Saturday, March 26, 2011
These cookies were intended as toppers to some strawberry shortcake cupcakes, but then they got faces and took on a life of their own. I had a hard time finding a strawberry shaped cookie cutter and couldn’t possibly wait the few days it would take to order one online, so I squished a spare heart shaped cutter the best I could. Their cute little faces make me smile, hopefully some will last long enough to make it onto cupcakes.
I’m not sure where this recipe came from, it was torn out of a magazine, but it sure makes some tasty cookies. From now on I think I will be making shortbread cookies rather than sugar cookies, I much prefer their soft buttery deliciousness!
The cookies are iced with royal icing and topped with a little fondant flower. For the royal icing I used the same recipe and process I’ve used previously.
250 grams butter (chilled and cubed)
¾ cup icing sugar
1 1/3 cup plain flour
1/3 cup corn flour
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
To make the shortbread- Preheat oven to 160°c and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.
Process butter, sugar, flours and vanilla until the dough just comes together. (My food processor is still buried in a cupboard somewhere, but it worked out fine using the mixer)
Turn out dough on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly until smooth.
Press dough into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour.
Place chilled dough between 2 sheets of baking paper and roll out to 5mm thick. Cut out an even number of strawberries and circles.
Re-roll and cut and off-cuts.
Place the cutouts onto the prepared trays, leaving spaces of 2cm between. Freeze for 10 minutes, until firm.
Bake the shortbread for 22 to 25 minutes, until golden.
Cool completely on trays before icing.
For the Royal Icing
4 cups icing sugar
1/4 cup meringue powder
2-3 tablespoons water (as needed)
red, green, and pink food colourings
To make the icing- add all the ingredients into a medium bowl, beat the ingredients about 7 minutes until smooth. If the icing is too thick add a little more water at a time. (Thin the icing with small amounts of water as needed when flooding the cookies)
Divide the icing in half, colour one half red, divide the remaining half into thirds for the green, pink and white.
Pipe the red strawberry outlines onto the cookies using a fine piping tip. Allow the outlines to set before flooding with icing.
Once the outlines are dry, it is time to flood the cookies with thinned red icing. Use a toothpick to spread the icing and remove any air bubbles.
For the polka dots, drop small dots of white flooding icing into the red icing while still wet.
let the strawberries dry completely, pipe on the green leafy bit and pink rosy cheeks. Stick on a little fondant flower to each strawberry while the icing is still wet.
Once all the icing has set draw on the happy faces and stitched outline with a food pen or food colour.