Sugar Cookies with Marshmallow Fondant and Royal Icing

If you are looking for a sugar cookie with a little more UMPH to it these are for you! Easier than meets the eye, but with all the look of having taken years to make! 

One line reminder to vote for Cherry Tea Cakes in the Express Night Out Best of DC Food Blogger Vote through September 30th! See instructions here!

I tell ya, the Daring Bakers challenge coming at the end of the month was a LIFE safer for me. With my friends' wedding that I am catering coming up this Friday I have been frazzled! It's been absolutely fabulous to have a post done ahead of time! 

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

We were asked to make cookies of what September meant to us....and this September has mostly meant wedding plans. I made some cookies that would be graceful and lovely just like the bride, and as "colorful" as the husband (he he, they are my friends. I can tease the groom!). 

The picture below will show you just how much time I had to put into them, and all the steps. I mean....geeze. What a cookie! But so cute and so worth it! I'd totally do this again! 
My apologies in advance for a week of posts that were predone (i.e. Iron Chef, Daring Bakers, and Baking with Butchie) posts because this week I am in wedding catering meltdown! 

See you next week for a normal and sane Jana! 

Basic Sugar Cookies

½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter
3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
1 cup Confectioners Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

Cream together the butter (I do not allow butter to soften), sugar and any flavorings you’re using. Beat until just becoming creamy in texture. Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms. Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5 mm. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.

Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife. Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.

Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.

Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.

Leave to cool on cooling racks. Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.

Marshmallow Fondant

1 (16 ounce) package miniature marshmallows
4 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 pounds confectioners' sugar, divided

Place the marshmallows in a large microwave-safe bowl, and microwave on High for 30 seconds to 1 minute to start melting the marshmallows. Carefully put the melted marshmallows into a greased stand mixer and stir the water and vanilla extract into the hot marshmallows, and stir until the mixture is smooth. Slowly beat in the confectioners' sugar, a cup at a time, until you have a sticky dough. Reserve 1 cup of powdered sugar for kneading. The dough will be very stiff.

Coat your hands with powdered sugar and begin kneading the sticky dough. As you knead, the dough will become workable and pliable. Turn the dough out onto a working surface dusted with confectioners' sugar and continue kneading until the fondant is smooth and no longer sticky to the touch.

Form the fondant into a ball, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. To use, allow the fondant to come to room temperature, and roll it out onto a flat surface dusted with confectioners' sugar.

Roll out to desired thickness. Press with any designs desired. Cut using same cookie cutter as was used for the cookies. I personally spread a little corn syrup as a glue on the underside of the fondant to help it stick. Adhere to the cookies and decorate with either royal icing.

Royal Icing

2 ½ - 3 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, un-sifted
2 Large Egg Whites
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Almond Extract, optional

Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined. Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites. Beat on low until combined and smooth. Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.