Egyptian Flag Sugar Cookies and a Revolution

As you can probably guess, this is in no way a political blog.

I have been kind of distracted from the blogging community lately because for the past 3 days, since January 25th, Egypt has been having a revolution. Protests everywhere, things on fire, tear gas, injuries…the works. As you might know, Egypt is my home country. I was raised in America for my childhood, but raised in Egypt for the majority of my teen years, so this hits home quite literally.

After a little over 30 years of a corrupt government, they are finally standing up and demanding what is theirs–a better government that actually cares about their people. This is probably the best thing to ever happen to Egypt, but it definitely doesn’t make it any less scary.

The government is fighting off its own people, both physically and virtually. Physically in the streets and virtually by cutting off the internet for the WHOLE of Egypt, something experts didn’t think possible. Most of my Facebook friends are from Egypt, so my Facebook homepage is near-empty and it’s really difficult to keep in touch with my friends and family. On top of that, it looks like the situation is getting more chaotic by the second.

So for the past few days, the Arabic TV news has been the regular background of our home. All we can do is pray and wait and watch from the safety of our home. Therefore I thought I would make a tribute to them on the blog and spread some awareness, while not leaving you guys empty-handed as well.

Enter Egyptian Flag Sugar Cookies! (In case you don’t know, red white and black are the colors of the Egyptian flag with a yellow eagle in the middle of the white).

These are my first sugar cookies, and my first time working with royal icing using meringue powder (In the pictures, the icing still hasn’t dried yet, just in case you were wondering.).

Confession: I currently don’t own a stand mixer. Or a hand mixer. We went through 2 different stand mixers a few months ago and I rejected both of them and told my mom to return them. She asked me how I was going to bake without it, and I confidently replied that if people back in the day could do it, so could I.

Fact: Royal icing using meringue powder is massacre on your hands without an electric mixer. I almost regret it. Almost.

Also, decorating is just a little tiresome with all the colors and whatnot, but I thought they were worth the trouble. The important thing is that the cookies turned out really yummy and really cute (thank you 101 cookie cutter set) for my first time.

I’m proud of them and proud of Egypt!

There is a wonderful Facebook group that is up-to-date on everything that is happening in case you’re interested (http://www.facebook.com/elshaheeed.co.uk?v=wall) and even the American news channels talk about this Egyptian revolution fairly often. Keep Egypt in your thoughts and prayers, everyone!

Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies (both recipes adapted Bake at 350)

Ingredients

  • 3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 c sugar
  • 2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp pure almond extract (I used a different flavor, but this is probably going to be amazing)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.
  3. The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling (video on University of Cookie).
  4. Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shape on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Royal Icing

  • 4 TBSP meringue powder
  • scant 1/2 c. water
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
  • few drops clear extract (optional)
  1. Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy.
  2. Sift in the powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. (Do NOT skip the sifting!)
  3. Add in the corn syrup and extract if desired. ( I think the corn syrup helps keep the icing shiny.)
  4. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form.
  5. (You should be able to remove the beater from the mixer and hold up and jiggle without the peak falling.) Do not overbeat.
  6. Cover with plastic wrap touching the icing or divide and color using gel paste food colorings.
  7. This “stiff” icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called “flooding.”

~*~*~*~*

UPDATE

Things are looking better for Egypt! There have been several robberies and people have been scared in their homes but the community is pulling together and forming their own Community Union to arrest thugs and thieves! I couldn’t be prouder of my brave fellow Egyptians!

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33 Responses to Egyptian Flag Sugar Cookies and a Revolution

  1. Your cookies look delicious. Although I’m not Egyptian, I am an attorney in the States and find it appalling that a government would cut off lines of communication to its citizens. I hope that your family and friends are okay. Hopefully, this revolution will bring about the necessary change that Egypt’s citizens are fighting for.

