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4th of July Sugar Cookies Square
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5 from 4 votes

4th of July Sugar Cookies

Thick sugar cookies that are perfect for decorating for the 4th of July!
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time12 mins
Chilling Time10 mins
Total Time32 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Servings: 18
Calories: 378kcal
Author: Julie Evink

Ingredients

Sugar Cookies

  • 2-1/2 c, All Purpose Flour
  • ¼ c. Corn starch
  • ¼ tsp Salt
  • ¾ c. Butter Unsalted, room temperature
  • ¾ c. Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg room temperature
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • ½ tsp Almond Extract

Royal Icing

  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 3 Tbsp Meringue powder
  • 9-10 Tbsp water room temperature
  • Gel Food Coloring optional

Instructions

Sugar Cookies

  • Sift the flour, corn starch and salt into a medium sized mixing bowl.
  • Run a whisk through it to mix well and set aside.
  • With a stand mixer, In a large mixing bowl beat the butter and the sugar together, on medium speed, until creamy, about 5 minutes.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the egg while beating, then add the vanilla and almond extract.
  • One cup at a time add the flour mixture until it is well incorporated. The sugar cookie dough will pull away from the mixing bowl at this point.
  • Take the dough and form a ball, then flatten out into a disc. Wrap in plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator for a minimum of 30 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  • Take the dough out of the refrigerator and turn out onto a lightly floured surface.
  • Take a rolling pin and roll out to about ¼” – ½” thick.
  • Using a 2-1/2” round cookie cutter, cut as many discs out of the dough as possible and place onto a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat (or parchment paper).
  • Take the remaining dough and mold into a ball again and roll out again. Cut out more cookies until all the dough has been used.
  • Place the baking sheet into the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Turn the tray around half way.
  • Remove from the oven and allow to cool a little on the baking sheet before transporting to a wire rack.
  • Once cooled completely decorate as desired.

Royal Icing

  • Add the powdered sugar to a large mixing bowl attached to your stand mixer, as well as the meringue powder and stir a little to mix.
  • Using your wire whip, turn on your stand mixer on a low speed and slowly add the water.  As the powder subsides you can turn up the speed to medium.
  • Whip the mixture well for about 7-10 minutes, until you start to see tips forming. 
  • Check the consistency of the icing.  If it falls off the wire whip and melts back into the bowl of icing within 5-10 seconds then it’s perfect.
  • Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap until you are ready to use it.
  • Take a piping bag and a number three tip and place into a tall glass, folding the edges over the outside of the glass.  This is the easiest way to fill up an icing bag with less mess.
  • Use a rubber band to tie the top of the icing bag.  Place a piece of wet paper towel in the bottom of the glass, this will help the tip stay moist while you are working.
  • If you are using other colors, pour a little of the remaining icing into a small bowl and mix in a little of the food color until you reach the desired color.
  • If your cookies have a white background, which most of mine did (in the images), use the piping bag to pipe the icing around the outside edges, and then fill the middle.  Use a toothpick to spread the icing evenly. 
  • Leave cookie to set while you move onto the next, or if you are using sprinkles on your cookies sprinkle them on at this point, while the icing is still wet.
  • Use the colors you have mixed and a toothpick to create the designs on the cookies. If you are putting a design on the white background let the white set first before you start with your next color.

Notes

How to decorate: 
  • American Flag Cookies: You can pipe white icing and let it harden and then pipe red strips on part of the cookie leaving a space to add blue stars. Or, skip the white base and pipe the stars and stripes right onto the cookie.
  • USA Cookies: Start with the white background and then pipe USA in one color or alternate blue and red. Add dots of frosting for decoration or use a toothpick to create small stars.
  • Fireworks Cookies: For these, I started with the white background and then use red and blue icing to create fireworks. You can pipe and use a toothpick to create the exploding fireworks.
  • Patriotic Sprinkles: Pick a color for the background and then add 4th of July sprinkles to decorate.
Pro Tips
  • Cookie Cutter Tip: If you don’t have a 2 1/2″ cookie cutter you can use a glass, mason jar, or ramekin that is approximately the same size to cut out your cookies.
  • Baking Tip: Cookies baked on parchment paper will bake faster than ones on a silicone mat.
  • Cookie Storage Tip: Once cooled, keep plain baked cookies in an airtight container until you are ready to decorate them. Decorated cookies will keep for one to two weeks at room temperature.
  • Royal Icing Ingredient Tip: If you can’t find meringue powder, royal icing can be made using three egg whites and four cups of powdered sugar. Just keep in mind that icing will be made with raw egg whites, which can be a health concern for some.
  • Icing Storage Tips: You can make the icing ahead of time and freeze it. Freeze it in a freezer bag and it will keep well for up to three weeks.
FAQ
How long does it take royal icing to harden?
It can take anywhere from a few hours to 24 hours. A lot of factors can impact the drying time like the humidity, the room temperature, how much water was used to make it. Cookies will harden faster in cooler, dryer climates and will take longer is there is more heat and humidity.
Why is my icing too thick/too thin?
If your icing is thick, you can thin it with a little more water. If it’s too thin just add a little more powdered sugar.
How long do sugar cookies decorated with royal icing keep?
Once the icing has hardened, store the cookies in an airtight container. They will keep well at room temperature for up to two weeks.

Nutrition

Calories: 378kcal | Carbohydrates: 75g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 30mg | Sodium: 108mg | Potassium: 22mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 61g | Vitamin A: 260IU | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg