Friday, January 30, 2009

Cookie Tutorial

I have had several people ask how I make the iced sugar cookies. I am going to try and do a tutorial. I am sure that I will miss a step here or there being this is my first tutorial so stick with me and ask questions and I will update the post. Here goes....
First off, I use a recipe for sugar cookies called No Fail Sugar Cookie. It is a great recipe that is very tasty and does not expand to much in the oven so your cookies stay true to form. The recipe is below.

No Fail Sugar Cookie

6 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract (I sometimes use almond extract)

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together. Chill for 1 to 2 hours. Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.

I always roll my dough either on a Silplat mat or directly on my granite. It keeps it cool which keeps it firm. Also, I put a piece of wax paper over the dough while I roll it out. If the dough gets to warm it is difficult to work with so only take a little bit out at a time.

Now after they are baked and cooled I begin to ice them. I use a royal icing. It sounds gross but the cookies are super tasty.

Royal Icing

3/4 cups warm water
5 TBSP meringue powder
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 bag powdered sugar (2 lb)

In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened...about 30 seconds. Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more. Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer. Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy. Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying. Tint with food colourings or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.
After your icing is finished it will be very thick. This is a great consistency for detailing or making flowers. But for a smooth finished cookie you must thin it. Take the desired amount of icing out that you need to tint to a certain color. Add a teaspoon of water at a time until is reaches the consistency of glue. I then color my icing to the desired color. If there are a lot of bubbles after you mix it, tap the bowl and let it sit for awhile covered by a damp cloth. I then add my thinned icing to a plastic dispenser that is used for candy making. You can get them at Wal-mart or any craft store. They are made by Wilton and are super cheap. You are ready to do your base color. I am very careful at this point. For less experienced cookie decorators it might be better to outline with the thick icing and then fill in with the thinned icing but I prefer to do it all with the thinned icing and be careful. It allows for a smoother finish. I first outline the cookie and then fill in. I use the tip of the bottle to help flood the cookie. Be very careful not to have too much icing or it will run over the edge.
Now let your base color get pretty good and dry. A few hours. Then you can add detailing. I use the thicker icing for detailing and I use a decorator bag with tips 1-4. After your cookie is detailed then you should let them dry for at least 24 hours before bagging them or stacking them. These cookies should keep for at least a week. You can freeze them and they thaw beautifully and tastily.

The icing can also be kept at room temperature in an air-tight container for up to a month.

I will post some more pictures of other cookies I have done to give more ideas. They are just on another computer and it is very late...or early....depends on how you look at 4:45 am.


The Popes said...

Oh Wow!
Now I am going to have to make some of these for my daughter's birthday party next weekend!

Brittany said...

Why are you up at 4:45?????

Heather said...

I'm going to have to try these. I have horrible luck with sugar cookies, but these look to good not to try and press my luck with!

Kelli said...

You made this look so easy! I may have to try this one day. Thanks!

Ruth Ann said...

OH MY GOSH! You did the cookie tutorial I was hoping for! YOU'RE THE BEST! My kids are going to LOVE these! I can't wait to make some! Thanks so much and have a fantastic day!
-Ruth Ann

Erin said...

Those cookies look great. I need to get more patience and try something like this!

HD said...

Wow! HOw cutie patootie:)

julie & joe said...

I hadn't thought to use the bottles! Great idea!!!!

Nikki said...

Cute! I'll have to try these sometime.

The Graves' House said...

thanks for sharing. those cookies look so yummy. you do a great job.

Kim @ Forever Wherever said...

Your cookies look awesome! I always get scared when it comes to putting the icing on! Thanks for the tips!

Amber said...

Those look so professional. I may try that and see if I can do cookies for my son's b-day in June. The cake I attempted last year did work out well...

Shannon said...

Awesome!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

These look so good. I've always wondered how to make these. Thanks for the recipe.

Ginger said...

Great recipe! Your tutorial was super thank you for sharing.