Recipe by Paula Shoyer

Ginger and Vanilla Shortbread Cookies with Royal Icing

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Parve Parve
Medium Medium
12 Servings
2 Hours, 30 Minutes

Follow Paula Shoyer’s tutorial to bake these delicious ginger and vanilla shortbread cookies. Recipe includes directions on preparing and working with royal icing, so you can decorate to customize the cookies for any occasion.



  • 1 cup (2 sticks) margarine (soy-free if needed), frozen for 30 minutes, cut into tablespoons

  • 2 teaspoons ice water

Royal Icing

  • about 6 teaspoons boiling water

  • gel food coloring


Prepare the Dough


In the bowl of an electric mixer or food processor bowl, add confectioners’ sugar, flour, ginger, and vanilla and mix for 20 seconds.


Add margarine and mix until the mixture looks like sand.


Add cold water and process just until the dough comes together.


Divide dough in half and wrap each piece in plastic wrap and flatten. Place in the freezer for two hours or overnight (best for rolling), or for up to three months.

Shape and Bake


Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove the dough discs from the freezer and let thaw just until you can press them gently. If the dough gets too soft, return to freezer (it is easiest to cut out when dough is cold).


Take two pieces of Gefen Parchment and sprinkle a little flour on one, place one disc of dough on top, and then sprinkle a little more flour on top of the dough. Place the second piece of parchment on top of the dough and roll on top of the parchment until the dough is about 1/4- to 1/3-inch thick, no thinner. Every few rolls, peel back the top parchment and sprinkle a little more flour on the dough. Remove the top parchment and use it to line a baking sheet. Line a second baking sheet with parchment.


Use cookie cutters to cut out cookies and then use a metal flat-blade spatula to lift the cookies and place on the prepared cookie sheets. Reroll any scraps and cut more cookies. If the dough becomes too soft and gets stuck to the bottom parchment, place in freezer until it hardens. Repeat with the second disc of dough.


Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the cookies just begin to brown on the bottoms; they should be light on the top.


The cookies may be made five days in advance and stored in an airtight container at room temperature or frozen for up to three months. They can be frozen plain or decorated.

Prepare the Icing


In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine egg whites, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat on low speed for 30 seconds. Add confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, and mix on low speed until incorporated. Stop and scrape down the bowl a few times. Once all the sugar has been added, beat at high speed for five minutes. The mixture will thicken and become shiny.


Stir in teaspoons of boiling water by hand until the icing is the consistency of toothpaste. If the icing gets too loose, add some confectioners’ sugar. If the icing gets too thick to spread, then add a few drops of water until it becomes spreadable.


Divide icing among bowls if you are making several colors. Add gel food coloring and mix well. Use this thick icing to make a border on your cookies. When you are ready to fill in the border, add one to two teaspoons hot water to the icing and mix in so that the icing is looser.


Place the icing into a pastry bag or squirt bottle. Squeeze the icing onto the cookie to “flood” the inside of the border, and move the tip around to fill in the gaps. Let dry and add more décor as desired.

Ginger and Vanilla Shortbread Cookies with Royal Icing

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2 years ago

will it also come out nice with regular sugar cookies