One of the things I’ve been doing since returning to the US for my summer vacation is to stock up on all possible baking supplies. It’s not that we don’t have these things in Norway (we do), it’s just that they’re harder to come by and often require either placing an online order and waiting (not my strongest virtue), or traveling to a larger and more distant city. So my annual vacation to the US is the perfect time to stock up on such items. And so it was perusing the baking isle of yet another store, that I stumbled across a cupcake shaped cookie cutter. I couldn’t resist and snatched it up on the spot (for only 99 cents, who could say no?!)! I bought it, trekked home, and insisted my Mum help me in the creation of a delightfully adorable cupcake cookie.
Yields about 2 dozen decorated cookies
For the cookies:
1 sticks (113 grams) butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. baking powder
2 1/2 cup all purpose flour
For the royal icing:
4 tbsp. meringue powder OR egg white powder
1/2 cup luke warm water
1 lb. (500 grams) powdered sugar
Food coloring gel in pink and yellow
You can find the recipe I use for making of simple sugar cookies here. I usually like to make mine a day in advance so any extra grease from the butter can dry out over night. You can also make and decorate them the same day, just as long as they’re completely cooled before you begin icing. For those of you with more foresight than myself, these cookies can be made up to a week in advance and stored in an airtight container until you’re ready to use them.
To make the royal icing, combine the meringue powder or egg white powder with the water, and beat until frothy and there is no visible powder. Add the powdered sugar and beat on high until almost stiff peaks form (about 5-6 minutes). Before not to over beat as this may cause your icing to crack/break later on. For this project you’ll need white, pink, and yellow icing. I set about half of the icing aside as plain white for the frosting on the cupcakes, and divide the other half into equal parts yellow and pink. For each color make a piping and a flood icing. For the piping icing I like to use a 20 second consistency (icing dropped back into the bowl takes approximately 20 seconds to be completely reabsorbed), while the flood icing is a 10 second consistency (same rule of thumb as before accept that the icing should be reabsorbed within 10 seconds).
Beginning with the white piping icing, pipe the outline for the frosting. I like to work with about 3 cookies at a time so that both the piping and flood icing is still movable and neither has begun to stiffen. Alternate between piping the frosting top and flooding with the white icing. Use a toothpick to gently guide the flood icing into gaps so that the icing is even and there are no visible depressions.
Once all of the cookies have a frosting top, you can move on to creating the cupcake liners. I alternated between pink liners with yellow or white dots, and yellow liners with pink or white dots, but you can use any color combination you like. To create the liners, start by piping the outer edge making sure to connect it to the frosting top. Fill in with the flood icing of the same color, even out with a toothpick, and immediately add dots with the flood icing of a different color. By immediately applying the dots, they’ll sink into the rest of the icing and create a smooth finish rather than a raised pattern.
When the icing has dried, you can begin to add details. I added a few line on the liners using the same color piping icing as the base of the liners, as well as a few swirls on the frosting with the white piping icing to create some movement. I topped it all off with a pink dot of piping icing on the top, and set them aside to dry over night. Be sure to let them dry at least over night before packing them.