Flower and Flour: Decorated Cookies

So during my 2-week sweets hiatus I decided to share this lovely recipe for those of who are still interested in baking.  These decorated cookies were so cool.  I’ve never made these type of decorated cookies before because I always thought they were too hard to master.  These cookies aren’t perfect, but I realized they very easy to make and can be made into a variety of shapes and designs.

Basically, this is a simple sugar cookie with a royal icing that hardens when exposes to air.

For the cookies:

Follow the recipe for cookies attached below.  Roll out onto a floured surface, and cut into circles.  I used a floured glass cup. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes.

Next up, icing!

For this recipe, I was glad to have my lovely KitchenAid (I whipped these up when I was home and a clean kitchen to boot).  This recipe involves a lot of mixing, but I want to try them again at campus.  Nothing like a arm work-out.

Okay, back to the recipe.  A lot of recipes for this type of icing involve either meringue powder or fresh egg whites.  Who has meringue powder?  It’s great if you make lots of these cookies, but I think you have to order it online or pick it up at baking specialty stores.  Not something you can find in the grocery store.  As for the egg whites, it’s not great to eat raw eggs, either.  So, I searched for a different recipe.  This recipe instead uses powdered egg whites.  I guess you may not have this in your pantry either, but you can buy this at the supermarket.

Begin by beating the egg whites and powdered sugar until well blended.  Gradually beat in the water and flavorings.  The recipe called for almond extract or lemon juice.  I used almond flavoring, and it gave the frosting a nice hint of almond accenting the almond in the cookie.  Continue beating on high until thick and glossy for about 6-8 minutes.  This is where the stand mixer comes in handy.  Next up, the food coloring.

Sadly, this icing gets hard fast, so the pictures aren’t great because I was trying to work fast.  Divide your icing and add the food coloring.  I made turquoise, yellow, and dark pink.

Okay,this is key, and something I’m still a little unfamiliar with.  You basically outline the colors, and then flood them in with thinner icing, so you’ll need to make your icing thick enough for the outlining.  I’m sorry, but I can’t describe how thick you want the icing for each.  The outline will be thinner than regular icing. Put your icing ready for outlining into a sandwich ziploc bag.  Cut the smallest piece off the tip of the bag.

Outline the inside of the flower with the yellow.  Do this on all the cookies, so it can harden.  Then outline the petals.  Next up, add some water (1/2-1 teaspoon) of water to the pink and yellow bags of icing.  This will thin out the icing so you can fill in the outline.  You want the icing thin enough so that it spreads when you flood in the outline.

Use a toothpick to spread the icing to all the edges.  Repeat this for the petals and the inside of the flower for all the cookies.  

Now, let’s do the background.  Outline the the edge of the cookie with the turquoise. This icing is a little stiff as you can see below.  Repeat with all the cookies.

Again, add some water to the turquoise icing bag, and flood the turquoise icing into the outline.  Use the toothpick to get the icing between the petals.

I added dots to my icing before it hardened.  You can add dots or leave it plain.

I added dots then swirled them with the toothpick.

Not my best work, but I’m so glad I tried this interesting technique.  I want to repeat this again with a different design.

They tasted good, too! These are best the first 2 days, after that the icing gets really hard.

Enjoy and Good Luck!

Cookie Recipe from Bake at 350

Icing Recipe from About.com

Recipes: Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

Advertisements

Cookie Intervention

So I’m addicted to sweets. Cookies, cupcakes, brownies, and everything else.  This is great because I love to bake, but not great for my waistline.  I eat desserts after every meal basically, lunch and dinner.  Bad, bad, bad! So…

 

I’m taking a 2-week hiatus from desserts.  This is going to be a long 14 days, already 2 days down though.

 

Just because I’m taking a break from desserts, doesn’t mean you need to suffer.  Here’s a link for Molten Chocolate-Nutella Pudding Cakes from Noble Pig.  If you are trying to abstain from sweets too, well I hope you feel the same pain that I feel when I see this picture.  Chocolate with nutella that’s molten.  Can you imagine anything better?  Now, get out a napkin and wipe up your drool!

Year in Review

So, I know it’s already the third week in January, but I thought this would be a good time to give you some updates on this blog.

 

Thanks everyone for your support and comments.  I can’t believe that I started this blog on a whim, and many of you have stuck with me through my recipes and random posts.  Thank you, thank you, thank you.

 

I’m sorry I haven’t updated my blog in a while.  I haven’t taken a break from baking, just taking a break from posting.  I would like to post more often, but my winter break has been crazy.  Filled with tons of rides in the car and train, crossing states and crossing snow.  Tomorrow, I’m heading back to school, and I’m hoping to pick back up with my blogging.  I love that this blog gives me an excuse to bake, and my friends seem to like it too.

 

I have 400 recipes saved on my computer that I want to try, so I pledge to make 2011 the year when I try to conquer 100 of those recipes.  Will you join me in baking? Trying new flavors and recipes and expanding your repertoire?  Here’s to a great and tasty 2011.

 

Spectacular Flourless Chocolate Cake

Ready for some rich, delicious chocolate.  Then you MUST Try this flourless, chocolate cake, (especially great for a party where someone can’t have gluten).
I loved it so much,I wanted to make a second to give away as a gift, but I was too exhausted after taking two 2-hour finals the same day.  My college actually has a system where you can pick when you want to take your finals over a four-day period, but after 3 days of study period, I felt prepared, so I took my remaining two finals in one day.  So I guess, this is partly my fault, but can you blame me? I was sooo ready to go home and have some time off.  Both tests went well, so it was worth the extra exhaustion.
Okay, so back to this flourlesss cake.  Get ready to be blown away.
Preheat the oven to 375˚F, and butter an 8-inch round baking pan.
Start by melting the chocolate and butter, either in the microwave (at low heat, don’t want to burn your chocolate) or over a double boiler.  At college, in my small, badly-equipped kitchen,
I decided to go the microwave route.  Make sure you use good-quality chocolate.  You want the bittersweet kind to impart a rich, intense taste for your cake.

Be careful.  I don’t like printing a recipe out, so I bring my laptop to the kitchen.  I spilled some chocolate on my computer.  Thankfully, I had a washable keyboard cover.

Once your chocolate is melted, add sugar and mix.

 

Whisk in the eggs and cocoa powder.Pour the batter into your buttered pan.  Bake for 25 minutes until the top has a light crust.

Let cool, and then flip onto serving plate.
Thanks Joy for helping me whip this up, even if you thought it was too chocolately.  Does that exist?  I don’t think so.
Enjoy  this rich, chocolately cake! You will only need a small sliver to satisfy your chocolately craving.
Recipe from Gourmet
Recipe: Flourless Chocolate Cake