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Sugar Cookies With Sponged Icing

Recipe photo courtesy of Mike Krautter

Royal icing, a mixture of confectioners' sugar and egg whites, is the best choice for decorating most cookies. Unlike buttercream frosting, royal icing hardens when dry; a thin coating on a cookie makes a good foundation for further decorating.




Cook's Notes

This technique yields lovely decorations on both un-iced cookies and cookies with a dry base coat. Wet a small piece of natural sea sponge (available at pharmacies and cosmetics stores) and squeeze out until damp (excess water will cause icing to run). Dip sponge in thick royal icing, wipe off excess on the edge of the bowl, and gently dab on cookie until surface has been evenly covered. A second color can be sponged on top once the first has dried, but more than two sponged colors will start to look muddy. As a variation, we iced half of a leaf cookie with dark-colored icing, then carefully sponged over both halves with a pale color. To create a snow-covered effect, try lightly sponging white icing onto dry chocolate or gingerbread cookies.

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