20 December 2010

6th Day of Christmas

Hooray for being tired in spite of being sooo exhausted! I have to admit, I'm partly staying up and writing this because I wanna stay up anyways an see the lunar eclipse tonight around 1 am.

In a perfect world, I would have 4 nice, neat cookie recipes for you with step-by-step instructions and photos. Unfortunately, this is not a perfect world and I'm not about to write a million page long blog entry at 10:30 pm haha. However, I'll still give you 3 recipes (We used a mix for the gingerbread anyways- for shame!) and a recipe for royal and flood icing (and some decorating tips! although, nothing you wouldn't learn over at P-Dubs :) ). Plus, I still have lots of pretty pictures.

Lets just cut to the chase or else we'll be up all night!

First, I made the royal icing. You don't have to make it first, but I did. so I'll post it first.

I made a double batch of the following recipe. It made a lot- like 5 or 6 cups maybe. or more.

4 tbsp meringue powder (find it at a craft store like Michael's or Joann)
Scant 1/2 cup water
1 lb powder sugar, sifted
1 tsp corn syrup

Supposedly you should use your paddle attachment on your electric mixer for this recipe. I don't have a paddle attachment, so I just used my regular beaters. It worked fine, although a paddle may work faster.

Combine meringue powder and water in a mixing bowl. Beat until frothy and foamy (about a minute).
Add sifted powder sugar and corn syrup. Turn on your beater and just let it go... you want the icing to get thick enough to form stiff peaks (you should be able to dip a spoon into the icing, turn it over, wave it around, and not have any of the icing jiggle or fall). It took me about 15 min.
Then, divide icing into separate containers depending on how many colors you need. I made four colors (red, blue, green, yellow) and left some white. I used your typical grocery-store liquid food coloring, but i would recommend gel food coloring that is made for icing. You will get much deeper colors.
From the royal icing you can make flood icing (used to fill in the majority of the cookie) Do this by adding water to the royal icing 1/2-1 teaspoon at a time, mixing well after each addition until the icing is the consistency of syrup. The tip that Bridget from Bake at 350 (where I got this recipe) gives is to raise a ribbon of icing and stream it back and forth on the surface. If the ribbon disappears into the rest of the icing within a count of "one one-thousand two-one thousand", then the icing is ready. The royal icing goes into piping bags while the flood icing goes into plastic squirt bottles.

Alright. Now let's jump to the cookie recipe. I used Bridget's almond sugar cookie recipe, which you can find here. Except- my mom and I made a ridiculous triple batch of the dough because we were making half almond sugar cookie and half peppermint for a different cookie. Here are some pics from the dough making process:

yummy. you can chill your dough for later or roll it out and cut out some cookies right away. I'm pretty sure the dough ball you see above is half of what I actually made- I added about 1.5 tsp almond extract to this dough. the other half I divided in half again and then added red food coloring and 1.5 tsp peppermint extract to one of the halves (have I confused you with all the halves yet?)

After you have baked and cooled your cookies, it's time to decorate!
Royal icing in the piping bags is used for outlines.
Use flood icing to fill in the outlines- drizzle on a moderate amount (with some cookie still showing) and then use a toothpick to spread it out to all the edges. I worked on 12 cookies at one time. I did the outlines first, then the base flood, then went back around to do details. I really like how they turned out!

eek, they're so cute. haha.

but there's no time to gawk! onward, to the next recipe!

With the red peppermint cookie dough and leftover plain cookie dough I made peppermint candy canes- a tradition in my family. There's a video of my mom and sister making them when my sister was three. My dad has the camera, and I'm in the doorway only 7 months old in a little airplane chair thing that's suspended from the ceiling. it's really cute :) and even though I have no idea when or where the tradition started, I love making these cookies every year.

It's very simple. Just use the sugar cookie recipe above, but omit the almond extract. Divide the dough in half and add peppermint extract and red food coloring to one of the halves. Roll the dough into long ropes a little bit at a time- some of the white, some of the red.
Twist 5-6 inch sections of the dough together and bend into a candy cane shape.

Bake at 375 for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden brown.
 So cute :)

Next up is another family tradition, but this one started long before I was around. In fact, we still use the same tool that my grandma used when my mom and her sisters were little girls! I'm talking about spritz cookies. Chocolate ones.

The recipe we use is from an ooooold betty crocker cook book. It's so cute a vintagey! Check out the little drawings and faded paper:
Here's the recipe, in case you can't read the teeny tiny blurry writing:

2 sticks softened butter
2/3 cup sugar
3 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
2 squares unsweetened baking chocolate

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Blend butter, sugar, egg yolks, and vanilla in a mixing bowl.

Melt the baking chocolate in a double boiler and add to the butter/sugar combination. Blend in flour, a cup at a time. If you own a spritz cookie maker, then follow the instructions that come with it- some degree of stuffing the dough in a tube with a thin metal shape maker at one end and pressing the dough through. If you don't have a spritz maker, I think this dough would be perfect for rolling into a log and slicing in a slice and bake manner.
Decorate with sprinkles and little candies
bake for 10-12 minutes. these are perfect for putting in little tins and giving as gifts. the little shapes are so cute!

I also made some gingerbread cookie dough out of a mix, and then my mom rolled it out and cut out some gingerbread cookies with cookie-cutters from her childhood. She also decorated them. We gave them, and almost all the other cookies to my grandma and aunt (although there is still a lot of cookie dough left over that we will use when we go to california tomorrow)
Well, there you have it. My cookie post. about 1 hour to write, 10 minutes to read, and 2 days to actually do haha. And now onto my movie post and we will be back on schedule! 

Go and check out the lunar eclipse tonight if you get a chance, it should be really cool- and the first total lunar eclipse on the winter solstice for like 300 years!


No comments:

Post a Comment