|Pink and black wedding cake cookies!|
My dear friend Jessica is getting married soon, so her family and I threw her a bridal shower this past weekend at my parents' house. One of my big projects was to do the party favors so, of course, I have to include some sort of yummy baked treat! I've never really had a completely successful result at attempting to make decorated sugar cookies before, so I thought that it was time to try again. With more patience. Hopefully.
The color theme for Jessica's party is pink and black, so I thought that I'd make little wedding cake shaped cookies with soft pink icing and black polka dots.
Instead of using the recipes that I already have and scouring the web looking for new recipes, I thought that I would use ones that others have found successful. I ended up using Dorie Greenspan's sugar cookie recipe and the Brown Eyed Baker's royal icing recipe, both I thought had great results.
I was apprehensive about this entire cookie making and decorating process. I make cookies, really good cookies! But I don't decorate. To be honest with you, I almost quit during the outlining process, haha. It took me several, several cookies to get the hang of outlining. So many, that some of the goodie bags didn't have these cookies in them. :-( I'm pleased with myself that I kept trying and that the cookies turned out really cute. Maybe I'll try cookie decorating again sooner than later this time around. Maybe Easter? :-)
So, I also made garlic artichoke dip and a salad for the shower, but things got kinda hectic towards the last minute and I didn't get a chance to take pictures. But I do have another salad recipe that I'll share VERY soon that I cannot get enough of!
|Waiting for the icing to dry|
|Finally finished at 1am!|
|With Jessica at her bridal shower|
All-Occasion Sugar Cookies
Recipe found on the Brown Eyed Baker
Originally from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan, pages 146-147
2 c. all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
10 Tbs unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 stick and 2 Tbs)
1 c. sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Sugar or cinnamon sugar, for dusting (optional-- needless to say, I didn't do this)
Whisk the flour, salt and baking powder together.
Working with a stand mixer, preferably fitted with a paddle attachment, or with a hand mixer in a large bowl, beat the butter at medium speed for a minute or so, until smooth. Beat in the sugar and continue to beat for about 2 minutes, until the mixture is light and pale. Add the egg and yolk and beat for another minute or two; beat in the vanilla. Reduce the mixer speed to low and steadily add the flour mixture, mixing only until it has been incorporated – because this dough is best when worked least, you might want to stop the mixer before all the flour is thoroughly blended into the dough and finish the job with a rubber spatula. When mixed, the dough will be soft, creamy and malleable.
Turn the dough out onto a counter and divide it in half. If you want to make roll-out cookies, shape each half into a disk and wrap in plastic. If you want to make slice-and-bake cookies, shape each half into a chubby sausage (the diameter is up to you – I usually like cookies that are about 2 inches in diameter) and wrap in plastic. Whether you’re going to roll or slice the dough, it must be chilled for at least 2 hours. (Well wrapped, the dough can be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.)
Getting Ready to Bake: Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment or silicone mats.
If you are making roll-out cookies, working with one packet of dough at a time, roll out the dough between sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper to a thickness of ¼ inch, lifting the plastic or paper and turning the dough over often so that it rolls evenly. Lift off the top sheet of plastic or paper and cut out the cookies – I like a 2-inch round cookie cutter for these. Pull away the excess dough, saving the scraps for re-rolling, and carefully lift the rounds onto the baking sheets with a spatula, leaving about 1½ inches between the cookies. (This is a soft dough and you might have trouble peeling away the excess or lifting the cutouts; if so, cover the dough, chill it for about 15 minutes and try again.) After you’ve rolled and cut the second packet of dough, you can form the scraps into a disk, then chill, roll, cut and bake.
If you are making slice-and-bake cookies, use a sharp thin knife to slice the dough into ¼-inch-thick rounds, and place the rounds on the baking sheets, leaving about 1½ inches between the cookies.
Bake the cookies one sheet at a time for 9 to 11 minutes, rotating the sheet at the midpoint. The cookies should feel firm, but they should not color much, if at all. Remove the pan from the oven and dust the cookies with sugar or cinnamon sugar, if you’d like. Let them rest for 1 minute before carefully lifting them onto a rack to cool to room temperature.
Repeat with the remaining dough, cooling the baking sheets between batches.
Storing: The cookies will keep at room temperature in a tin for up to 1 week. Wrapped well, they can be frozen for up to 2 months.
Originally from the Brown Eyed Baker
4 c. powdered sugar
2 Tbs meringue powder
6 Tbs water
Mix all ingredients on low speed for 7-10 minutes or until the icing loses its shine. Add more water by the teaspoon if it appears too stiff.
Separate the icing into separate bowls in you're using more than one color. Add a couple drops of food coloring until you get your desired color. (I used Americolor soft gel paste in soft pink and super black.) Cover bowls with a damp towel to prevent icing from hardening.
Outline the cookies. Instead of using decorating bags, I just used a ziploc bag with a small corner cut off and filled that with frosting to outline the shape of the cookies.
Flood the cookies. After outlining the cookies and letting the icing harden, add a couple drops of water to the rest of the icing that you'll be using. You'll want to add water until the icing has a syrup consistency. Then, I put the icing in a squeeze bottle with a top that has a small opening. Using the squeeze bottle, fill the inside of the outlines of the cookies. You don't have to put too much-- just use a toothpick to spread out the rest of the icing.
If you're going to use more than one color, wait until the icing has hardened before you start filling in the cookies with other colors. (So I waited until the pink icing was nearly hardened before I started adding the black icing to make the dots.)
You can check out the Brown Eyed Baker's tutorial on how to decorate your cookies with royal icing. She has a detailed step-by-step process (with photos!) on how to decorate your cookies.