Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thanks a latte for making me one smart cookie!

As promised here is H's gift for her teacher to show our appreciation!
I bought a cute polka dot tin pail filled it with homemade cookies, a Starbucks gift card and designed a blackboard "Thank you" tag for her teachers.
This was the first time I tried this cookie and royal icing recipe. (See below)
It definitely requires some time but fairly easy once you get the hang of it. I got inspired when a friend of mine made these beautiful cookies as part of her daughter's party favor. H loved them so much. I never seen her eat a cookie that fast! :)

Lemon and Vanilla Bean White Sugar Cookie Recipe (From
*NOTE: I did not use vanilla bean since I did not have it on hand. 
Also keep cutouts refrigerated before transferring to baking sheet to help cookies keep their shape as they bake.

2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise
Zest of half a lemon (or the zest of a whole lemon, if you love lemon)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. salt

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes.  Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and lemon zest until blended.  Mix in the flour and salt on low speed just until incorporated.  Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap.

Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1-2 hours. When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375˚ F.  Line baking sheets with parchment paper.  Roll the dough out on a well floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness.  Cut with cookie cutters as desired and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.  Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the sheets halfway through baking, until fully cooked but not at all browned.  Allow to cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.  Decorate as desired.

Royal Icing Recipe (From
4 cups powdered sugar 
2 tbsp meringue powder 
5 tbsp water

Combine all ingredients in the bowl. Mix on low speed until the sheen has disappeared and the icing has a matte appearance.  Transfer the contents of the mixing bowl to an air-tight container.  This will be the stiffest consistency of the icing, and at this point it is still too stiff to use for decorating.  Add water a very small amount at a time and stir by hand until fully incorporated.  Continue until the icing has reached a consistency appropriate for piping.  (If you are having any difficulty piping, it is still too thick.  Add a little more liquid and try again.)

Using a pastry bag, pipe around the edges of each cookie.  Let stand so the icing will set.  Make sure to keep the leftover icing covered at all times when not in use so that it does not begin to harden.

Once all the cookies have been edged, transfer some of the remaining icing to a separate air-tight container.  Thin out by incorporating a small amount of water at a time, until the icing drips off the spoon easily when lifted and then smooths in with that still in the bowl.  If you go too far and the icing is too thin, add more sifted powdered sugar to thicken it again.

Once the icing has reached the desired consistency, transfer it to a squeeze bottle or a plastic bag with a hole in one corner, and flood the area surrounded by the piping on each cookie.  If it does not completely spread to the edges, use a toothpick to help it along.  Allow to set. Use the remaining thicker icing for piping decoration as desired.
Gel icing color is best as it does not add a significant amount of liquid.

Sending out a big THANK YOU to our readers who are or was a teacher!  (School teachers, Sunday school, music, dance, etc.) We appreciate all the hard work you do and for your love and patience to teach our kids. THANK YOU!!!!

Who is or was your favorite teacher?


  1. What a lovely, thoughtful, and yummy treat for H's teacher!!!! My favorite teacher was my high school physics teacher. Made physics fun and I even enjoyed it in college because of him.

    1. Thanks Lisa I hope they enjoy it :) That's great you had such an awesome Physics teacher! Amazing how one person can make a difference.

  2. You did such a cute job, Eva! I bet the teacher is going to love this gift! My favorite teacher was a middle school teacher named Mr. D. I think everyone who had him would say he was their favorite. He taught History and Religion and made it so much fun. He also taught us life lessons like teaching us to meditate or taking us to visit the elderly at the nursing home once a month. He passed away when I was in high school and his funeral was PACKED! I'm talking thousands of people. You could tell he changed lives.

    1. Thanks Mandi!
      Mr. D sounded like a great man. He made a great impact on many lives. We need more people like that in this world. :)