Thursday, May 20, 2010

Rolled Buttercream Icing

*Edited to add a picture of a finished sugar cookie with rolled icing.  This is one of the plain ones I had left because all the cute ones got eaten.  As you can see the rolled buttercream icing (pink or green) is similar in shape as the cookie and about half the thickness.  How thick you roll it is competely up to you and how much icing you want on the finished cookie.

This is melt in your mouth goodness, forget the M&M's this is what I'm talking about!  I use this icing for my Rolled Sugar Cookies and let me tell you that these are always...I mean always a hit.  I have had people ask if you can use this like fondant on cakes and so far I have not been able to make it work because it is not as stiff as fondant and tears easily when trying to do larger projects but it is perfect for cookies!

So as I stated in my sugar cookie recipe that you want to apply this as soon as the cookies come out of the oven.  This way the icing adheres to the cookie and becomes part of it when it cools.  Just like fondant you can decorate this with royal icing or sprinkles (apply these a couple minutes after you have put the icing on the cookie).  So let's make some icing!

In your mixer you cream 1 cup of Crisco (shortening) and 1 cup of light corn syrup.  Then add 1 teaspoon vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  *Note about almond, it is very strong and a little goes a long way.  If you don't like almond you can replace it with nothing or you could experiment with other extracts.  Lemon is a great one to use for summer.  Once this is mixed slowly add 2lbs of powdered sugar.  Once you add it all your mixing will be begging you to stop.  This is when I turn it all out onto my counter and knead it the rest. Once it is all mixed you can break off sections to color with gel food coloring.  Remember start with a little, you can always add more but you can't always take it away.  That is it, simple, easy and yummy.  Now, just like the sugar cookies you roll this out between two pieces of parchment paper.  Once rolled cut out your shapes using the same cookie cuter that you used for the cookies.  Place parchment on a cookie sheet and chill for 5 minutes.  *It is easier to pick up the cut out icing when it is chilled.  Place cut out icing on fresh from the oven cookie.  Wait a couple minutes and add sprinkles or let cool and decorate with royal icing or leave as is.  How ever you serve em up they will go fast. 

Rolled Buttercream Icing

1c Crisco
1c Light Corn Syrup
1tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond extract
2lb powdered sugar

Cream crisco and corn syrup.  Add vanilla and almond.  Slowly add powdered sugar.  Once almost mix, turn out onto counter and knead rest by hand.  Color icing with gel food coloring.  Roll between parchment paper and chill 5 minutes.  Apply icing to fresh from the over cookies.  Enjoy!

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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rolled Sugar Cookies

These are one of my favorite cookies. They are tasty and easy to make but I warn you they can be time consuming but so worth it! I guess I should say they can be as time consuming as you let them. This is a rolled sugar cookie recipe so that means that the final product will be a cookie cut from a cookie cutter. I have never done these as a drop sugar cookie so I have no clue how those would turn out using this recipe.

Preheat oven to 350.  Start with 2 cups (4 sticks) of room temperature unsalted butter. I know there is great debate about salted vs. unsalted. I use unsalted in all my baking, it is easier to add salt then to try to make something taste less salty. Cream the butter and add 2 cups granulated sugar. Beat until light and fluffy. To this add 2-3 teaspoons vanilla, 1 teaspoon almond extract and 1 teaspoon salt. The beat in 2 eggs one at a time. Add 3 teaspoons of baking powder. Once this is all mixed slowly add 5-6 cups of flour. The amount of flour you use will depend on a lot of things unrelated to cooking. The weather, the time of year, the humidity. I find I use more flour in the summer/humid months than in the winter/drier months. Also rainy days require more flour than sunny days. You want your dough to be not sticky but not dry. I think of it like play-dough that has been left to sit for a couple hours. Kinda crumbly until you work it then it forms a nice ball. Make sense? Once your mixed is about 95% mixed turn it out onto your counter and knead the rest by hand. I think I do this more to save my stand mixer but it also gives me a good feel for the dough. Once mixed divide dough and wrap. Pat dough into a flat disc. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. (Hey, it gives you time to clean up the kitchen!) Once the dough is chilled roll dough out between two pieces of parchment paper. I told you this stuff was amazing, remember this post. Tool Tip Tuesday: Parchment Paper. By rolling your dough between parchment paper you are ensure that the first cookie and last cookie taste the same. Why? Because you are not adding any additional flour to the mix. Okay, once your dough is rolled out (about 1/4 inch thick) use your desired cookie cutter to cut out the cookies. Place cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet a chill in the freezer for 10 minutes, yes the freeze, don't argue with me, trust me. The reason you chill in the freezer is cut out cookies will spread and loose their shape if at room temperature. So that means the cute little duck you cut out will come out looking like a creature from the black lagoon. By chilling the dough it holds it shape better allowing that duck to remain and cute duck. Bake these babies for 8-10 minutes. It really depends on the size/shape of the cookie. You want the edges to just start to turn golden. These cookies are best when not over cooked. Once the cookies are removed from the over let cool or if you want an easy way to ice them apply a rolled buttercream to the top of the hot cookie. I'll post this sugar coma induced treat tomorrow so check back! These cookies will keep for about week (if they last that long) or can be frozen for three months. Also the uncooked dough can be frozen for three months. This means you could make your dough in June, bake the cookies in September and hand them out a Christmas. WooHoo! Happy Baking!

Recipe: Rolled Sugar Cookies
2c unsalted butter (room temp.)
2c granulated sugar
2tsp vanilla
1tsp almond extract
1tsp salt
2 eggs
3tsp baking powder
5-6c flour

Mix butter and sugar.  Add vanilla, almond and salt.  Add eggs one at a time.  Add baking powder.  Add flour little at a time.  Mix 95% and turn out onto counter.  Knead dough together.  Divide and wrap.  Pat into discs and chill 1 hour.  Roll dough between 2 pieces parchment paper.  Cut cookies and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  Chill cookies 10 minutes in freezer.  Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.

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