  2. Faith says:

    It is so disheartening that a government would try to pretend like nothing is going on and stiffle the voices of its people. I will be sure to keep Egypt, its people, and its government in my prayers. By the way, the cookies look fantastic!

  3. Tanvi says:

    Hats off to your emotions for your home country. I know how difficult it is to pass days knowing that back home things are raging.I m an Indian and the moment I see some disturbing news about my home city, all I wanna do is to call back and back again to ensure things are alright.I hope everything will settle for good for you too.Your cookies are soo pretty and innovative.Peace.

  4. Tine says:

    Mmm, these cookies look yummy!
    Can I ask which flavor you choose instead of almond?

  5. oneordinaryday says:

    I’m glad that you took the time to educate us about what we’re seeing/hearing on the news. It’s so different looking at it through the eyes of someone who has a personal story or connection. Thank you for that. Your friends and family are definitely in my prayers.
    And thank you so much for the kind words and thoughts for my sister and her family. The support and good wishes mean so much.
    ~ Michelle

  6. Egypt is for sure on my mind. and for a few reasons actually! My autisitic brother is ENAMORED with Egypt. He begs to visit there and askes me constantly about pyramids and mummies and deserts and the nile. He knows so much about Egypt that sometimes he floors me with a fun fact. He has the mental capabilities of about a 2nd grader… so the fact that he makes a point to know so much really brings a tear to my eye!

    I hope things get better over there! <3

    much love!

    • That is SO precious! Thank you so much for sharing that with me! If you do ever get the chance to visit Egypt once this thing cools down be sure to let me know and I’ll tell you where to go :)

  7. What a wonderful thing that you are still so loyal to your home country, but unfortunately bound to it by this tragedy. I will be keeping them in my thoughts during this trying time. Thank you, though, for this beautiful post and delicious recipe to go along with it.

  8. Liz says:

    Wow, your cookies are fabulous! I can’t believe you did so incredibly well on your first attempt!

    I can only imagine how worried you must be for your friends and family back in Egypt. I’ll keep all three in my good thoughts…and hope the conflict ends soon.

  9. bakebooks says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your feelings about this! I’m horrified by what’s going on – the world is a crazy and scary place. It’s helpful to know your thoughts and insights…I’ll be praying for them with everyone else.

    And LOVE those cookies! Great photo.

  10. Thank you for sharing with us. I have lived such a sheltered existence here in the U.S. It is so terribly sad and horrific what the government is doing in Egypt. What a lovely way to honor your homeland. Beautiful cookies! No stand mixer?!!!

  11. Peggy says:

    It’s definitely scary to watch your home country be in such a terrible state. Hopefully the people of Egypt will prevail and will get through this! Will be praying for them! And these cookies look amazing!

  12. Mary says:

    Your cookies are wonderful. I hope the situation in your country is resolved quickly with a minimum of harm to its people. I’ll keep you in my thoughts this weekend. Blessings…Mary

  13. Joanne says:

    I’m glad that everything is turning out okay over in Egypt and I hope that it will only get better from here on out!

    These cookies look wonderful! I made this recipe and dabbled in royal icing over the holidays but mine never turned out quite as shiny as I had hoped. I probably just need more practice. i’m impressed that you whipped the meringue by hand!

  14. Simply Life says:

    Thanks for your update – I’ve been following this story. Also, not sure if you saw that “egypt” was picked for my reader’s challenge! You’ll have to share a recipe on Feb 7 when I post!

  15. Thank goodness for progress! Very cute and thoughtful cookies!

  16. My thoughts are with you – glad to see that things are getting better,

  17. Kathy says:

    I actually stopped by to see what you have been cooking and am so touched by your writings today. I have such heartfelt feelings for Egypt and all its people. It breaks my heart to see people trying to have their voices heard and to be treated so badly for it. You and your country are in my prayers.

  18. Sally says:

    Brilliant post – living in the Middle East and having friends in many of the countries affected by turmoil at the moment makes this particularly poignant. Let’s all wish for a better future for all.

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