Friday, November 25, 2005

SHF/IMMB- Joint Virtual Cookie Swap

Jennifer, the Domestic Goddess, and Alberto at Il Forno this month are jointly hosting a Sugar High Friday and Is My Blog Burning event- "Joint Virtual Cookie Swap".

The holidays are a season for baking and what better than festive cookies to share with friends, family and co-workers. I decided on the cookie that is the center of my baking passion. The decorated sugar cookie. The cookies will bring out your creative side. With a pallet of colors to choose from, anyone can customize the cookie from this receipe for any occassion. Cookie cutters are available in all sorts of shapes and there are companies out there which can customize a cookie cutter just for you.

NO FAIL SUGAR COOKIES (from Kitchen Gifts)
6 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix dry ingredients and add to butter mixture. Mix well.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours

Roll to desired thickness (I like ¼ inch) and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe
can make up to 8-dozen 3" cookies.

Royal Icing (from Kitchen Gifts)

2 tablespoons meringue powder
1/4 cup water
About 2 cups confectioners' sugar
1 teaspoon flavoring such as vanilla, lemon, orange or almond (optional)

It's easiest to make royal icing if you use a large electric mixer. You can make smaller quantities in
a small bowl and just stirring with a spoon.

Put confectioners' sugar, meringue powder and flavoring in mixing bowl. Start mixer and add water a little at a time until you get the desired consistency. It's best to keep it a little stiff at first and thin it later to pipe or fill.

Mix until smooth and shiny.

Take out portions of it to tint with food coloring. Keep the icing you are not working with covered with a damp cloth or paper towel so it doesn't dry out.

Colored Royal Icing In Pastry Bags

Royal icing will keep. Put leftover icing in a small Tupperware type container or plastic squeeze bottle and pop it into the refrigerator. It will darken slightly over time.

Thin royal icing with water until it is a good piping consistency. You want it not so stiff that you can't get it out of the bag, but stiff enough to hold it's shape.

Use Royal Icing for Cookies that you want to keep. It hardens nicely and it also freezes, so you can make and decorate cookies a week or two ahead of time.
Flickr Photos

For a listing of other great cookie design sites see links on Food Got to Love It


Anonymous said...

Your cookies look great!


Ilva said...

They are really pretty these cookies! Brava!!

Nupur said...

Very festive!

Mona said...

Wow, what amazing cookies, and pictures?!! Did you take them specifically to match your blog background? IT seems it-they're beautiful! Hope you're having a great Thanksgivin.

Anonymous said...

Sylvie--They're beautiful! You're obviously a gifted cookie decorator. Did you use any of the flavored extracts in your frosting? Also, I've never heard of meringue that something that available at somewhere like Safeway?

sylvie1950 said...

Thank you for all your compliments. My inspiration behind these cookies was the cookie cutters I used- Christmas tree ornaments. I wanted something vibrant and didn't want then to be just green and red. The cookies can actually be used as ornaments. I have a Dremmel which I use to drill a whole in the top and loop around gold or silver thread. the dremmel minimizes cracking and crumbling.

My plan is to give them out as part of my holiday presents to my staff at work and friends. These were a test batch which my husband donated to a bake sale at his job. They can also be customized with the name of the recipient or whatever else you want to write on them with the royal icing.

The meringue powder can be found at cake decorting stores (Gloria's off Sawtelle and Venice in L.A.) or craft stores that stock cake decorating supplies. I buy most of my supplies at Surfas in Culver City. I have also seen it at Michaels. An online source of cookie decorating supplies is Kitchen Gifts. When I first started doing this, I got most of my inspiration and ideas from them. They have an on-line tutorial and a newsletter with ideas from homecooks.

Robyn said...

Very nice! I love the vibrant colors! I have used royal icing before and it gets rock hard. Does yours do the same? I really am looking for a frosting that hards but doesn't get to the hard crunchy stage.

Yours look so good!

Culinarily Obsessed said...

oooh these look like such fun! I luv your icing colors =)

Anonymous said...

wow !! the icing looks very nice !!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful icing job! What a patient baker you must be!

Anonymous said...

We would like to feature your sugar cookies on our blog. Please email if interested. Thanks :)