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Flag Cookies

This simple sugar cookie, decorated with royal icing in red, white, and blue, makes a perfect patriotic treat. To achieve flawless flag stripes, use plastic squeeze bottles to flood the cookies with royal icing.

  • yield: Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled, cut into small pieces
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 3 cups plus 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • Pinch of salt
  • Royal Icing Recipe
  • Red and blue paste food colorings

Cook's Note

Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Directions

  1. Step 1

    Cut a 3-by-5-inch template out of lightweight cardboard, or create a template by stacking several index cards together, then wrapping them in plastic wrap, leaving one side smooth; set aside. Line 2 baking sheets with Silpat baking mats or parchment paper, and set aside.

  2. Step 2

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar for 1 minute. Add vanilla, flour, and salt, and mix until just combined, 1 to 2 minutes more.

  3. Step 3

    On a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to 1/4 inch thick. Place the smooth side of the template onto the dough, and cut out a rectangle using a paring knife; repeat to make a total of 16 rectangles, re-rolling dough as needed.

  4. Step 4

    Transfer rectangles to prepared baking sheets using a wide spatula. Chill for at least 1 hour.

  5. Step 5

    Bake cookies until they are just beginning to color and are lightly firm to the touch, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove to cooling rack, and let cool completely.

  6. Step 6

    Divide the royal icing evenly among 4 bowls, and cover each tightly with plastic wrap. Set one bowl aside for outlining the cookies. Add red food coloring to one of the bowls, and mix thoroughly, adding more food coloring if necessary to obtain desired color. Add 2 or 3 teaspoons of water to icing so it is loose enough to flow easily off of a spatula when lifted and forms a ribbon that dissolves almost immediately. Replace plastic wrap, and cover tightly. Repeat this process with another bowl of icing using blue food coloring. To the third bowl of icing, add just the water, and mix thoroughly. Recover all bowls tightly with plastic wrap.

  7. Step 7

    Transfer the reserved outlining icing to a small pastry bag fitted with a No. 5 tip. Pipe an even line on the outside edges of the cookie. Divide the cookie in half with a horizontal line. To form the outline of the canton (the field of stars), pipe a vertical line 1/3 of the way from the left side of the cookie until it meets the first horizontal line. To form the stripes, pipe two evenly spaced horizontal lines above the original horizontal line and to the right of the canton. Pipe 3 more evenly spaced horizontal lines from left to right under the canton. Repeat this process on the remaining cookies. Reserve the icing in the pastry bag for the stars. Allow the icing to dry for at least 1 hour.

  8. Step 8

    Place the remaining 3 icings into separate squeeze bottles. Flood the field of stars with enough blue icing to fill the space evenly without overflowing. Use the tip of a small knife or a wooden skewer to push the icing completely into the corners. Using the same technique, flood every other stripe with the red icing. Allow the icing to dry for at least 2 hours. Flood the remaining stripes with the white icing.

  9. Step 9

    Change the tip of the pastry bag with the reserved white icing to a No. 16 tip. Pipe out as many stars onto the blue icing as will fit. Allow the icing to dry.

Source
Martha Stewart Living Television

Reviews (12)

  • 3 Jul, 2010

    Those who go to the "egg-free royal icing recipe" Please note the comments.
    The recipe uses egg white powder. so those with egg allergies should be
    aware. egg white powder is dried egg whites.

  • 3 Jul, 2010

    THANKS FOR SHOWING US HOW TO MAKE THESE BEAUTIFUL PATRIOTIC COOKIES!!! HAPPY FOURTH OF JULY TO ALL!! GOD BLESS AMERICA!!

  • 17 Jun, 2010

    These cookies were very very cute but took a long time to make and didn't taste all that good. They just tasted like royal icing which looks nice but tastes like powdered sugar. But if you just love the novelty and fun of these cookies, I'd say they're worth making.

    Also, be sure to do the icing the way she does in the video. I did it all with piping bags and it made a big mess and the cookies looked less neat. Had I done it how she does, they probably would have looked just like hers!

  • 9 Aug, 2009

    These really are adorable. But how do they taste? Is the cookie good???

  • 6 Jul, 2008

    Cute cookies but MAN did they take forever! I may try to use a flat tip to make the stripes next time. Do not preheat your oven until AFTER you chill the dough for an hour. I used a heart-shaped cookie cutter for a fun change. I don't think the cookies lasted five minutes at the cookout I brought them to. Thank you for sharing this recipe! :o)

  • 3 Jul, 2008

    These were fun to make, but man did they take forever. Mine look nothing like the picture. Mine have crooked lines and not a true red stripes which gives them character I suppose. My three year old had a lot of fun decoration his cookies with the squeeze bottles though.

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    These cookies sound yummy, look very professional, and patriotic. The only thing wrong is that the top stripe should be red and not white. We can make that little change. God bless our brave men and women in the military whatever their job might be. We are very proud of them and respect them highly.

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    Beautiful and most patriotic. Thanks Martha

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    Love these cookies. We are going to the local Army Base for the 4th. I'll be sure to bring these along! Love the cookie a day! Thank you.

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    I Love this idea!
    WHAT A WONDERFUL way to celebrate and honor our heros at home and
    over seas. THANKS MARTHA I will pass them out at the PARADE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    I noticed that the recipe said to preheat the oven before making the cookie dough but then later it says to chill them for at least an hour. I'm sure it was a mistake but just wanted to let somebody know it needs to be changed.

  • 2 Jul, 2008

    I think these cookies sound great. Very cute too!