The Daring Bakers September 2010 was hosted by Mandy from " What the fruitcake?!"
. This month challenge was to make decorated sugar cookies. She used Peggy Porschens
recipe for the challenge recipe. Sugar cookie recipes commonly have either baking powder or bicarb of soda, but this recipe is a little different in that it doesn t use a raising agent which makes them great so if you re using intricate cookie cutters, they hold their shape while baking. Perfect for decorating with royal icing!
Mandy also set a theme for this month s challenge, and the theme is "September".Meaning whatever happens in our life in September, that s what the cookies should be about.
Since I don t have any special event going on in my life in September (October is more of a my month) I decided to some cookies with the autumn as theme. Usually I really like the beginning of autumn because here in Croatia where I live September is usually worm and sunny and everything is covered with golden leafs and it is a perfect time to take long walks. But not this year ; this year it s been raining cats and dogs. This last past days we had some serious floods in the central part of a country. I hope that September will get better because he didn t show him self in his best edition.
Basic Sugar Cookies
200 g + 6 Tbsp butter at room temperature
400 g + 3 Tbsp all purpose flour
200 g caster sugar
1 egg,lightly beaten
seeds from 1 vanilla bean
Cream together the butter, sugar and seeds from vanilla bean. Beat until just becoming creamy in texture. Beat in the egg until well combined. Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms. Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces. Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5 mm. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 mins. Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife. Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30 mins to an hour. It is very important you chill them again otherwise they ll spread while baking. Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up. Preheat oven to 180 C. Bake until golden brown around the edges, about 8-15 mins depending on the size of cookies. Leave to cool on cooling racks. Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
350 g powdered sugar
2 egg whites
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp almond extract (optional)
Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined. Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites. Beat on low until combined and smooth. Use immediately or keep in an airtight container. Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.Color with desired color and get creative decorating your cookies.
Once fully decorated, allow cookies to dry for 24 ours in a cool and dry area. Stack cookies in an airtight container with parchment paper in between the layers.Store in a cool and dry area with the container s lid firmly sealed. Will last for about a month if stored this way.
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