Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Sugar Cookies with Glace` Icing

I have been wanting to try this cookie and icing recipe ever since I saw it on Our Best Bites. Valentines Day seemed like a great time . This was my first time using this type of icing . The result was perfect (I need to fine tune my decorating skills ) but they were great and the icing sets so you can actually stack the cookies without making a big mess. Make sure you allow them to dry overnight. Enjoy

Sugar Cookies with Glace` Icing

1 C real butter (no substitutions!)
1 C sugar

1 egg

1 1/2 t almond extract (you could use vanilla instead)

3 C flour

1 1/2 t baking powder

1/2 t salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy- about 2 minutes. Add in eggs and extract and mix to incorporate.

In a separate bowl combine flour, baking powder and salt and whisk to co
mbine. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and mix until completely combined.

Shape the dough into 2 flat disks and wrap in waxed paper and place in the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours. If you want your cookies to hold their shape well, the dough needs to be chilled properly.  A great tip to speed things up is to immediately roll dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper and place on a flat surface in the fridge. It will chill super fast and be ready to go in no time.

When you're ready to roll out dough lightly sprinkle flour onto your work surface and roll out dough with a rolling pin.

Bake at 350 for 8-12 minutes. The baking time really depends on how you like them. If you like them really soft under-bake them. In my oven, about 8 minutes does it. However if you're making large cookies, or ones with small parts or heavy frosting, you might want to be careful because they might break when they're super soft.
About 8 minutes will get you a really soft cookie, a few minutes longer (when they start to just brown around the edges) and you'll get just a little crispiness around the edges and then a soft center, bake even longer (and roll thinner) and you'll get a buttery, crispy cookie that will just melt in your mouth. Any way you do it, they'll taste good. Remove onto cooling racks when you're done and let cool completely. I honestly think these even taste better the second day.

Glacé Icing

1lb powdered sugar (about 3 3/4 C)
6T C whole milk (low-fat actually works, but use whole if you can)
6T light Corn Syrup (6T is equal to 1/4 C plus another 2 T)
1 t extract (I use almond because I use almond in my sugar cookies)
With a whisk, combine sugar and milk until smooth (no lumps!) Then stir in corn syrup and extract.

You will use this same recipe for both glazing and piping. The way it is right now is the consistency you want for glazing. It's smooth and thin, like in the picture below. It easily runs off the whisk in a pretty thin drizzle.

To prepare the icing for piping, you just add more powdered sugar. Just eyeball it. You can't really mess it up because if it's too thick you just add more milk and if it's to thin, you add more powdered sugar. I add it in small amounts until it's a good consistency. For me, it's when it gets to a point where it's relatively hard to whisk it by hand. When I pick up the whisk, it still runs off, but in a very slow, thick stream now, like this:

Take your glazing icing and separate it into bowls if you want to color it. I decided to do red (more pink, but I love it!), green, and blue. And I left my piping icing white. Use gel food coloring (you can find it at craft or cooking stores) for more intense colors.

There are a few ways to use icing like this. One way is to just glaze the cookie and leave it like that. I'm going to glaze it and then pipe a decoration on top. So the first step is to glaze. Take a small spoon and drop a spoonful of glaze onto a cookie. (Do one at a time, I'm just doing 3 for picture-taking-fun)

Then take a small spoon (baby spoons work great) and gently spread it out to the edges of the cookie. If you want the cookie completely covered, you could just hold it by the bottom and dip it in, then place it over a rack to let the excess drip off.

You need to wait for the icing to set before you pipe on top of it. It doesn't have to be completely dry, but just set on top. An hour or two will probably be enough, but it depends on humidity and everything, so just barely touch the top and don't smash the glaze because it will probably still be soft underneath. If it's dry to the touch you can go ahead and decorate.

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