Monday, February 13, 2012

Sugar Cookies

It is Valentine's Day and I wanted to make Lee some decorated cookies. I frantically checked the drawers and cupboards and realized I must have left all my shape cutters behind when we moved. Granted most of them had been used to cut out home made play dough and still had hardened bits of it stuck in hard to reach places. So no heart shapes. I may try using a circle cutter and trying to make a heart out of it. Or maybe icing a heart shape on a round cookie.

I am writing this while the dough chills. It needs to chill at least an hour before rolling it out. I hope to decorate them, but it is late and I may wait until I get home from my quilting class tomorrow. On the other hand, I may NEED to be taken out to dinner and I have to get these ready for Lee. So here is the recipe...

Sugar Cookies

1 cup butter, softened ( I used the microwave, this house is COLD)
1 1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups flour

Put the softened butter in a mixing bowl. Add the sugar and cream it together. Add the egg and vanilla and continue mixing.

Add the baking soda, powder and salt.
Keep mixing. Then add the flour 1 cup at a time.

Dump the mixture on a sheet of cling wrap and wrap tightly. Chill the dough for at least one hour or overnight. (Go write your blog and continue this later!)

OK. Now roll out the dough and cut the shapes you want. I used a circle cutter and a pastry cutter to make a rough heart and then softened the edges with my fingers.

Remember they will spread out when they bake. Place on ungreased cookie sheets, or use Silpats like I do. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 375 degrees. Leave them alone on the rack for two minutes to set up. Cool on a wire rack. Then place in an air tight container.

The next day I made some Royal Icing.

Royal Icing

2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 Tablespoons meringue powder ( I get it from any store that carries Wilton)
!/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup warm water
food coloring I used rose food coloring gel from Wilton. What can I say? I took some classes and have a lot of stuff from Wilton.

Put the sugar and the meringue powder in a mixer. Turn on slow and drizzle in the water mixed with the vanilla or any flavoring you like. It could be cherry to match the pink icing. After it is all moist, turn up to medium or high and mix for 5 to 7 minutes. This is important. It will not get the right consistency if you don't do it the full amount of time. Scrape down the sides once in a while. It should become very glossy and form peaks. Then mix in the food coloring.

Load a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip and pipe a line around the edge of the cookie. I also made some with patterns. As you can see, I need practice with freehand drawing, but it is the thought that counts, right, Dear? Then I added a few teaspoons of water and mixed it in with the rest of the frosting. I kept adding it until it was a much softer and more spreadable consistency. I dropped a large spoon full onto the middle of the cookie and spread it out to the now hardened outlines. The theory being that the lines would keep the icing in place. And it worked pretty good with some minor fixes with fingers and toothpicks. Now, of course I have some pink fingers. But the cookies turned out pretty good. And they tasted good, which is important, too!

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