Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I'm back to blogging, and I have a great post to kick it off. (Costa Rica was a fabulous vacation, and I'll post my adventure with their food in the next couple of days.) Once I got back from Costa Rica I had just a couple of days to perfect my sugar cookies with royal icing and make them presentable for favors for my cousin-in-law Jessica's bridal shower. I thought making the cookies would be a no brainer, but turns out the night I was ready to roll them out was so hot in my apartment that as soon as I rolled out the dough, it got too soft to cut out the cookies. They were sticking to the counter, and falling apart when I would transfer them to the cookie sheet. Turns out our little Orange County heat wave took a toll on my cooking plans. I called it a night and decided to roll them out and cook them early the next morning. Mom came over about 7:30 am and we got to cooking. But that meant I had to frost them later that same day, which was not the plan, but it worked out anyway.
Step 1: Pipe the outside with frosting. After the cookies were cooked and cooled we started frosting. I say we because this was truly a family project. My Dad is always helping Brittany with her design projects that I was excited I had something he could help me with. He is a perfectionist with a very steady hand, which made him an ideal candidate to help pipe, frost and decorate. I outlined the cakes with white frosting and Dad piped the pink hearts at the top. We used # 2 tips and disposable pastry bags. The frosting was a little bit thinner than it is when you first mix it up. Thin a little at a time adding teaspoons of water.
Step 2: flood the inside of the cookie with white frosting. To do this I thinned the frosting to an almost liquid consistency, it should run off the back on a spoon and disappear into the bowl of frosting with in 10 seconds. I filled up a squeeze bottle I got at Michael's, with the frosting and squirted it in the middle of the cookie. After it had a second to spread I enlisted the rest of my workers to use toothpicks to help it reach the corners of the cookies. Mom, Garrett, Brian, Brittany, and Aunt Sue were great at this. We did 60 cookies in no time. You need to make sure the outline is dry before flooding the cookies, but by the time we piped the last one, the first one was dry. Dad was in charge of flooding the pink hearts. He chose to use a pastry bag to fill them since they were much smaller than the cakes. I found that if the frosting wasn't spreading to most of the cookie it was too thick and I just thinned it more with water. You can also add more frosting.
Step 4: Decorate cookie. This was left up to me, Dad, and Britt. I found this to be the most fun part. We got to be creative, and the white on white frosting made each cookie look like the perfect little wedding cake. I took a less is more approach when decorating my cookies, Dad got really good at the swirls and hearts, and Brittany's were definitely designer cookies. I was so excited for each cookie, they turned out so cute. Mom took a turn on a few at the end and hers looked great too. Because they were favors for the shower I put them in cellophane bags and tied them with a blue (wedding color) ribbon. The shower guests seemed to like them, but I had so much fun making them it would have been ok even if they didn't. And while I probably could have managed 60 cookies by myself, it was so much more fun sitting around the table, frosting, chatting, and laughing with everyone. We make a great team! Love you guys!
Royal Icing Recipe:
Whites of two large eggs - beat until stiff, soft peaks, but not dry
Add 4 cups sifted powdered sugar
Optional- juice of one lemon or 1 TBS vanilla
Links I used as references:
Tips for making Royal Icing