These addictive sugar cookies are delectably soft and have notes of coconut and vanilla. They are the perfect dough to work with when cutting out shapes. The cookies are perfectly soft and chewy, yet the dough is nicely firm when rolling it out to cut into shapes.
We are all about making Eid and Ramadan as fun as can be. These are beautiful and joyous occasions, and Ramadan is the holiest month of the year for Muslims. To make this time of year memorable and special for my family, I indulge in Ramadan and Eid themed crafts, activities, service projects, cooking, and baking. Ramadan and Eid cookies are a must on our list!
The traditional petit four Eid cookies and “maamool” that we usually make are a more labor intensive, persnickety cookie so I had to come up with a more kid friendly, hands-on alternative. What better option than a scrumptious sugar cookie, that the kids can help roll out and cut into their favorite shapes?! Of course, making your own sugar icing, letting little ones stir up the colors, and decorate the cookies is the the best part.
I tried several sugar cookie recipes, and this modified version from allrecipes.com was fantastic. I added some light brown sugar to make it a softer, gooey-er cookie. I also incorporated some coconut flour (1 cup out of the 5) and vanilla extract for some hints of flavor. You could omit the coconut flour and just use regular, or substitute some almond flour instead of the coconut. These offer great flavor variation and a softer texture.
These deliciously scrumptious cookies start and end with frosting! I start by whipping a creamy mixture of brown sugar, white sugar, and butter, which is essentially a creamy brown sugar frosting. For the dough, you need to work with softened butter, not melted or cold butter. So go ahead and take out the butter and set it out on your counter RIGHT NOW (because you really want to make these!) Then after these cookies are baked and cooled, we top them with an EASY and gorgeous home-made icing with bold hues of blue, yellow, and green.
Once you have mixed the dough, it will be soft and creamy, so it is essential to refrigerate the dough for AT LEAST two hours if you want to easily cut out your shapes and have clean lines. Otherwise, the dough is too soft and too sticky, and your cut cookies my tear or fall apart when transferring and shaping. So plan ahead and leave enough time to cool the dough. I also stick some of the dough into the freezer after working with it if the dough starts warming up again and getting too floppy.
To make my gorgeous Ramadan themed shapes, I found these fantastic cookie cutters on Amazon.com, a world of almost any product you can imagine. These specific cookie cutters seem to be out of stock unfortunately, but there are these wonderful linzer cookie cutters as well as these awesome stencils you could use to spray or sprinkle on beautiful designs to your cookie shapes.
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The icing used here is SUPER easy. This is purely sugar melted into a teaspoon of vanilla extract and a couple of spoons of milk (you can also use water). It hardens very nicely and is very easy to work with. I sometimes add a spoon of corn syrup or meringue powder to give the icing a hard shiny gloss. I divide the icing into several bowls, depending on how many colors I want to use. To decorate properly, I first make a thicker icing to hold in the interior “flood” icing. This makes it easier to fill your cookie with a smooth, clean layer of colorful design. Once all the cookies are edged, you can “flood” the cookie with thinner icing by adding another spoon of milk to the mix and stirring until incorporated.
I pipe the icing with a plastic sandwich bag (any type will do), which I fill by draping it over a cup, with the corner (the piping tip) pointing downward in the cup. Once the bag is filled with icing, I snip off a half centimeter tip from the corner to start making my edge design. I sometimes use simple sandwich ziploc bags, but these piping bags by Wilton are much better because of their conical shape.
By the time you finish icing all the edges with the thicker icing, the edges should be hardened and you can begin to “flood” the inside of the cookie with a slightly thinner icing by adding 1 more tablespoon of milk to the icing mix. Even if the icing hardened in the bowl, don’t worry it will dissolve and mix again once you stir it up.
You may also want to use some colorful non-pareils sprinkles to let the kids sprinkle (or pour) some over the cookies when the icing is still soft. This is the funnest (and messiest) part after all! Just set the cookies in a shallow tray to catch all the mess.
- 1 1/2 c unsalted butter, softened
- 1 c white sugar
- 1 light brown sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 c all purpose flour
- 1 c coconut flour, or almond flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 c powdered sugar
- 3 tbsp milk + 1 tbsp milk to thin it later in process
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1-2 tbsp of corn syrup
- food coloring (gel or powder) **
- Whip the sugars and butter together until creamy.
- Add the eggs and vanilla extract.
- Sift the flour, baking powder, and salt in a separate bowl. Then gradually add the flour mixture to the butter mixture.
- Roll the dough into a ball, cover completely with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Remove the dough from the fridge (preheat the oven to 350 degrees) and knead it gently to soften it slightly. Roll the dough out onto a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin. Roll the dough out to be 1 inch thick, or 1/2 inch for thinner cookies.
- Cut the shapes as desired, and lay onto an ungreased baking sheet*.
- Cover the cut out cookies on the baking sheet with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 20- 30 minutes. This will ensure the cookies hold their shape while baking, instead of spreading out.
- Bake for 6-8 minutes. I like to remove when still soft as the cookie will harden after cooling.
- Allow to cool completely for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
- If you plan to fill most cookies completely with icing, double this recipe 😉
- Stir the 3 tbsp of milk and vanilla together.
- Sift the powdered sugar and slowly whisk it into the milk using a mixer set on low. If stirring by hand, make SURE to sift the sugar first to avoid any lumps!
- Once all the sugar is stirred into the milk into a creamy consistency, add the corn syrup.
- Divide the icing into 2-3 bowls to make different colors and add the food coloring.
- Lay out the cookies on a large work surface, over parchment paper or foil. Pipe the edges with the thicker icing first. Once the edges have dried, which will happen while you finish icing all the other cookies, you can begin to fill the interior of the cookie with thinner icing. Thin the remaining icing with another spoon of milk so that is slightly more viscous. Be careful not to make it too thin, as this will be difficult to work with and will take a very long time to dry and harden!
- Allow the cookies to dry overnight or 12 hours before stacking on top of each other.
- * the baking sheet used in the test recipes was a large baking sheet light in color (not dark).
- * If using gel food coloring, be careful and only add a tiny drop at a time! Some colors are VERY saturated and will completely change the color of the icing if you put too much!