As you all know...I love to bake. But just because one loves something, doesn't mean they are necessarily good at it. There is one realm of baking that for whatever reason really intimidates me....sugar cookies. For whatever reason I always mess them up (too dry, too wet...you get the idea). They are the simplest thing, but yet, they are still a work in progress for me. I think one major thing that factors into this is my lack of patience...I know, an impatient person who love to bake...its odd...
ANYWAYS!...What possessed me to attempt this daunting task yet again? I have all these poor cookie cutters that get no use...I thought now would be the time to get a little practice because I WANT to master them! In due time my friends.
I found a great sugar cookie recipe on recipezaar.com, the "No Fail" part got my attention. Then I found a royal icing recipe from The Joy Of Baking. I had to use the egg white recipe as I couldn't find meringue powder ANYWHERE!
Umbrella and Flower No Fail Sugar Cookies
6 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon salt
Royal Icing (recipe follows)
Cream butter and sugar.
Add eggs and vanilla.
Mix dry ingredients and add to butter mixture.
Chill for 1 to 2 hours or see HINT below.
Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes.
Bake on an ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.
HINT: Rolling out dough without the mess-rather than wait for the dough to chill, take freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper.
Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough with paper on a cookie sheet and pop it in the refrigerator.
Continue rolling dough between paper until you have used it all.
By the time you finish preparing the dough, the first batch will be chilled and ready to cut.
Reroll left over dough and repeat the process.
An added bonus is that you aren't adding any more flour to the cookies by rolling them out the old fashioned way.
2 large (60 grams) egg whites
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
3 cups (330 grams) confectioners (powdered or icing) sugar, sifted
In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the egg whites with the lemon juice until combined. Add the sifted powdered sugar and beat on low speed until combined and smooth. The icing needs to be used immediately or transferred to an airtight container as royal icing hardens when exposed to air. Cover with plastic wrap when not in use.
Clearly, these are far from perfect, but I'm getting there. I was just playing around with different designs and colors and getting myself some practice and experience. If like me, you could use cookie decorating and technique tips go to sweetopia.net. She has some awesome ideas and tricks on that site. I think though that I am going to lay down...ate too many cookies...