Tag Archives: Cookies

Daring Baker’s: Sugar Cookies

27 Sep

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.

Royal Icing

  • 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!


Cookies for Brunch

21 Jun

I was recently invited to an engagement party that was simultaneously being taken place in Boca Raton, FL. The maid of honor, who is a very good friend of mine, was not able to make it to the party, so she decided to have her own party and Skyped into the party taking place in Florida. Confused yet? I think it was just an excuse for people to come over to her house and make delicious food, but I digress.

Anyway, the party was the perfect opportunity for me to make a batch of cookies that I was absolutely dying to make ever since I saw them on the blog: Fresh New England. As I was brainstorming ideas on what to bring to the party some of the mainstays came to mind, by that I mean eggs, bread, and quiche (when else do you get to eat quiche?). No, I wanted something sweet and slightly crunchy.

Let me tell you, brown sugar, cinnamon and vanilla bean cookies were the answer. My husband freaked out a bit when I told him how much the vanilla bean cost, but it was totally worth it. Especially when he ate 2 or 3 cookies after I made them. It was a little tricky trying to convert the grams into cups, but the extra brain power I used was worth it in the end and for us silly Americans I’ve converted it into cups for you.

I can’t wait for the opportunity to make again because they were that delicious. And they were a hit at the party, which always makes me feel good.

Brown Sugar, Cinammon, & Vanilla Bean Cookies

Recipe From Fresh New England

  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter brought to room temperature
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 2  cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 vanilla bean with contents scraped out and set aside
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 and 1/4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tbs. brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In separate bowl mix flour, baking soda and nutmeg. Set aside. Cream butter. Blend in sugar, vanilla extract and vanilla bean contents. Add eggs one at a time, mixing after each addition. Add flour and mix until just combined. Do not over mix, in fact, under mix, and then maybe mix 3 or 4 times by hand. Place dough in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

In a small bowl mix sugar, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Remove cookie dough from the refrigerator. Scoop out a table spoon size portion and roll into ball (you can use a scooper or just do it by hand, like I did. It’s more fun that way). Roll ball of cookie dough into the sugar / cinnamon mixture. Place ball of dough on cookie sheet and press gently with palm of hand to flatten a bit. Repeat with remaining dough, spacing cookies at least an inch apart. Bake at 350 degree for 10-12 minutes, until lightly brown at edges.

I had a lot of the brown sugar cinnamon mixture left over. Save for when you make these cookies again or toast up an english muffin, slather in butter, pour a heavy hand of your left over mixture, stick it into the toaster oven on low for a couple of minutes, then enjoy. Yeah, you’re welcome.

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