Unicorn Sugar Cookies are a fun way to spend time in the kitchen with the kiddos. This recipe makes a delicious soft sugar cookie that tastes as good as it looks.
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What makes these Unicorn Sugar Cookies so YUMMY and CUTE?
The yummy factor in these cookies is butter. The “cute factor” is the shapes and the decorations.
Most recipes for rolled sugar cookies use vegetable shortening and butter or all-vegetable shortening. This recipe uses all butter in the dough. There is a trade-off, though, as a dough with all butter is harder to work with, and the unbaked cookie is more fragile.
You can find the cookie cutters for these adorable shapes by (clicking here).
If you are making this recipe with kids, I recommend using my Kid-Friendly recipe for rolled sugar cookies. (click here) for the recipe. It uses all butter-flavored shortening. The dough will withstand the squishing and rolling that kiddos like to give it.
If you are making these cookies for a party and want an extra tasty Unicorn Sugar Cookie, this is the recipe for you.
Let’s Make and Bake the Unicorn Sugar Cookie.
Things to remember when making the dough.
- Let the butter warm up enough to soften slightly,
- Sift the powdered sugar
- Don’t forget the flavoring. Some other possibilities in addition to the ones listed in the recipe. Anise, orange, or lime.
- Refrigerate the dough before rolling out the cookies just long enough to firm it up, but not long enough to make it hard to roll out.
- Roll the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap to keep it from sticking to the rolling pin and easier handle the dough. There may be some “wrinkles” imprinted in the dough from the plastic wrap; however, they will be covered with the icing.
- Don’t overbake the cookies. They should be lightly brown on the edges.
- Let the cookies cool completely before decorating them.
Royal icing is the best icing for decorating these Unicorn Sugar Cookies. The icing gives a nice smooth surface to the cookie and dries firm enough to allow you to draw the eye’s, nose, and mouth on the unicorns. It also provides a smooth flat surface for piping additional features to the cookies.
Points to Remember when working with Royal Icing.
- Sift the powdered sugar before using it for the icing.
- To prevent salmonella poisoning, use pasteurized egg whites or meringue powder.
- Mix the eggs into the powdered sugar by hand to prevent a powdered sugar cloud in your kitchen. The mixture will be thick and stiff.
- Don’t overmix the royal icing. Overmixing results in air bubbles on the cookie, causing little holes or blemishes in the surface of the cookies.
- The Royal icing will start out with the consistency of “glue Thin the icing as described in the recipe to the correct consistency for outlining and flooding the cookie. “
- When thinning the icing use 1/2 of a teaspoon at a time and stir it in before adding more water.
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- cookie sheet
- Unicorn Cookie Cutters
Royal Icing (makes about 5 cups)
- 2 lbs. sifted confectioners Sugar (227g)
- ½ tsp Cream of Tarter
- 5 Large cold Egg Whites (see notes)
- 2 tsp flavoring of your choice (vanilla, lemon, almond)
Sugar Cookie Dough (see notes)
- 1 cup Butter (226g)
- 2 cups confectioners sugar(227g)
- 2 tbsp. Light Corn Syrup
- 2 tsp of either vanilla, lemon, or almond flavoring/extract
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 large egg beat with 2 Tablespoons of water
- 3½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour. (420g)
Make and Bake the Cookies
- In the bowl of your stand mixer,(a medium bowl and hand mixer will work fine) cream together the sugar and butter. Add the corn syrup and beat on medium until fluffy. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- Beat in the flavoring and salt.
- Add the egg/water mixture and beat in.
- Add the flour a small amount at a time and mix in.
- Divide the dough in half, shape each half into a flattened disc and wrap the disc in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes. Dough should be chilled but still soft enough to roll out.
- Preheat oven to 350°F or (176°C)
- Working with one disc at a time. Roll the dough out to 1/4 of an inch thick. Roll the dough between 2 pieces of plastic wrap. The dough is a soft dough and this is the easiest way to roll it out and work with it. Lightly flour the dough if it starts to stick (See the video)
- Cut out the cookies and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes until the centers are set and the edges are lightly browned. Let cookies cool completely before decorating.
- Stir the cream of tartar into the confectioner's sugar.
- Add the egg whites or dissolved meringue powder (see notes) Stir into the sugar by hand.
- Beat the mixture, using the whisk attachment of the stand mixer. Beat on the highest speed for about 2-3 minutes. The icing will lighten and thicken. It should be the consistency of glue.
- Beat in the flavoring of your choice.
- Once the icing is prepared remove about 1/2 of a cup at a time for decorating. Cover the rest of the frosting flush with a piece of plastic wrap to keep it from drying out.
- Thin the consistency of the "glue" frosting with water (1/2 teaspoon at a time) to achieve the correct consistency for either outlining or flooding the cookie.
- Royal icing that is the correct consistency for outlining is thick and stretchy and drops off the spoon in relatively large blobs.
- Royal icing that is the correct consistency for flooding flows off of the spoon and the tracks disappear into the bulk of the icing in about 10 seconds or less.
- Decorate the cookies by first outlining (use a 1/8 in decorating tip or parchment cone with 1/8 inch opening in the tip of the cone) and then flooding the outlined areas. Once the base is dry you can pipe additional decorations on top to create the tail and mane for the unicorns.
- Lastly, draw the eyes and nose on the unicorns using a black edible ink marker. (see notes)