Shamrock Sugar Cookies | Recipe | St. Patrick's Day Dinner Party

Royal icing takes HOURS to dry, so Mr. Stranded and I were up until all hours of the night trying to get these cookies baked the night before so we could decorate them the morning of the party.  Nothing like waiting until the last minute!

These cookies are buttery and delicious.  All-in-all, they were fun to make too.

Shamrock Sugar Cookies
Yields: approx 2 dozen 4" shamrocks

2 c all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
1 c sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 Tbsp brandy
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, salt and baking powder until fully combined.
2. Using a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar using the paddle attachment.  To cream the butter and sugar, incorporate sugar with butter on low speed.  Increase speed to medium-high, and mix for 4-5 minutes.  Be sure to scrape down the sides when necessary, even minute or so.  It's creamed when it is lighter in color and texture. 
3. With mixer running, add egg, vanilla and brandy until combined.
4. On low speed, add flour mixture, a cup at a time, until just combined.
5. Divide dough into two batches.  Place one batch of dough mixture on a large piece of plastic wrap.  Mold into a disk and cover with plastic wrap.  Repeat with second batch.  Place in the refrigerator for at least one hour.
6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line baking sheets with Silpat or parchment paper.
7. Working in batches, on a lightly-floured surface, roll out dough to 1/8" thickness.  Cut out shamrocks and place on baking sheets.  Scraps can be rerolled and cut.  Place back in the refrigerator for a few minutes to firm up before re-rolling.
8. Bake cookies in the oven for approximately 10 minutes.  Check the cookies after 7 minutes.  As soon as the edges begin to turn brown, remove from oven.
9. Transfer to wire rack and cool completely.
10. Decorate with Royal Icing.

Royal Icing (using egg whites)

1 box confectioners' sugar (1 lb)
2 large egg whites (at room temperature)

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, slowly whisk confectioners' sugar, using a whisk attachment, to sift the sugar.
2. Incorporate egg whites and beat slowly until combined.
3. Increase speed to high and beat 7-10 minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Slowly mix in water, 1 Tbsp at a time, until you reach the desired consistency.  Flooding icing should be thinner than piping icing.

The following website is extremely helpful in explaining how to make and decorate cookies: