It’s officially baseball season! I’m originally from Kansas City Missouri, home of the World Champion Kansas City Royals where the fans are insanely loyal, including my sister. I have to admit, I’ve really only gotten into baseball in the last three years. Originally my sister forced me to watch the post season with her while she was in California visiting. I was hesitant, but once I started watching, I understood what all the fuss was about. The Royals are an amazing team that just won’t quit! I’ve been following ever since and I was anxiously awaiting baseball season this year for the first time in my life! To thank my sister for turning me on to baseball, I decided to make her a batch of baseball cookies.
These are not just any cookies. These are sugar cookies with Royal Icing. I’ve been fascinated by all the talent I see across the internet and how easy these wonderfully talented bakers make creating cookies look. My first attempt at sugar cookies with Royal Icing went very badly. I was going to make Easter egg cookies. I had seen lots of inspiration online and I thought to myself “it’s an egg, with some squiggles and dots on it, how hard can it be”!? I made a batch of my usual sugar cookies, whipped up a batch of icing the whole time thinking how smart I was to start out with an “easy” project. Long story short, my cookies were a horrible disaster. My cookies puffed in the center making it impossible to flood the cookie properly and my icing consistency was all wrong. I was destroyed. Twelve hours, tears (yes, full grown adult tears) and hurt feelings later, I scrapped the whole project resigned to the fact that I was out of my league.
Being a perfectionist (not bragging, it’s a problem), I could not quit thinking about my failed Easter cookies and I wanted to try again. I did more research and found a new sugar cookie recipe from Glorious Treats that promised a flat cookie that was easy to decorate.
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon good quality vanilla extract
- In a medium bowl, stir together the flour and baking powder and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add egg and vanilla, beat for one minute.
- Add flour mixture slowly and blend until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.
- Turn dough out of the bowl and place it on a piece of parchment paper.
- Using your hands, knead the dough a few times, form into two discs.
- Wrap dough in plastic and refrigerate for about 2 hours.
- Preheat oven to 350℉.
- Remove half the dough from the refrigerator, leaving the rest in the refrigerator (until your ready to work with it).
- Place the dough on a lightly floured work surface.
- Place a piece of parchment paper on top of dough.
- Roll out the dough to about 1/3 of an inch thick.
- Cut the dough with your choice of cookie cutters.
- Place cookie shapes on a baking sheet lined with a silicone sheet.
- Place baking sheet (with cookies on it) in the freezer or refrigerator for about 3-5 minutes.
- Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes depending on the size of the cookie. Bake until they are just barely beginning to take on a golden tone. Remove from oven and cool for one minuet on the pan, then carefully remove cookies from the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.
- - Place wooden spoons on either side of your dough while rolling out to guide your rolling pin. They will help you roll out the dough in a nice even thickness.
- - Placing parchment paper on top of dough while you roll it out allows you to roll out dough without adding additional flour. Adding too much flour can make the dough tough, and can create little pockets of flour in the dough that cause bumps to form on your cookies during baking, making it more difficult to decorate later.
- - Make the best use of the dough you’ve rolled out. Every time you re-roll the dough you add a bit more flour, and can create the flour pockets mentioned while baking.
- - Only put cookies of similar size on each bake sheet. If you try to bake smaller cookies with larger ones the small ones will be over done before the large ones are baked.
- - Chilling the cookies prior to baking will ensure they keep their shape while baking.
- Vinegar or lemon juice to wipe down equipment
- 1 lb. powdered sugar (about 3 1/2 cups)
- 3 Tbsp. meringue powder
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 Tbsp. light corn syrup
- 2 tsp. clear vanilla flavoring
- Wipe down all equipment including spatulas, measuring cups, etc with vinegar or lemon juice to degrease.
- Combine powdered sugar and meringue powder in the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment attached.
- In a separate cup combine water, corn syrup and vanilla.
- Add liquid mixture to dry and beat on medium for about 4-5 minutes until stiff peaks form.
- Wiping down equipment with vinegar or lemon juice removes any trace amounts of grease that will prevent your icing from drying.
I used a number 2 tip and piped icing along the outline of the ball.
To flood the baseballs, I added water to icing until a drop of icing disappears in the bowl after 8 seconds. I recommend reviewing Beki Cook’s Cake Blog for a step by step tutorial that includes photos. Once I had the correct consistency, I flooded the cookie by section.
Next I used the remaining icing (non diluted) to free hand the red stitches.
Overall, I’m really pleased with the results. They are not perfect and I’m sure you can find better out there. The real win for me is that I pushed myself out of my comfort zone and am learning a new skill. I sometimes have difficulty taking a risk especially if I have a failed attempt. I understand the process much better and I will absolutely try this again in the future.
What about you? Do you have trouble trying new things? What pushes your curiosity and how do you overcome your fears? What is your success story?