Monday, July 25, 2011

Adventures in Cookie Making

Let's travel back in time to when I could eat cookies....

A very good friend of mine had a baby girl at the beginning of July. To celebrate, I decided to make the new mom and dad sugar cookies! (New parents need to eat, right?) Last time I made sugar cookies were actually for the same friend, but for her bachelorette party. To keep things PG, I won't tell you what shape they were ;).

Now, I have VERY little experience with the decorating part... as you'll see. I used this sugar cookie recipe from The Kitchn. I made the "small" batch and I still have dough left-over in my freezer.

Step 1. The mixing. As you can see, my hand mixer is ancient. Soon enough my mother will graciously be handing over her Kitchen Aid to me. Can't wait!

Step 2. The rolling process. For some reason I don't have any pictures of this. A very good friend of mine gave me some tips about rolling out the dough.
  1. Get the dough really really cold. Be patient.
  2. Put the dough between 2 layers of plastic wrap. This prevents sticking to the rolling pin.
  3. Roll!
  4. Stick it back in the fridge.
  5. Cut out your shapes!

Baking time!

One thing about my current oven:
Its small. And cooks quickly and unevenly. Good thing we are MOVING SOON! Can't wait.

Here are my lovely cookies. Baking.

This batch came out a little more browned than I would've liked.. but they still worked.

Cookies need to be cool before you ice them! So I took a little break....

Hot Dog!

This, my friends, is an all-beef Niman Ranch Fearless Frank. ON A BUN! Damn does that look good. Find them at Whole Foods.

Back to the cookies...

I called on Martha Stewart for the royal icing. Never made it before.

Let me tell you, its tricky stuff. I found it difficult to get the right consistency. At one point, my boyfriend -oh so nicely- ran to the grocery store to get me more powdered sugar because I had run out (oops!).

Also, it dries QUICKLY.  I used plastic wrap to cover the bowl and prevent drying.  You can also use a wet paper towel.

Another oops: I bought icing instead of food coloring. I swear it looked like food coloring, even though it said icing on the box --blonde moment. I still used it. I mixed it in with my royal icing to get pastel colors. Perfect for baby cookies :)

So for the whole royal icing process..  1. Outline 2. Flood (fill-in) 3. Cool 4. Do cool designs.
I was impatient and didn't follow step 3 which resulted in my writing oozing into the flooded icing. Lesson: BE PATIENT.
For tips on using royal icing, I highly recommend this blog post.

4th of July wasn't too long before, and I happened to have blue and red sprinkles in the cupboards... so there you have it!

That week I took a road trip to Indiana to defend my MA thesis (woo hoo!). On the way, there was a HUGE accident on the highway and I was in completely stopped traffic for an hour. I befriended the guys in a moving truck behind me who were happy to take some cookies while waiting in the heat! See? Always good to have some sugar cookies on hand.

The aftermath. Kitchen destroyed.

I needed one of these when I was done :)

Hopefully next time, things will go more smoothly. Can't wait to break that dough out of the freezer!

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