HOW TO MAKE & DECORATE WITH ROYAL ICING
With all that is going on in the world right now, we all need a fun distraction and a relaxing way to pass the time. I have had many friends and family ask about the sugar cookies I've been doing in my spare time. I figured now was the perfect time to do a little tutorial so you all can join in the fun with me! I am by no means a professional, but I have learned from my many mistakes and want to share that with you all. I am also an extremely anxious public speaker, so bare with me on the videos.
Below I have posted two videos; one on how to make royal icing and another on how to decorate with it. I have also written my recipe for both my sugar cookies and royal icing. I hope you enjoy!
Stay joyful, stay healthy & happy baking!
Royal Icing Recipe (double batch):
2 lbs confectioners sugar (sifted)
6 tbsp meringue powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
2 tsp almond extract (or vanilla if you prefer)
12-14 tbsp of warm water (rough estimate, you will need to slowly eyeball this)
Sugar Cookie Recipe:
Double Batch Ingredients:
4 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 - 1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs , room temp
3 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 tsp pure almond extract
2 tsp pure butter extract (You can change up the extracts to your own preferred tasting)
I will do a video next time I do them on the instructions, but if you decide to go for them before then it's pretty basic:
Combine dry ingredients, set aside. Mix butter & sugar on high until creamy. Add eggs & extracts, mix. Add dry ingredients, mix.
Seperate dough into 4 sections. Roll 1/4 in thick onto parchment paper. Refrigerate for 2 hours (up to 24 hours max) covered with parchment paper.
Cut & bake cookies COLD! This is KEY!
Bake at 350 for 11 min (time may need to be adjusted for your oven, start with one cookie first to test).
May Day Baskets
The Best Forgotten Tradition
With April coming near an end, my kiddos and I get to take part in one of our favorite annual traditions: May Day Baskets! Every year we decorate our inexpensive styrofoam cups with dollar store brushes and craft paints. We turn them into small works of art, complete with pipe cleaner handles and little candies inside with a note attached, "XOXO, Them Sargent Boys."
It is such an exciting holiday for all of us and the decorating isn't even the best part!
After we've made our baskets, we not-so-patiently await the arrival of May 1st. This is the day the real fun begins. After the boys get home from school we get to deliver our baskets to neighbors, family and friends. These deliveries aren't your typical , polite greeting though.
As tradition that dates back to the late 19th and early 20th century goes, you leave your baskets on the doorstep of a loved one, ring the doorbell and quickly run away before it's recipient can catch you (The boys and I love to hide, wait and see their reactions). However, you must be careful. If they happen to find you and catch you, they are supposed to plant a big wet kiss on your cheek!
The woman in the photos above is my Grandma B, their great-grandma. She is the one who taught me this tradition as a child. There were an awful lot of us grandkids and only one Grandma B, so some years we would ride with and deliver baskets, other years we were the ones receiving the baskets and trying to catch our cousins. It made an otherwise boring holiday something that we all looked forward to every Spring.
This day is filled with so much excitement and joy, yet every year my heart breaks just a little bit while we are making our deliveries. Since I began this tradition with my children, I have never once seen another child out dropping off goodies and ringing doorbells. I tried to tell myself we were just not noticing them, but upon our deliveries we notice that very few that know of the tradition, try to chase the kids or what to do if you actually catch them (Except good ol' Grandma B. She get's them every year. Although, I'm starting to think they let her. LOL)
This year, I ask you all to give it a try. Even if you only go to one home. Even if you don't have a basket (we used to used paper back-in-the-day). Even if your kiddos use a napkin, filled with an old piece of hard candy you find in the junk drawer and run it over to your neighbors house. Just DO IT!
Tell your friends with kids, Share this blog post and hopefully, I'll see you out there on May 1st. But if not, and someone rings your doorbell, I hope you run as fast as you can to plant a sloppy kiss on that kiddos cheek.
Wishing you all the happiest May Day!