I used to work at a Stop & Shop and I used to be obsessed with their sugar cookies that had the inch thick icing on them. They were so terribly bad for you but oh so deliciously good. I’ve always wanted to make my own but never had the opportunity to. So I was really excited when the next Daring Baker’s challenge was sugar cookies and icing.
The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.
More specifically, she wanted us to create a cookie that reminded us of September. This September was pretty crazy for me, so this year I could have very easily made any of the following cookies: trains, white water rafting, Portland, or taking the MTELs (that one would have been hilarious to make). However I decided to go with the simple pumpkin.
Pumpkins remind me of a lot of things. Pumpkin pie. Pumpkin cider. Pumpkin beer (My favorite). But pumpkins also remind me that I can whip out my flannel sheets and still not have to wear a jacket outside. It means that it’s time to start fattening up for winter (Kidding!). Fall is definitely the most delicious season of them all.
I was surprised how easy the royal icing was once I got the hang of it and got the consistencies right. Instead of a regular sugar cookie I made pumpkin spice sugar cookies to go with my theme. Next time I might add more pumpkin spice to the cookies, but they still taste delicious. I’ve definitely found a new recipe with countless possibilities!
Pumpkin Spiced Sugar Cookies
- 2 tsp pumpkin spice mix*
- 3 cups sifted all purpose flour
- 1 stick plus 6 tbsp unsalted butter
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup superfine sugar (If you can’t find superfine sugar like I couldn’t, just use regular granulated sugar and pulse in food processor)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
Cream together butter, sugar, and pumpkin spice mix until it just starts to become creamy.
Beat in the egg until combined and make sure to scrape down the sides (unless you just got a new beater blade like I did!!!) Add flour slowly until a non-sticky ball forms.
Knead into a ball and dive into 2-3 balls. Roll out each portion on parchment paper to a thickness of about 1/5 inch. Refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes. Once chilled, remove from parchment paper and place on lightly floured surface. Cut out your shapes. Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for 30-60 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 8-10 minutes or until golden brown around the edges. Allow them to cool completely.
*Pumpkin Spice Mix
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp ground ginger
- 1/4 tsp ground allspice
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Mix together all ingredient.
- 2.5 cups confectioner’s sugar
- 2 large egg whites
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- food coloring
Mix egg whites and lemon juice. Sift confectioner’s sugar to remove lumps. Beat or whisk until smooth. Add almond extract.
After I divided up my sugar. I used only a little bit of green and a lot of orange.
I filled one of my squeeze bottles that I got at Crate & Barrel with the orange royal icing. Then I added about 1/3-1/2 confectioner’s sugar (sifted!) to the remaining icing so I could make the outline. Then I started outlining!
After I finished outlining I used the looser icing to fill it in. I started at the top and as I held the cookie up the icing slid down. I used the tip of my squeeze bottle to cover the entire cookie. For the green I used a really really tiny tip and just filled in the green top. It would have been too annoying to outline and then fill. It worked great!
The first one was messy but after the second one I was getting the hang of the outline and getting it down fairly quickly. I was really happy with this challenge, can’t wait for next months!