Tuesday, November 24, 2009

autumn / fall / thanksgiving sugar cookies - attempt at sugar cookies #2

So after my last failure at sugar cookies, I attempted yet another recipe. This one was from one of my favorite baking websites, so I deemed this a reliable recipe.

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I mainly wanted to bake these cookies for my roommate who I attempted to bake sugar cookies for the previous week. She was going home for Thanksgiving and I wanted her to take some home with her, seeing as how I've spent Thanksgiving at her house before.

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So the cookies themselves came out a lot better. Then I tried making royal icing for the first time- which also came out surprisingly well. I divided my icing into three batches - one orange, one green, and one remained white. I wanted to make "fall" colors, but mixing the icing was just too hard; and not to mention how hard washing my cheap piping bag was. It took me like 5 minutes to clean and wash the bag before preparing the next color icing, and I wasted a ton of icing in the process.

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At first I chose to outline the shape of the leaves, and then make horizontal lines to fill it. Not only did I almost get Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, but I was wasting so much time trying to make these perfect. Needless to say, I opted for an easier topping by just spreading the icing all over and then dipping it in sprinkles.

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The cookies with the horizontal lines looked a lot prettier, but the cookies with the sprinkles tasted a lot better.

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I bought these cute little baggies and filled them with cookies to give to my roommate.

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The following day I had all these unfrosted sugar cookies, three ramekins full of frosting, and fall colored sprinkles I needed to get rid of. What to do? ... Obviously, frost them and get rid of them.

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Unfortunately for me, my boyfriend hates sugar cookies. The only people who actually like them are me and his sister. But we can't eat a couple dozen sugar cookies by ourselves!

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So basically there are still around this many sugar cookies left, because no one will eat them. Oh well, at least I improved from my sugar cookie mishap last week.

Taken from Joy of Baking

3+1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
1+1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1. Whisk together flour, salt, and baking soda.
2. In another bowl, use mixer to beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3-4 minutes). Add the eggs and vanilla extract and beat until combined.
3. Add the flour mixture and beat until you have a smooth dough.
4. Divide dough in half and wrap each half in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for about one hour or until firm enough to roll.
5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
6. Remove one half of the chilled dough and on a lightly floured surface, roll out dough to a thickness of 1/4 inch (1 cm). Keep turning dough as you roll, making sure the dough does not stick to counter.
7. Cut out desired shapes using a lightly floured cookie cutter and transfer to cookie sheets. Place sheets with unbaked cookies in the refrigerator for 10-15 minutes to chill the dough which prevents the cookies from spreading and losing their shape while baking.
8. Bake cookies for about 10 minutes (depending on their size) or until they are brown around the edges. Remove from oven and let cookies cool on baking sheet for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to finish cooling.

Makes about 36 - 4 inch cookies.

Taken from Joy of Baking

2 large egg whites
3 cups confectioners sugar, sifted

1. Using a hand mixer, beat the egg whites for a few minutes.
2. Add sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth.
3. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air.

Makes about 3 cups

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