Making an iced sugar cookie is probably easier than you might imagine, although it does take some time. Just follow my steps to make a hibiscus flower iced sugar cookie and you’ll be dazzling your friends and family with your stellar skills in no time.
You will need:
Round sugar cookies
Royal Icing (recipe below)
Icing Bag (You can substitute a freezer bag)
Squeeze Bottle (You can also use a spoon if you don’t have a squeeze bottle)
First you’ll need some sugar cookies. Round shaped cookies will work fine, so no need for a fancy cookie cutter. You will want to roll out your dough for an even surface and if you don’t have a cutter you can improvise with the edge of a glass. I like to roll my cookies thick about 3/8″ but whatever thickness you prefer will work fine.
Next you’ll need some royal icing. I make mine with 4-6 cups powdered sugar, 1/3 cup liquid egg whites (plus more as needed), 1 tsp vanilla extract and 1 tsp cream of tartar. I use a stand mixer but a hand mixer will work too, just be careful to moisten the sugar before turning on the mixer or you have a sugary powdery mess all over your kitchen.
Once your icing is made, tint it with the food color and put in an icing bag with a #3 or #4 icing tip (available at Michaels, JoAnne or Hobby Lobby) or you can use a freezer storage bag and just snip the corner a bit allow the icing to come out. Try not to cut too much off the corner, you want to be able to draw with the icing.
Ok, icing made and tinted your favorite color – let’s get started!
A hibiscus flower has 5 sort of flat edge petals. Draw the outline of your flower on your round sugar cookie. You might want to practice first on a piece of wax paper to get the feel of the shape before committing to your cookie. Outline all our flowers and let them set for a few minutes.
While your outlines are setting, take some more icing and put it in a bowl. I personally use large measuring cups because they have a spout (you’ll need the spout if you have a squeeze bottle). Dilute your icing with some additional egg whites. You want to mix in egg whites till you have a thick but pourable consistency. Pour your icing into your squeeze bottle and get ready to flood. Flooding is the term for filling in your cookie. The thinned out icing will allow it to dry with a smooth even finish. Put your accent color in first. Just make a small circle in the center. Then fill in the rest with the main color.
Once filled in you need to take a toothpick and starting in the center, drag it out towards the edges of the flower. Do this all the way around.
Let the icing set for about an hour or so and then get your icing bag back out and draw another outline of your flower on top. This gives your flower some more definition. Also, draw the stem in the center.
Finally, take some white icing, diluted a bit, and using a squeeze bottle or very carefully with a spoon, add the stamen to your flower. Sprinkle a few yellow non perils on top and there you have it – a hibiscus flower! Let your cookie set for 6-8 hours so that it doesn’t dent or smash when handled.
These cookies can be frozen for a few weeks if you are not ready to serve them right away. I like to make cookies in advance to give me time to react or redo if something goes wrong. Have fun cookie decorating!