I made these sugar cookies for Eid al Fitr this year. I was really inspired by this womans blog, who is like the sugar cookie queen. Mine didnt come out as perfect as her cookies (to be a master at something is truly amazing) but I did have fun making them and hopefully I will share with you some new ideas. I will also warn you that this can easily be an all-day project, especially if you want to use the special icing techniques and if this is the first time you are doing something like this. You can of course make it way less complicated if you are pressed for time.Also if you notice, the cookie shapes are partly a mix of Ramadan/Eid al-adha/Islamic shapes. I did that kind of to show you what different possibilities are because rolled cookies arent a traditional thing for holidays in the Middle East, its more of a western thing. Plus the little lamb was so cute it turned out to be my favorite. But obviously you can choose what is appropriate for the holiday that you celebrate. As for the colors, I dont think there are traditional colors for these holidays so I kind of just chose what I thought would look nice. Green is a color of eid actually now that I think of it. But nevertheless, experiment with any ideas you have.
1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until fluffy. Then add in the eggs one at a time and mix until well combined. Add in the extract.
3. Now mix in the flour, baking powder and salt until everything is well combined. I was using this well-reviewed recipe, so I was surprised to find the dough way too sticky for rolled cookies. I ended up adding another 1 cup of flour so that the dough was a bit drier. Many things affect this, especially the time of year and humidity so you need to kind of judge it by how the dough looks.
4. Place the dough in the refrigerator for one hour or longer.
5. When the dough has chilled and is hard, then take a piece of it and begin to roll it out into a sheet ¼ inch thick. Try to keep it as even as possible. You can do this directly on a flat cookie sheet or onto parchment paper which can be lifted onto the sheet and placed directly in the oven. However, I do not recommend trying to move the uncooked cookies with a spatula because I imagine that would make things too difficult. The cookies need to be spaced at least a ½ inch apart because they will expand in the oven. Remove the unused edges. I also lightly floured everything including the rolling pin so that it wouldn’t stick.
6. Cook for 5-8 minutes or until they are cooked to your taste.
7. Repeat with the rest of the dough. I store mine in the fridge in the meantime.
8. For the icing, I made a royal icing which is the best for using the piping and filling techniques. If you want to skip that whole thing and just spread the icing with a knife you can do that too, it just won’t be as precise. You could also use buttercream icing if you wanted to do that.
9. To make the icing, mix together the meringue powder and sugar until well combined. Then slowly add the water. Whip this for about 10 minutes on medium high speed until the icing turns really white and stiff peaks form. Mine had a little funny taste from the meringue powder so I added flavoring. You could also use fresh egg whites for this if you wanted too, (which I have done before) it just there is a risk that comes with consuming raw egg products.
10. Then split up the icing into however many colors you would like to do, I made 5. Mix in the food coloring into each bowl. I didn’t measure this at all but just kept adding until I got the colors that I liked. At first the colors were all very bright so I mixed a tiny bit of yellow, green, and purple in with the other ones so they became muted and matched better. Don’t overdo this or you will get all browns. If you are trying to match the colors, you can look up a bit of color theory to help you out with that.
11. Now it is time to make the piping icing and to do that I added water SLOWLY to each color until it becomes like a toothpaste consistency. Again, don’t overdo this because if you add too much water then you basically ruined the icing and it’s hard to get it to become thicker again. Spoon some of the icing into your pastry bag. I used #2 tips. There are directions on the box for how to prepare the bag so I will skip that for the sake of time.
12. Outline your cookies with the colors and shapes that you like. You can see how I did mine but I think the fun part is to get creative and make your own designs. I put a link above to more detailed info on the icing techniques if you want to read more about it.
13. To make the flood icing, go back to your little bowls of icing (which you need to cover to prevent from drying by the way). Now add a bit more water until the consistency becomes runnier, something like honey. Again, be careful not to overdo this. I should have placed the flood icing colors into pastry bags and applied it that way, but to be honest I just took a knife and spread it on, which was easy and didn’t give me any problems. If you have a lot of small spaces you can also use a toothpick to push it around or use the bags for greater precision.
14. Now be patient and let these dry. You can also add more details with your piping icing if you like.