I recently discovered Sweetopia and instantly fell in love with her cookies. Seriously, I spent hours sitting in front of my computer drooling over them today. And in recent trips to baking supply stores I have been starting to notice cookie cutters. To be honest, I have always kind of hated making cookies (except for the Pillsbury ones that come in a roll). I have always thought of them as boring and simple – anyone can whip together some cookies.
Anyway, recently I have had a lot of assignments due, which means lots of sitting at my computer
studying looking up baking blogs. And since I have acquired every gum paste tool and piping tip known to man, I was feeling a bit of a void in the shopping department. Bring on the cookie cutters!
I have to allow the icing to dry overnight, and I don’t want to skimp on the photos, so I thought I would break the post up into two.
For the cookies, I followed the recipe on the back of the Wilton cookie cutters. Of course, I was busy watching 90210 so when it called for flour I accidentally added half a cup of powdered sugar instead. The dentist would love these. I didn’t do anything to compensate for the sugar, but who doesn’t like an extra half cup of sugar anyway. And I ate enough of the dough to confidently say that my cookies are still tasty.
2 sticks butter, softened,
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar (plus optional half cup of powdered sugar )
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
Beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.
Beat in egg and extracts. I don’t have almond extract because I am poor and extracts are expensive. I just used 2 tsps of vanilla instead. I also didn’t use the clear kind like the recipe called for. Again. Poor. I don’t care if my cookies are kind of brown.
Mix dry ingredients together and add to the butter-sugar goodness.
Roll the dough and get cutting.
Bake at 400 degrees for 6-7 minutes. Your cookies will explode and look like this:
No idea why. Solution?
That’s right. Cookie cut the cooked cookies. Yeah, I did it. Which leaves lots of little extra bits to
Really though, I don’t know why my cookies got so much larger. Probably something to do with the fact that I used the recipe on the back of the package instead of looking for a tested one. Oh well. I was fine with using the cookie cutter again, as long as you do it when the cookie is hot. Otherwise you end up with a big angry broken cookie.
Anyway, moving on. Assemble icing ingredients:
I didn’t actually get a chance to use the food colouring, but I am excited to try out the new colour. My old pink just wasn’t getting the job done.
I used this recipe from Joy of Baking, and it turned out much better than my back-of-package cookies.
Royal Icing (Flooding Consistency)
4 cups powdered sugar
3 tbsp meringue powder
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water
Whisk together the sugar and meringue powder. Avoid inhaling large dust cloud that follows.
Add the water and extract and beat on medium-high. The recipe says to beat for 7 minutes, but everything on Sweetopia said that 10 minutes of beating was essential, so I went with that.
I wish I had remembered to take more pictures once it had been mixed for the full 10 minutes, because it really was beautiful. Yes, I just referred to my icing as beautiful. Try it – you will understand. I was worried about using the regular vanilla in this, because I wanted snow white icing (unlike my brown-tinged cookies) but it turned out great regardless.
Once the proper consistency is achieved (I had to add some extra water at the end), fill a piping bag with a few tablespoons of icing. I used Wilton #2 round tip. I also forgot to take artistic photos of my piping bag. It’s also hard to get nice photos at night. I swear one day I will bake something during daylight hours.
Anyway, before flooding the cookie, pipe the outline so the icing doesn’t run off the edges, like so:
Then fill the rest of the cookie with icing and shake it side to side to help the icing even itself out. This is all explained in a handy tutorial, again from my new favourite site.
I plan on piping some designs on them tomorrow, but I couldn’t resist playing around with a few dragees and sugar pearls.
I also couldn’t resist making just one cookie look like a Poptart.
So that’s as far as I made it tonight. Part two coming shortly!