Let's be honest. Everyone loves sugar cookies around the holidays. They're easy, versatile, and full of yummy goodness! A good sugar cookie recipe, like the one by Tori Avey, is a great start, but the icing is just as important as the cookie itself. A bad icing can ruin a good sugar cookie any day. According to Food.com, the ingredients for a basic sugar cookie icing include 1 cup of powdered sugar, 2 teaspoons of milk, 2 teaspoons of light corn syrup, and ¼ teaspoon of vanilla extract. Mix together those 5 ingredients, adding in more corn syrup if it's too thick, and you will have enough icing for 12-24 cookies.
But what if you want more than just the basic sugar cookie icing? What if you want something to mix it up and surprise your holiday guests? Here are a few variations of the basic recipe to spice things up for your holiday party.
- Citrus: If you prefer a citrus flavor to your icing, try adding meringue powder. Simply add 6 tablespoons to your original recipe and you're good to go! If you can't get your hands on meringue powder, just add a few drops of lemon juice instead.
- Buttermilk: For a creamier and more buttery icing, try buttermilk. Instead of using light corn syrup, mix in ¼ cup (1/2 stick) of butter. Just make sure it's at room temperature first so it will mix well. For an even thicker and creamier icing, replace the milk with equal amounts of heavy whipping cream.
- Cream cheese: Does it get better than cream cheese? Do the same recipe as the buttermilk one above, but also add in 4 oz. of cream cheese, softened.
- Almond: For a stiffer recipe that will stay hard, usually used on fun-shaped cookies, replace the vanilla with equal amounts of almond extract. This is perfect for icing that you need to be able to put on a cookie and transport, like the store bought ones.
- Berry: If you want a fruity flavor for your icing, try adding some berries. You can either buy juice, such as raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, or blackberry, or you can buy a frozen bag. Microwave the bag to soften the berries, and then strain them, removing any seeds you find. Add ½ cup of the juice to ¼ cup of warm water. Replace the milk with this mixture, adding more sugar if it's too runny. Delicious on any type of sugar cookie, but even better on chocolate ones.
Original sugar cookie icing is great by itself, but different flavors are always fun. Try one of the above variations at your next holiday party. Your guests will be pleasantly surprised.