Thursday, May 13, 2010

Super Girly Sugar Cookies

I had big plans for this basic sugar cookie recipe (the second part of my mothers day baking adventure). The plan was to make a huge bouquet of sickly sweet, super pink, butterflies, flowers and hearts. I had a hard time finding a nice flower cutter so decided just to go with the hearts and butterflies. Sadly the butterflies didn’t quite make it either, they were snacked on while I was waiting for the hearts to cool.

The final result wasn’t as extravagant as I originally envisioned but I was still pretty pleased with how they turned out. Both my mum and boyfriends mum loved them.

Sugar cookies

For the cookies

2 cups plain flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (one stick) butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Wooden skewers

For the royal icing

2 cups icing sugar
1 tablespoon meringue powder
¼ cup water (approx)
Food colouring

To make the cookies: Sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. On a low speed gradually add dry ingredients, mix until combined.

Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in clingwrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Take dough out of the fridge and let soften till workable.

Place the dough between sheets of baking paper and roll out to around ½ to ¾ centimetre thick. Place sheet in the freezer until firm.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees c. Line trays with non stick paper.

Cut out hearts from dough and place 3cm apart on baking trays. Make sure to leave space enough to fit the sticks. Gently insert the stick about 2/3 into the bottom of the cut cookie dough. Be careful not to push the stick out of the front or back of the cookie. (I put my cookies into the freezer to firm up for a bit so i could check the sticks weren’t coming out of the backs)

Bake cookies until golden around the edges, about 15-20 minutes. Let cool on baking trays.

Once the hearts are completely cool its time for icing.

To make the icing: Place all ingredients in a bowl set electric mixer to low and beat until very smooth. If the icing is too thick add a little bit of water at a time until right. (I like the icing for piping to be a little thicker so i divided it into separate bowls before adding any extra water). For different colours divide again and beat in a little colouring at a time until you are happy with the colour.

Go ahead and decorate the cookies however you wish. Note to self... always have a plan before icing cookies or things get horribly horribly messy ugly. By the time I got to icing the last bunch of cookies I figured out what I wanted them to look like and ended up with a few decent looking ones.

For the cookie bouquet

Flower pot or vase
Styrofoam (must fit snugly into pot or vase)
Tissue paper
Cellophane bags

Carefully slip your finished cookies into the bags and tie with some pretty ribbon.

Arrange the tissue paper around the foam and press into the vase or flower pot.

To make it easier to insert the cookie sticks I poked holes into the foam first. Insert the cookies sticks carefully into the holes.

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