Tuesday, February 17, 2015

a cookie recipe & a local cookie decorating class!

Hey y'all! Today's post is THREE in one. A recipe/guest post from my friend Lizzy for amazing sugar cookies, some royal icing techniques and an opportunity for some locals to take her cookie class this weekend! Bonus? These cookies were inspired by my Weekend (Coffee Donuts Repeat) Tee! How fun is that?

The class is in Boulder at The Cup on Pearl from 6-9 pm on Saturday (February 21st). I would love to see you there! You can sign up /buy your tickets here. There are limited seats available, so snatch yours up quickly. 

Here's a go-to recipe to add to your recipe tin. 

((for the cookies))
1# butter, room temperature
8 oz sugar
1 t salt
2 eggs
2 t vanilla
1# 8oz flour (approximately 3 cups, but I recommend you weigh it)

((for the royal icing))

    3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
    4 cups (about 1 lb.) confectioners' sugar
    5 tablespoons warm water
    food coloring of your choice (if you're using liquid versus gel, adjust your confectioner's sugar to keep it the same consistency)

    ((for the cookies))

    Cream together the butter, sugar, and salt until the mixture becomes light and fluffy.  It's really difficult to overcream butter and sugar, so don't stop until it is really pale.  Add your eggs and vanilla and beat until they are very well combined.  Finally, add your flour in three parts until just combined.  Be careful not to overmix it here, cause that can mess with how your cookie holds it's shape.  Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.  This dough can last in there for a week or so, too!

    Once your dough is chilled, flour your surface, your rolling pin, and the top of the disc of dough and start rolling!  Rolling it out to a smooth, consistent 1/4" thickness is ideal.  As you roll, lift the sides of your dough to make sure it isn't sticking to the counter, that'll get real annoying when you're cutting out your shapes.

    Pick a fun cookie cutter and cut out as many cookies as you'd like (remember you can save the dough for later if you don't need a whole batch immediately).  Use a spatula to get them off the counter without damaging their shape and place them onto a baking sheet lined with parchment.  I use my Silpat for cookies and it works like a dream.  Bake your cookies at 350 for 8-12 minutes.  You'll know they're done when the edges are just turning a golden brown.  The centers will still be pale.

    ((for the royal icing))
    There are a few different royal icing methods.  You can use a thicker icing to pipe the outline and a thinner one to fill it in, or you can do what I did here and make one medium thickness icing and use a slightly wet finger to smooth it over your cookie.

    To make the icing, you're just going to mix all of the listed ingredients together.  That's easy.  You'll know the consistency is right when you take a spoon to lift the icing and it rolls off of the spoon slowly and keeps the shape it pools in for at least 5 seconds.  I know this sounds very specific, but it needs to be stiff enough to hold the outline you draw, but maleable enough to be pushed around and smoothed.

    Once you've got a good consistency going on, either using a squeeze bottle or the smallest round tip you can find with a pastry bag (I use an Ateco 1 as my ideal tip) pipe your outline first.  Then fill in about 90% of the surface area within the outline, it's not important to be too exact.  Then dip your finger in water and gently push the icing around until it fills the entire outline.  Don't let your finger be too wet though, it'll mess with the color and look of your icing.

    To write on the icing as I've done here, I used food gel color and a very small paintbrush.  If you'll be doing any additional designs on your cookies, whether by writing on them or using more royal icing, you have to wait until they are completely hardened.  Put them in the fridge for at least an hour.


    If you want to learn more ((or are a visual learner like me)) and are a local in the Denver/Ft Collins/Boulder, don't miss Lizzy's class this weekend! Again, you can buy your tickets here. It will be so fun (and delicious!). 



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