A couple weeks ago Trey and I went on a quick trip to San Francisco for a family wedding. We also celebrated his birthday while we were in town. Somehow I still managed to con Trey into going to Sur La Table during the trip. We don't have one in our hometown, so this is a big treat for me. As you can probably guess, I'm a kitchen gadget fanatic.
One item I picked up while I was there was a set of hexagon cookie cutters. So of course, I had to create some kind of honeycomb cookie recipe. Duh! I landed on these brown sugar cookies with royal icing. The cookies are not overly sweet, so they can be paired with this melt-in-your-mouth royal icing. These are super fun to make too. Bonus!
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Cream together the butter and sugars. I sometimes do this by hand. It makes it super quick. Blend together for a full minute or two until you can feel the sugars begin to break down into the mixture. If you're stirring with a spoon or mixer, you'll know when this is happening because the mixture will begin to lighten in color.
Next stir in the egg and vanilla extract until just combined. Then stir in the flour, salt, and baking powder until a crumbly dough ball forms.
Once the dough is chilled, roll out on a lightly floured surface. You want the dough to be 1/4" thick or slightly less. Cut out your cookie shapes and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake at 400°F for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack. Let these fully cool before adding any frosting. If you add frosting while the cookies are still hot, you run the risk of melting your frosting, ruining the look of your cookies.
Line the cookies with buttercream frosting. I used this simple buttercream frosting recipe and tinted the frosting to match my royal icing. Lining the cookies with a firmer frosting gives the royal icing a border to stay within.
Recipe adapted from The Martha Stewart Cookbook
6 teaspoons meringue powder
6 tablespoons water
3 cups powdered sugar
small squeeze of lemon juice
Begin by whisking together the meringue powder and water. I used Wilton's meringue powder, but any brand will do. Squeeze just a little lemon juice (this helps cut the sweetness of this frosting). Sift the powdered sugar before adding for a super smooth frosting. Whisk to combine. I divided the frosting into three different containers and added food coloring to match my butter cream frosting outlines.
It's best to use a squeeze bottle when pouring royal frosting. But, I haven't bought any for the ABM kitchen yet. Oops. So I drizzled the frosting on using a spoon. This worked just as well; it just took a little bit longer. Be careful not to overfill the cookies or the frosting will spill over the buttercream boundary you created.
Credits // Author: Emma Chapman, Photography: Sarah Rhodes. Photos edited with Lila from the Fresh Collection.