Monday, September 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Decorating Sugar Cookies

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

This month's challenge was based on the theme September. September to me means football! The University of Oregon Ducks are currently ranked #4!!!
The cookies came out okay. I really think I need to change my blog name to Distracted Baking or something. I didn't put in enough butter- by about half. Eek! No wonder my dough was all weird. No wonder the cookies were bland and dry. My stepmom and dad were polite when eating them, but my husband sure let me know they were "suck the moisture from your mouth dry".
Decorating was tons of fun though!! The only issues I had was that sometimes making an "O" on a cookie turned out looking a bit more like an Easter egg than an "O" and my consistency wasn't perfect for writing although doing all the other decorating went great. I used the "same consistency" method to save on time and bags. The cookies are super cute and a blast to make- even if they were a taste flop.
GO DUCKS!
Basic Sugar Cookies
Printable Recipe
Makes Approximately 36  4" Cookies
½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
Directions
1. Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture. Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during baking, losing their shape.
2. Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms. Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
3. Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
4. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins. Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.
5. Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife. Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour. Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
6. Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
7. Preheat oven to 350°F. Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.


Royal Icing:
2½ - 3 cups Confectioner’s / Powdered Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Almond Extract, optional
Directions
• Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined. Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites. Tip: I’ve listed 2 amounts of icing sugar, the lesser amount is good for a flooding consistency, and the larger amount is for outlining, but you can add even more for a much thicker consistency good for writing. If you add too much icing sugar or would like to make a thinner consistency, add very small amounts of water, a few drops at a time, until you reach the consistency you need.
• Beat on low until combined and smooth.
• Use immediately or keep in an airtight container as royal icing starts to harden as soon as it's in contact with air.

Consistency
The Same Consistency Method
• Mix your royal icing according to the recipe/instructions
• Drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing and count to 10
• If the surface becomes smooth between 5 & 10 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency
Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, do the 10 second test, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat, etc.
Tip: To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 10 second test
Two Different Consistencies Method
• Mix your royal icing according to the recipe/instructions.
• Separate into 2 different bowls, one lot of icing for outlining, the other for flooding.
• For the outlining icing, drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing.
• If the surface becomes smooth at around 10 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency.
Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, count to 10 seconds, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat, etc.
Tip: To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 10 second test.
• For the flooding/filling icing, drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing.
• If the surface becomes smooth at around 3-4 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency.
Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, count to 3-4 seconds, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat, etc.
Tip: To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 3-4 second test.

1 comment:

  1. Go Ducks! How cute are these cookies...very very cute. I loved all the designs...you even did a duck foot!!!

    ReplyDelete

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