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Airplane Sugar Cookies with Royal Icing

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 50 min (includes chilling time)
  • Active: 1 hr
  • Yield: 24 cookies
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Ingredients

Sugar Cookies:

3 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature

1 cup granulated sugar 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Pinch salt 

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 

Royal Icing:

1 pound confectioner's sugar

5 tablespoons meringue powder 

1 teaspoon vanilla extract 

Food coloring, optional

Directions

  1. For the sugar cookies: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar together just until combined, about 5 minutes. Add the vanilla and salt and beat a moment more, just to bring together.
  2. With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the flour. Beat just until it comes together. Form the dough into equal-sized balls (about 24). Cover in plastic and chill for at least 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  4. On a lightly floured work surface, use a lightly floured rolling pin to roll the dough balls out to a 1/4-inch thickness. With a lightly floured cookie cutter, cut the cookies out in desired shapes and transfer them to a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Bake until the cookies are very light golden brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Let cool completely before decorating with royal icing.
  5. For the royal icing: Combine the confectioner's sugar, meringue powder and vanilla in a large bowl. With an electric hand mixer running on low speed, very gradually beat in 1/2 cup water, checking the consistency once most of the water has been added. Beat until the icing holds a ribbon, adding more water as needed. If too loose, add more sugar.
  6. If coloring the royal icing, add a few drops of food coloring to the finished icing and slowly mix until completely incorporated.
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