Monday, September 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: September 2010 Challenge: Get Creative: Decorated Sugar Cookies

















This month's Daring Baker's challenge was to be creative with sugar cookies. The lovely Mandy from What the Fruitcake was the hostess this month and challenged all the creative minds to make a straightforward sugar cookies recipes by Peggy Porschen and decorate it with home-made or shop bought royal icing.
September has been a crazy month for me. Among many, I finally managed to join the Course I wanted study, got the car I fell in love with, started baking cakes for clients instead of just baking random stuff for friends and so on! So, to summarize my crazy time this month I have made a melange of cookies in heart, flower and round shapes, decorated them with love themes,  flowers and fancy designs. I baked these cookies on Thursday while I was baking carrot & black forest cake for a friend, getting a 3 course meal ready for a dinner with another set of friends and car hunting. On Friday I caught the Flu bug and after initially dropping the idea of royal icing I decided to take up the challenge and got it done. I simply could not give up the DB challenge. If the lines are not straight and lack finesse blame my shaky hands ;-).
I have used dessicated coconut and vanilla in the cookie dough to give them more flavour and have used shop-bought royal icing in different colours to complete the challenge.

Sugar Cookies (slightly adapted from Peggy Porschen's recipe)
Ingredients
200g Unsalted Butter
370g Plain Flour sifted
30g Dessicated Coconut
200g Caster Sugar
1 Large Egg
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Method:
Cream the butter and sugar until pale. Add the vanilla extract, coconut, egg and beat till well combined. Add the flour and beat on low till the mixture comes together. On a floured board knead slightly till it forms a ball of dough. Roll this out between parchment paper and refrigerate for up to 1 hour. Using a cookie cutter cut out desired patterns and place on a baking tray. Chill them for another 30 minutes. Preheat the oven to 180C. Bake the cookies until the edges are a golden brown. Transfer to a wire rack and let them cool. Once completely cool frost the cookies or store them in an air-tight container for up to a month.
Royal Icing:
315g – 375g Icing / Confectioner’s Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
2 tsp Lemon Juice
Method:
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.
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.
Decorating Your Cookies: Flooding
Flooding” a cookie is a technique used when covering a cookie with Royal Icing. You outline the area you want to flood which helps create a dam.Then fill or flood inside the area you’ve outlined.
Decorating Your Cookies: Royal Icing
The most important thing when it comes to decorating with Royal Icing is the consistency.
There are two ways of flooding your cookies. Some like to do the outline with a thicker icing and then flood with a thinner icing. Some like to use the same icing to do both which saves time and you don’t have to have two different piping bags for each colour you’re using.
The Same Consistency Method
Consistency:
Mix your royal icing according to the recipe/instructions. Drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing and count to 10. If the surface becomes smooth between 5 & 10 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency.
Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, do the 10 second test, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat, etc. To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 10 second test
Two Different Consistencies Method
Consistency:
Mix your royal icing according to the recipe/instructions.
Separate into 2 different bowls, one lot of icing for outlining, the other for flooding.
For the outlining icing, drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing.
If the surface becomes smooth at around 10 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency.
Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, count to 10 seconds, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat. To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 10 second test.
For the flooding/filling icing, drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing.
If the surface becomes smooth at around 3-4 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency.Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, count to 3-4 seconds, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat, etc.
Tip: To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 3-4 second test.
Packaging and Storing
Once fully decorated, allow cookies to dry for 24 hours in a cool and dry area. Stack cookies in an airtight container, from largest cookies at the bottom, to smallest and more intricate at the top, with parchment or wax free paper in between the layers. Store in a cool and dry area with the container’s lid firmly sealed. Will last for about a month if stored this way.
Thanks for hosting such a beautiful challenge this month Mandy. I don't think I have ever bothered to decorate cookies like this ever (maybe once drizzled melted choc on chocolate cookies). I am definitely making these again as Halloween and Christmas treats for friends. They are easy to make, fun to decorate and will melt the strongest of hearts.

10 comments:

chef_d said...

I love the colors and decorations you made on your cookies, very vibrant. Great job!

Manu said...

I just love the mettalic glaze!
Everything so cute!

Debugcooking said...

Thanks chef_d and Manu...

An Open Book said...

thts quite an effort i must say

sasasunakku said...

So cute! Again, I didn't manage to do mine (must.stay.in.one.place.) but hope to next month, well done!

Julie said...

Nice cookies! I love the colors and patterns you chose.

neelima said...

Thanks for the hearts.....sweets

Sirius73 said...

Cute cookies! Love the hearts :-)

Marisa said...

Those are some great looking cookies!

sbhanu1 said...

lovely they all look gorgeous, hw i wish my otg was in place :(

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