Since I wasn't having a cake, I also wanted people to have a little something to take home so I decided to kill two birds with one stone by making placecard cookies.
These cookies were just basic sugar cookies glazed with purple royal icing and white royal icing used to pipe on the names. It was my first time piping out letters and I was really worried that they would turn out a big mess but thanks to Queen Chu who let me borrow her piping set, and a bit of patience on my part, they turned out beautifully.
Photo courtesy of BLT
I wrapped them up in some plastic gift bags, tied some purple ribbon around the top and placed them on the table setting when we arrived at the restaurant. Everyone loved the cookies which were crumbly and buttery, with BLT and Captain Awesome polishing off their cookies before dinner had even begun!
Basic Sugar Cookies
180g butter, softened
1 cup caster sugar
1 egg yolk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups plain flour
2 egg whites
3 cups icing sugar
1. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy and pale in colour. Add egg yolk and beat well. Add whole egg and vanilla extract and beat until well-combined. Add flour all at once and beat on low speed until just combined - do not overmix. Divide dough in half and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for an hour or up to 2 days.
2. Preheat oven to 190ºC. Line cookie sheets with parchment. On a floured work surface, and using a floured rolling pin, roll out the dough until about 5mm thick and cut out shapes using a cookie cutter and place on lined cookie sheets. Bake for about 10 minutes (longer for large cookies) until dry on the surface and light golden brown on the edges. Remove cookies to a cooling rack and leave to cool before icing.
3. For royal icing, beat egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add icing sugar and beat until stiff peaks form. If you want coloured icing, add your colouring now and beat until the icing is a uniform colour. If you want to glaze your cookies, add water a few drops at a time until the right consistency is achieved. You want it to be runny but not so much so that it all slides off your cookie - a blob of icing should disappear back into the mass after about 7 seconds. If it's too runny, add some more icing sugar to thicken it up.
4. To glaze your cookies, grab a palette knife and dollop some icing into the centre of the cookie. Spread the icing all the way to the edges and get rid of any excess by running the edge of your palette knife around the edge of the cookie. The surface of the glaze should be smooth - if it has a "matte" look then you need to add more water to your icing.
P.S. Thanks Queen Chu and JC for lending me cookie cutters and piping stuff, and BLT for the photo!