I waited as long as I could.
I've had the Christmas baking itch for weeks now and I haven't made anything. Finally, yesterday I decided it was close enough to start on the freezables.
It's snowing cookies!!!
Anyone who knows me knows that I go nuts for blue snowflake-y things at Christmas. I scour the stores for blue and silver wrapping paper with matching tags. I have snowflake decorations on my tree and throughout my apartment. With the exception of the decorations on my Christmas tree, my apartment is decked out in silver and blue for the holidays.
I'm going to be putting together gift baskets of baked goods for a lot of my loved ones this Christmas. I have gorgeous blue boxes with silver snowflakes that I found at Winners, and clear cellophane with blue snowflakes that I found at the dollar store, so I thought a snowflake cookie would tie it all together.
I've been wanting to make sugar cookies with royal icing for a while now, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity! I was inspired by the Wilton website to pick up one of their cookie cutters and start baking!
The cookies are plain sugar cookies, made using this recipe from allrecipes.com. The are amazing! I rolled them out to about 1/4" and they baked up light and fluffy. Perfection.
I used the royal icing recipe I learned in Wilton Course 2:
Recipe: Royal Icing
1 1/2 Tbsp meringue powder
2 cups icing sugar
2.5 Tbsp lukewarm water
Mix on low/medium speed with an electric mixer for 7 minutes. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth while working with icing because it dries out very quickly.
I separated 1/4 cup of the icing and coloured the rest with royal blue icing colour.
These took quite honestly the whole day to ice. My hands were absolutely aching by the end of it and for a while I thought I would have to split it over two days, but I stuck it out and made 40 gorgeous cookies. I am so impressed with how beautiful they turned out. I make a lot of cute foods but I think these are my favorite of anything I've ever made!
The cookies are not particularly sweet, so I find the sweetness and crunch of the icing complements the soft cookies perfectly.
To ice these babies, first I waited for the cookies to cool. Next, using a #2 tip, I piped the outline of the snowflake on each cookie in blue. I added a few teaspoons of water to the remaining blue frosting until it was of a pourable consistency, but not too thin. The trick is to add the water a teaspoon at a time and check it by pouring a spoonful of icing back into the bowl. If it melds into the rest of the icing in about 10 seconds, it's thin enough.
Next I piped the thinned blue icing inside the outlines using a #4 tip, and used a toothpick to smooth it out the edges to create the smooth blue surface. Don't worry if the surface doesn't look smooth at first. It smooths out as it dries and most of it will be covered with white anyway.
The last step is to pipe on the snowflake with the white icing after the blue had dried. I used the #2 tip for that as well and placed a silver ball in the center of each snowflake while the icing was still wet.
And that's it! Not to difficult, but very time consuming and hard on your hands.
So these guys will live in the freezer for the next two weeks and make their grand appearance at Christmas. I have at least two more types of cookies to make, so I will post them as I go.
Wednesday, December 10, 2008