Monday, September 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Cut Out Cookies

The Daring Bakers challenge for this month was sugar cut out cookies.  We had to make the recipe given and then decorate it.  This is one of my all time favorite cookies. I gladly made them. Decorating is always fun.  Something I enjoy doing at Christmas time with my children.  I think it is a great recipe to make with a bunch of people- different ideas and so much fun. 

I couldn't resist making my lips here for Lipsmacking Goodness.  I think they are my favorite of all the ones I did. 
These are with my new stamp from Williams Sonoma (no, they are not paying me to say that- nor did they give me the stamp).  I remember seeing a stamp with letters on Tartelette's site a couple years ago.  I wanted it but could not find it locally.  I looked and looked.  I searched on the internet.  I found one on EBay but I could not justify the price.  Then I saw these new ones on Williams Sonoma's website and I totally broke down and bought it.  I will have making cookies for the kids with this tool.

Pictured borrowed from William Sonoma.

I had to do a bit of a Halloween theme as it is coming up and really I do nothing for Halloween because I do not like the 'holiday' too much.  I do make costumes and that is about the extent of it. For my kids I made a few jack o lanterns.  These are the Mr. and Mrs.

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.

Basic Sugar Cookies:
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies
200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture.
Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during
baking, losing their shape.

• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoid
flour flying everywhere.

• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an
hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and
then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.

• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.
Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in
some cookies being baked before others are done.

Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated
cookies can last up to a month.

I used a different recipe for the frosting and wish I had used this one instead as mine was kind of stiff to work with.

Royal Icing:

315g – 375g / 11oz – 13oz / 2½ - 3 cups Icing / Confectioner’s / Powdered Sugar, unsifted

2 Large Egg Whites

10ml / 2 tsp Lemon Juice

5ml / 1 tsp Almond Extract, optional


• Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.

• Tip: It’s important that the bowls/spoons/spatulas and beaters you use are thoroughly cleaned and grease free.

• Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites.

• Tip: I’ve listed 2 amounts of icing sugar, the lesser amount is good for a flooding consistency, and the larger amount is for outlining, but you can add even more for a much thicker consistency good for writing. If you add too much icing sugar or would like to make a thinner consistency, add very small amounts of water, a few drops at a time, until you reach the consistency you need.

• Beat on low until combined and smooth.

• Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.

• Tip: Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.


Renata said...

Adorable cookies! Love the decoration!

Tracy said...

These are so fun! Love them!

kat said...

What cute cookies! It's been so long since I've sat down & decorated a batch

Mary said...

What fun and, more importantly, how delicious. You did it again. girl. These look wonderful. Have a great day. Blessings...Mary

Avril said...

Fun fun cookies Lori! I too have been looking at those lovely "cookie stamps" from WS - I want them soooo bad!!!

Ruth H. said...

Those stamped cookies are adorable! And I love your logo cookie. What fun!

natalia said...

Ciao Lori ! I love that lettered cookie mold too !! Cute cookies !

Joanne said...

Oh my gosh these cookies are just the cutest! Especially those lips! Hubba hubba :P

I haven't played around with decorating cookies much but I definitely want to for the holiday season!

Christina said...

Sooo cute! Love the stamper!

The Blonde Duck said...

I am so impressed. You are the cookie queen.


Lori~ Those letter stamps are so cool. I've never sen those before! We've got a WS right around the corner--I'll go check it out!

chef_d said...

I love the lips-shaped cookies! And the color is so pretty, great job!

shaz said...

Very cute, I love the lips and the Mr and Mrs Pumpkin. I got the Williams Sonoma star wars cutters, which are awesome! (And no, they're not paying me to say that either ;P)

Anonymous said...

Cute and fun to make cookies here!

UFRV said...

Cute lips and cute pumpkins :-) Good job, and I love those letter stamps too. I understand what you say about just having to get them... :-)

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Love the cookies Lori! Also, thanks for your recommendations for the chocolate cake recipes. I will definitely be trying at least one and putting it up on my blog!

Mimi said...

When I saw the lips on the Daring Bakers thread, I knew they were yours. Way to cute.
Did you get your stamped cook set recently.

Lisa said...

Lori..I love your 'logo lip' cookie so much and your cookie stamped yummies look amazing as well. However, the grumpy pumpkin has captured my heart LOl Not your typical 'mean, evil' pumpkin, but a pumpkin that woke up with a backache and got a speeding Beautifully done as always!

Ingrid said...

Nice job, Lori! Bet your babygirls loved 'em!