment on low speed to mix in the flour until a dough forms.
- Empty the dough onto a clean bench. Knead the dough into a ball. Split it into 3 pieces. Flatten each into a disc, wrap them individually in clingfilm and place them in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
- Lightly flour the bench. Remove the dough from the fridge. Knead it to a rolling consistency if needed. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough 5mm thick. Cut shapes from the dough using the cookie cutter and place them on the baking tray lined with baking paper. Leave at least 1cm between cookies. Keep kneading the scraps of dough back together and rerolling the dough to make more cookies.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (160 fan forced; 350 F). Place the tray of cookies back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. This stops the cookies from spreading out while they bake. Set the kitchen timer for 8 minutes.
- Transfer the tray of cookies from the fridge to the middle of the oven. Bake until the cookies become golden around the edges. Total baking time is 8-15 minutes depending on the size of the cookies. They might seem a bit soft at first but they harden as they cool.
- Remove cookies from the oven. Transfer them to a wire rack to cool completely.
Royal Icing Outline
- In a small bowl whisk the egg white with the lemon juice until combined.
- Sift the icing sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer. Pour in the egg white. Add a few drops of food colouring. Beat on low speed with the paddle attachment until all is combined and smooth.
- Test the consistency of the icing. Make a mark across the icing with a knife. The mark should fill in within 8-10 seconds. If it’s too fast add small amounts of icing sugar until it’s the right consistency.
- Fill a piping bag fitted with a size one round nozzle attached with the icing. Carefully pipe a border around the edge of each cookie.
Royal Icing Pattern
- Whisk the egg whites and lemon juice together then add it to a clean dry bowl of an electric mixer. Sift in the icing sugar and beat on low speed until combined. This icing should be thinner than the one made for the border. For the consistency test a mark made with a knife should fill itself in 3-4 seconds. If not add a few drops of water to the icing to thin it out.
- Separate the icing into two bowls. Tint each bowl of icing a different colour with a few drops of food colouring. Stir to evenly combine.
- Put the icing colours in two separate piping bags fitted with round nozzles. Pipe the colours on opposite halves of the cookie.
- Use a toothpick or skewer to push the icing into any sharp corners depending on the cookie shape.
- To create the colour marble effect drag a toothpick through the icing in a zig-zag pattern across the line where the two colours meet.
- Let the cookies dry completely.
Recipe adapted from Peggy Porschen’s”Romantic Cakes”
- Undecorated cookies will keep for 1 month in an airtight container if they’re wrapped in clingfilm.
- Iced cookies will keep at room temperature in an airtight container for up to 3 days