Candy Sugar Cookies & a Video!
A soft, crisp-edged candy shaped sugar cookie inspired by my new cookbook!
🍬🍭 39 days! 39 days! 39 days! 🍬🍭
Sally’s Candy Addiction cookbook will be here before we know it, sweeping the world one sweet confection at a time. I cannot wait for you to hold this new cookbook in your hands. This very excitement makes all the sleepless nights, headaches, photography stress (try shooting a cookbook in GRAY winter!), effort, and tears all worth it. I wrote this cookbook for YOU. Make sure you read the dedication page.
You can pre-order my cookbook here: Amazon ♥ Barnes and Noble ♥ Indiebound ♥ Indigo. Speaking of Candy Addiction, I’m sharing the official book tour schedule on my blog on August 31st! Please check back for the dates and locations. We’re just finishing up some details during the next week.
To celebrate my cookbook’s upcoming release, I made candy shaped sugar cookies! This is not a recipe in the book. Rather, it’s a simple sugar cookie recipe that I’ve shared on my blog before. Surely you’ve tried them, right? This is my go-to recipe when I want to make festive cookie cutter cookies for holidays, parties, and other events. Soft centers, crisp edges, flat surface, simple ingredients, easy to decorate, and the cookie dough holds its shape when baked.
This is a sugar cookie recipe you need to try.
And I decided to get you extra excited about these candy cookies AND my cookbook’s release with the most adorable little video in all the land.
How can you not smile watching that? Thank you Five Story Media for helping me shoot the video!
So, let’s get back to making this candy inspired recipe. This cookie dough is very simple. Butter, flour, sugar, egg, and not much else. Make sure your butter is not melted in the slightest. You should be able to press your finger into the stick of butter and make an indent easily, without your finger sliding anywhere. Firm, but not cold. Lightly softened is what you should go for. I let mine sit out at room temperature for 45 minutes. See a helpful visual of perfectly softened butter in this post.
The cookie dough will be thick, slightly sticky, and crumbly. Very important: This sugar cookie dough requires 1 hour of chilling. Once the sugar cookie dough is prepared, divide it in half, shape into balls, and then roll into two flat rectangles – about 1/4 inch thickness each then chill.
Chilling is mandatory for 2 reasons:
- Keeps the butter cold to help prevent spreading.
- Gives the gluten in the flour a chance to rest.
As you notice, I chill the cookie dough AFTER rolling it out. This method is much easier than chilling the cookie dough as a whole and then trying to roll out a cold chunk of dough. That never seems to work in my favor.
The cookies take 8-11 minutes in the oven. I take mine out around the 9 minute mark for super soft cookie centers. If you like your sugar cookies a little more crisp, go for around 11 minutes. Rocket science.
Decorating! The best part. When I make royal icing, I usually do not use powdered egg whites or meringue powder because I never have either in my pantry. Maybe that doesn’t make this icing “real” royal icing according to the cookie police, but it works for me. What I do use is confectioners’ sugar, water, vanilla extract, and a touch of corn syrup. The corn syrup makes the icing nice and shiny, while the ratio of confectioners’ sugar to water keeps it thick. The icing dries hard and slightly crunchy, so you can easily stack these decorated sugar cookies and travel with them.
This icing is so easy to work with! To make decorating a breeze, I use plastic squeeze bottles. I fill each with a different color icing and simply squeeze them onto the cookie. Buy some new ones— I don’t recommend using squeeze bottles that have previously been home to, like, mustard.
Can you imagine.
These sugar cookies require planning ahead. The cookie dough needs to chill. Then, before decorating the baked cookies, make sure the cookies are completely cool. And finally, the icing needs to completely “set” and harden on top of the cookie which takes around 24 hours. So start them a day in advance. Trust me on this!
Sweeeeet like candy. 💗
Don’t be overwhelmed by all the steps; I’m insanely thorough.
- 3/4 cup (170g) unsalted butter, slightly softened to room temperature
- 3/4 cup (150g) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract (adds incredible flavor)
- 2 and 1/4 cups (281g) all-purpose flour (measured correctly)
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 and 1/2 cups (180g) confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon light corn syrup1
- 2 - 2.5 Tablespoons (30-38ml) room temperature water
- pinch salt2
- food coloring
- Candy shaped cookie cutter (I got mine at Hobby Lobby, you can also get it here and here)
- Plastic squeeze bottles for decorating (optional, but encouraged!)
- Set aside enough time (and enough counter space!) to make these cookies. The cookie dough needs to chill, the cookies need to cool completely, and the icing needs 1 day to completely harden. If hardened icing isn't a concern, you'll only need about 4 hours to make these.
- In a large bowl using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter until creamed and smooth, about 1 minute. Add the sugar and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, about 3 or 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract and beat on high until fully combine, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed.
- Whisk the flour and baking powder in a medium bowl. Turn the mixer to low and add about half of the flour mixture, beating until just barely combined. Add the rest of the flour and continue mixing until just combined. If the dough still seems too soft, add 1 Tablespoon more flour until it is a better consistency for rolling.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal parts. Roll each portion out onto a piece of parchment to about 1/4″ thickness. Stack the pieces (with paper) onto a baking sheet and refrigerate for at least 1 hour and up to 1 day. Chilling is mandatory.
- Once chilled, preheat oven to 350°F (177°C). Line 2-3 large baking sheets with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Remove one of the dough pieces from the refrigerator and using a cookie cutter, cut in shapes. Transfer the cut cookie dough to the prepared baking sheet. Re-roll the remaining dough and continue cutting until all is used.
- Bake for 8-11 minutes, until very lightly colored on top and around the edges. Make sure you rotate the baking sheet halfway through bake time. My cookies take about 9 minutes. Allow to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. No need to cover the cookies as the cookies cool.
- For the icing, whisk the confectioners' sugar, vanilla, corn syrup, and 2 Tablespoons of water in a medium bowl. It should be quite thick. If it is much too thick, add 1/2 Tablespoon more water. If it is much too thin, add 2 more Tablespoons of confectioners' sugar. If you drizzle a little of the icing with the whisk, the ribbon of icing will hold for a few seconds before melting back into the icing. That is when you know it's the right consistency and is ready to use. If desired, add liquid or gel food coloring. You can pour some icing into different bowls if using multiple colors. If not decorating right away, cover the icing tightly and keep in the refrigerator for up to 2 days.
- Decorate the cooled cookies, Squeeze bottles make decorating so easy! You can enjoy right away or you can wait 24 hours for the icing to set and harden-- no need to cover the cookies as the icing sets. Once the icing has set, these cookies are great for gifting or for sending. They stay soft for about 5 days at room temperature.
- Make ahead tip: Unfrosted cookies freeze well up to 3 months. Thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Frosted cookies do not freeze very well.
- Corn syrup gives the icing fabulous shine. You can leave it out if you aren't concerned about shiny, glossy icing.
- I know salt isn't a typical ingredient in cookie icing, but my taste testers and I preferred that little pinch of salt. I use about 1/8 teaspoon.
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Follow me on Instagram and tag #sallysbakingaddiction so I can see all the SBA recipes you make! ♥ And when you get your hands on a copy of Sally’s Candy Addiction, make sure you try my Caramel Turtles on page 94!