Another day at the beach!

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We absolutely love the beach- Ava has inherited the traditional Aussie love for the sun and sand and it absolutely makes my heart smile!

We were in Perth over the weekend for a surprise 30th Birthday so we naturally had to find some ways to entertain Miss Ava..

This beautiful beach is at Hillary’s in Perth! If you have young children it’s a great area with a playground, man made beach, inflatable water obstacles, slides that lead into the water and shade cloths!

My first time Sugar Cookies!

I have always wanted to make Sugar Cookies, but with working full-time it wasn’t a priority, considering most people recommend refrigerating the dough overnight. But, I finally decided to jump off the cliff and make them! The dough was the easy part.. trying my hand at icing with royal icing was another story.. I will list all my issues below so you can avoid them moving forward!!

I used a recipe for the Sugar Cookie Dough from The Cake Girls. They have step by step pictures as well as a FAQ if something is going wrong with your dough! On a side note- I halved the recipe because I didn’t have enough butter and still managed to get 2 dozen cookies.

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ULTIMATE SUGAR COOKIE RECIPE

The Cake Girls advise that you should get approx. 20-25 medium cookies or 12 -14 XL cookies, however as mentioned, I halved the recipe and got 24 cookies!

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, softened (1 stick= 113 grams.. 2 sticks=226 grams)
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tsp vanilla extract

HOW TO

  1. Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar on medium high-speed until light and fluffy. Switch the mixer to low and add the egg and vanilla. Stop and scrape down the bowl and then continue to mix on low until incorporated.
  2. Gradually add the flour mixture and mix just until the dough forms, scraping down the bowl as necessary. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate until very firm; minimum 2 hours or overnight. I refrigerated my dough overnight which worked perfect.
  3. Let the dough stand at room temperature for 10 minutes before rolling. Roll 1/3 of the dough (put the rest back in the fridge) on a heavily floured surface to a 3/8″-1/4″ thickness. Cut out shapes and place them on a parchment lined tray and refrigerate for 15 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees (180 Celsius) for 12-14 minutes or until the cookies are just very lightly browned around the edges. Let cool on tray.
  4. Once cool, you can freeze them to be decorated later by placing them between layers of wax paper inside of a snap lid container. They will store well for up to 3 months. Just bring them to room temperature before decorating! I kept mine on the bench for the entire day in a sealed container before icing.

For the Royal Icing I used an Australia recipe because I was having a hard time locating meringue powder which was recommended on nearly all of the American recipes. This recipe is from Taste:

636167853835080858_Afterlight_Edit.jpgROYAL ICING

1 1/2 cups pure icing sugar, sifted
1 egg white
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
Food Colouring (I used Queen Food Colours)

HOW TO

  1. Lightly whisk egg white and lemon juice together in a bowl. Gradually add icing sugar, whisking until smooth and combined.
  2. Separate the icing into small containers and colour as needed.

TO DECORATE THE COOKIES

Piping Bags (I recommend having multiple piping bags. I tried using one and washing it each time, however the residual water in the bag affected the consistency of the icing)
Skewers or Toothpicks

HOW TO

  1. Pour the colours into piping bags and pipe around the edges of the cookies.
  2. Wait a few minutes for the icing to set and fill the centre of the cookies with icing. Using a toothpick or skewer ‘flood’ the middle of the cookie. Here’s a good photo tutorial from Sweet Sugar Belle.