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Vanilla Doughnut Cookies


This Chanukah, get creative with the family and decorate Doughnut Cookies. The assortment of designs and decorations are endless, so let the fun begin. This is a no-fail sugar cookie,  for an upgrade, check out our decadent chocolate version.

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 2 dozenServings


Doughnut Cookies:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 1⁄2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract (optional)

Basic Royal Icing:

  • 6 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 8 cups (about 2 lb.) confectioners’ sugar
  • 10 tablespoons warm water
  • 2-3 teaspoons oil-free flavoring (vanilla, almond, coconut, lemon juice)
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon cream of tartar (optional)
  • Assorted food gel colors


Doughnut Cookies:

1. Preheat oven to 325°F 

2. In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside.

3. In the bowl of an electric mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter (margarine) and sugar until combined. This should take about 3 minutes.

4. Add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract, and beat another minute or so.

5. Add the flour mixture slowly and mix until all of the flour is incorporated and the dough begins to pull away from the sides of the bowl.

6. Roll dough between two large sheets of parchment paper, or on a Silpat, to 1⁄4-inch thickness and chill in fridge for about 30 minutes.

7. Take out the sheet of chilled dough and begin cutting doughnut shapes on the parchment paper. Keep the rest of the dough in the fridge. Shapes should be easy to remove without the need to roll in additional flour. Place cut cookies on a prepared bak- ing sheet lined with parchment paper or a Silpat.

8. Bake cookies for 8-12 minutes at 325°F until they are just barely beginning to take on a golden tone. They will continue to bake as long as they are on the pan, so don’t let them get too brown. Cool for just a minute or so, then carefully remove cookies from the baking sheet and place on a cooling rack.

Basic Royal Icing:

1. In a clean, grease-free bowl of a stand mixer, use whisk attachment and beat meringue powder with warm water at low speed until frothy. 

2. Add cream of tartar and mix. Then add flavorings. 

3. Pour in sugar and combine slowly until mixture is smooth and pasty. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula. 

4. Increase speed to medium; beat until soft peaks form, about 5-7 minutes. Icing should be stiff enough that a spatula inserted is able to stand upright without wobbling to the side! 

5. Divide icing in covered containers, based on the number of colors you will be using. Tint icing with desired food colorings; keep surface covered to prevent drying out. 

6. Add a small amount of water to thin the icing, enough to create a yogurt-like consistency. To test consistency, take a spoonful of icing and drop it back into the bowl. It should take between 10-16 seconds for the icing to smooth itself out. 

7. Pour icing into squeeze bottles or piping bags fitted with a round tip. Ziploc bags snipped at the corner can work, too. 

8. Pipe icing onto cookies and decorate with your favorite toppings. 

Magazine Winter 2014