Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Do you like sugar cookies?

I have a friend who recently inquired about whether or not I could make Minnie Mouse sugar cookies. I'm thinking...I've never decorated cookies with royal icing before, but I'm sure I can do it. I have a set of 100 cookie cutters that I've had forever and have never used...might as well bust them out.

Now I don't know about you, but I'm not the hugest fan of rolled out sugar cookies. I've always had issues with rolling them out too thin or uneven and they are too hard. I've had frosted cookies before and they just don't taste good to me. They look nice though...I'm sure you've seen the cookie arrangements by some cookie companies out there. But anywho, I'm going to start a search for the recipe that gives me the best cookie. So here's my first attempt.

I browsed around and came upon Martha Stewart's recipe for Ideal Sugar Cookies. You might want to check out the video that she has on there too. It's very informative. I'm a huge fan of video tutorials on stuff. I did the whole bit, even added 2 Tbs of brandy to my dough. The first batch, I rolled it out to slightly less than 1/4 inch thickness, though the recipe calls for 1/8th inch thickness. I figured that I should make it thicker so then the cookie would be more on the chewy side, rather than the hard crunchy side. The second batch I made them 1/8th inch thick. So here's what they should look like before baking:

I'm reading through blogs and websites, and came upon one that I really liked called Sweetopia and the author, Marian, has all sorts of info on how to decorate cookies. I had some rough times with the royal icing at first, trying to get it to the right consistency. I think you'll just have to work it out by trial and error. I had a batch made up and separated it into separate bowls so I could color them. I'll get some shots of what my frosting looks like the next time around. One thing to keep in mind is to make sure you keep the main icing covered up so that it doesn't dry out. Otherwise, you'll end up having to add water to thin it out. Be sure to keep the tips of your piping bags covered with a damp cloth to prevent the sugar from crusting up too.

I'm not going to go into all the details of the piping of the outer edge and flooding, but you can check it out on Sweetopia.

And here's the after...

The thinner cookies texture was too hard for me. The thicker ones were perfect. With the icing on top, it's a bit too sweet for me, but they'd go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Spring time decor

So I'm itching to bake some more and use of the frosting that I used a couple days ago....what to do? So I whipped up another batch of chocolate cupcakes, but this time with some dark chocolate in it. Using the frosting that I had previously, I took my first attempt at making flowers. I was a bit shaky at first, but I think they came out well despite the fact that it was my first time making these things. I think I'm going to continue practicing making these flowers better looking. I'd have to say I was quite proud of myself for trying something different today!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Springtime is here and Valentines day is on it's way!

The holiday got me so busy with a bunch of STUFF, that I was taken away from all the cupcake baking. Annie used to do a lot of the blogging and since she's moved away it's been tough. I baked some chocolate and pumpkin cupcakes for her going away party in October last year. I had Ji, my boyfriend, help me out with some of the frosting and placement of sprinkles and spiders...LOL!

I lost some motivation to bake, but I started up again because I got an order...and now that the weather is nice and all the craziness with the holidays is over, I'M BACK!!!!!

I got an order from my loan officer to bake some cupcakes for her son's class, and it was chef's choice. Here's what I made: Chocolate with Italian Meringue Butter Cream (IMBC)