Blog-checking lines: 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.
Basic Sugar Cookie recipe adapted from Peggy Porschen:
Also found in her book: “Romantic Cakes” http://www.peggyporschen.com/book-detail.asp?ID=2
Royal Icing recipe adapted from The Joy of Baking:
We had to make the Basic Sugar Cookie recipe provided (unless specific diet restrictions apply). We had to decorate our cookies with the theme of September, whatever that means to us.
While we had to use Peggy Porschen’s sugar cookies recipe, we were allowed to add our own flavourings to the dough, so if we’d like to add a pinch of cinnamon & nutmeg, substitute some of the flour for cocoa, or maybe add orange zest, it was ok.
We didn’t have to make our own royal icing from scratch, we might use a store bought mix.
We might make any shape cookie we liked so long as it has the theme of September, this means we could do round or square cookies and pipe pictures/words on them or use specifically shaped cookie cutters (butterflies, flowers, hearts etc)
We might also use coloured sugars, luster dust, edible glitter or flakes, dragees and coloured sprinkles to decorate our cookies.
Well, it was too easy to find out what September means to me.
First of all,
Spring, of course!
September, here in Brasil is a month when lots and lots of weddings take place. So
September also means LOVE.
And last but not least, today is my birthday! and I've recived a lot of
I decide to flavour my cookies by adding a 1/2 teaspoon of dried lavander flowers. It's spring, after all!
Basic Sugar Cookies
200g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g All Purpose flour
200g Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
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.
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.
• Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoid flour flying everywhere.
Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces. Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm. 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.
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.
Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
• Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in some cookies being baked before others are done.
• Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
Leave to cool on cooling racks. Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
• Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated cookies can last up to a month.
315g – 375g Confectioner’s / Powdered Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
10ml Lemon Juice
5ml Almond Extract, optional
Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.
• Tip: It’s important that the bowls/spoons/spatulas and beaters you use are thoroughly cleaned and grease free.
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.
• Tip: Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.
I am extremely concerned in using food colloring at home. I mean, we are already too exposed to artificial ingredients we eat in industrial food. I don't like the idea of using this kind of thing at homemade food. I tried to use annatto for red hearts but it didn't work as I expected
Of course, I HAD to use my new torch. But I didn't like the result either :(
Anyway, I loved this challenge. I love baking cookies. I enjoyed a lot all the process of decorating them. I had a great time. It was really funny. Thanks Mandy.
It's worth a visit to Daring Kitchen website. You can see all the beautiful work all the fellows did and read some great tips on decorating cookies.
Também em www.labgastro.blogspot.com