Well I made the cookies this weekend,no two weekends ago. I did make them in ice cream cone/cupcake shapes, however I only took pictures of the final cupcake ones although the ice cream cone ones were just darling [cuter than the cupcakes]. I made them out of the recipe I got from Cookie Craft [seriously, pick up a copy of this-its like the bible of cut-out cookies and all you can do with them].
The recipe calls for the zest of a whole lemon, and usually I like my sugar cookies slightly lemony but once you add the royal icing which has lemon in it [more on that later,] they turn into lemon cookies not sugar cookies, however the texture is just right they didn't spread at all in the oven and didn't burn easily. The book also includes a chocolate recipe, and nut cookie recipe.
Now onto the icing. I also used the royal icing recipe used in the book although usually I use the one out of my Martha Stewart's Cookies book. The one from Martha is only made with meringue powder, while in Cookie Craft they give you a recipe for meringue powder, liquid egg whites, and powdered egg white. I would have used any of them but meringue powder was what was in my pantry. In Craft, they also include two different quantities for each egg product, and a different recipe for flood and piping icing, which is something most recipes don't do. Martha's recipe only includes one quantity, and one consistency.
They also include the very helpful hint of how long you must beat your icing. Wow! I had been doing it very wrong. They recommend beating your icing for 5 minutes with a Kitchenaid, or like product, and 10 minutes with a hand mixer, which really really makes a difference in both your piping and flooding icing, although it is a pain in the butt to hold up your feeble hand mixer for 10 minutes.
However I want an Artisan model for my birthday in July so hopefully I will get that because I have been baking at least once a week and using the hand mixer [ a cheap model I got for my birthday last year] for that. I have also been using the argument that the Kitchenaid will last a lifetime and is a great investment.
See my parents have a stand mixer, I think a Sunbeam, that is straight out of an 80s wedding catalog, almond and brown color scheme and all, that's also broken and badly designed. So I cant use that. Seriously, a kitchenaid is not an appliance, its a tool, and it has the quality to last. Yay! I finally got one for my birthday!