Monday, September 27, 2010

Decorated 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 Porchen and The Joy of Baking. "Oh yes!", was my first thought. I don't usually make sugar cookies and never have I ventured into decorating cookies with royal icing. Such a simple project yet a perfect chance to let the inner artist (raised eyebrow) take over.
Mandy requested only two things. First to use the Basic Sugar Cookie recipe provided and second that it must be in the theme of September. So first up is the sugar cookie; butter flour, superfine sugar, egg, and vanilla ( I added a touch of nutmeg to give them a little warmth to go along with the September theme). How easy is that! Yet this sugar cookie had just the right crunch (you know it's all about the crunch!) and lots of buttery goodness. I made the dough and froze it until I had the time to bake it off. The cookie dough was easy to roll out and didn't stick to the parchment (ahh, such a pleasure). After baking I froze the cookies until I had the opportunity to decorate.
Royal icing from scratch (using egg whites instead of meringue powder) is another one of those things that I just not had the opportunity to try out. Royal icing is quick, easy, and actually tasty when almond extract is added to the powdered sugar, lemon juice and egg white. After getting this completed it was time for the best part, the decorating.
The first step before decorating the cookies is to plan it all out. What you want to cover with icing and what colors. Get it all set up and ready; that means bowls for mixing color, bags to hold the icing and tips on the bags. Then outline the area you plan on covering with the tinted royal icing. This creates a dam so to speak. Then thin the icing just a tad so that it will "flood" the area and look smooth. More planning than I originally thought but no worries.
This was really enjoyable and quite relaxing. I learned that first of all and probably most importantly that you cannot be in a rush. And that I need to use a smaller tip for the outline next time. Lastly to keep the outline neat because it shows. Although my decorating wasn't as neat as I invisioned this was a fun project, thank you Mandy.


faithy, the baker said...

pretty cookies! very well decorated! :D

Vicki said...

Very pretty! I've always wanted to frost cookies this way.

Kris Ngoei said...

Beautiful maple leaves! Reminds me of my wonderful time on the mountain.....

Sawadee from Bangkok,