cookie, icing and frosting recipes
Cream butter and sugar. Add egg and blend well. Add extracts and blend. Mix flour and salt and gradually add. Cover dough with plastic wrap (I usually put mine in a gallon size Ziploc bag) and chill dough for about 2 hours. Don’t skip this. You must chill the dough. Working with about 1/3 of the batch at a time, briefly knead the chilled dough and roll about 1/8 inch to 1/4 inch thick. Cookies on a stick may need to be rolled out 3/8 inch thick. Cut out shapes. Insert a lollipop stick about half way into the cookie, if using. Bake cookies on parchment paper-lined baking trays at 375 for 12-14 minutes. Thicker cookies may need up to 20 minutes. Just watch for edges that are nicely golden.
Note: You can also freeze dough. After mixing, put dough in a gallon size Freezer ziploc bag (or wrap well) and freeze. Thaw overnight or for at least a few hours in the refrigerator in the ziploc bag. If too chilled to handle, let sit at room temperature for about 1/2 hour to 1 hour until it’s workable. Chilled is good, though, don’t let it get too mushy.
Chocolate Rolled Cookies
(use this for cookie cutter cookies)
Cream butter and sugar. Add the egg and vanilla and blend. Mix together the dry ingredients and gradually add to the wet. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 2 hours. When chilled, roll out on a floured surface, cut out shapes, and bake on a parchment paper-lined baking tray in a preheated 375 degree oven. Bake 8 to 10 minutes for small cookies, 10 to 12 minutes for larger cookies, or until edges are crisp. Thick cookies may need a few extra minutes. TIP: In lieu of flour, which may show up on the surface, you can roll cookies between two pieces of wax paper.
Gingerbread Cut-Out Cookies
(use this for cookie cutter cookies)
3 cups flour
½ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¾ teaspoon salt
½ cup unsalted butter (1 stick), softened
½ cup dark brown sugar, packed
1 tablespoon ground ginger
2 teaspoons cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground cloves
½ teaspoon nutmeg
¾ cup molasses
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
circle cookie cutters
Mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt together in a bowl with a whisk and set aside. In a large bowl with a handheld mixer or in a standing mixer fitted with a flat beater, mix together the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fluffy. Blend in the spices. Blend in the egg, molasses and vanilla extract. Gradually blend in the flour mixture. Wrap the dough and chill for 1 to 2 hours. Roll the chilled dough out on a floured surface to 1/8-inch thickness. To make rings, use two different sized circle cookie cutters, sizes 3-inch and 1 1/4 –inch circles used here. Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 12 minutes, or until edges start to brown. Let cool completely before decorating.
To make cookie pops, roll out chilled sugar cookie dough about 1/4-inch to 3/8-inch thick. Cut out your shape, insert a lollipop stick into the cookie at the base, centered in the cookie’s thickness. Press the stick about half way into the cookie. No stick should poke through the front or back of the cookie. Pat the cookie’s shape back in place with your fingers, if necessary. Place the cookies on a parchment paper-lined baking tray, and bake according to the recipe. Cookies may need a couple extra minutes of baking time, since they are thicker. Make sure the sticks don’t touch each other or other cookies when placed on the baking tray.
Note:This frosting is similar to traditional royal icing, but I add shortening and flavoring to make it taste delicious. Thus, it dries hard enough to handle and pack when left overnight, but not rock hard, like traditional royal icing. The consistency is NOT the runny kind used for flooding. It’s stiffer. Take a spoonful, turn it over the bowl. The frosting should cling to the spoon and slowly fall into the bowl. That’s the right consistency. You may thin this icing with water to make it the right consistency for flooding. Use royal icing (sort of) for cookie decorating.
Whip the meringue powder and water on high speed for a looooong time, several minutes, until it’s fluffy and peaks form (use an electric hand beater or the wire whisk of your standing mixer). Gradually add the rest of the ingredients to desired consistency. Store at room temperature in a sealed container for up to a month.
(Use this for cakes and cupcakes, or for sandwich cookies.)
1/2 cup (1 stick) plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
4 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar
Cream the butter with a mixer. Add 3 cups confectioner’s sugar, 1 cup at a time, blending well with each addition (mixture may be dry and crumbly). Add 3 tablespoons milk and vanilla and blend. Blend in remaining confectioner’s sugar. Add more milk (about 3 tablespoons) until desired consistency is reached. Add more milk to thin and more sugar to thicken.
For a vegan version of cut-out cookies and cookie decorating icing, click HERE. Really, they were good. Really good. And I tried a lot of vegan cut-out cookies that were not good.
Below find some metric conversions after a reader wisely requested them. But some disclaimers: I made these conversions based on internet research (with the understanding that recipe conversions are not straightforward mathematics, and different ingredients translate differently). I don’t cook with these measures, so they’ve not been tested. I have no concept of metric amounts. I need to see them to understand them and know how they relate to US amounts. Preferably if a reader were to invite me to their English countryside castle home to help them bake? I studied a wee bit at Oxford, and I do adore the area. A London suite would work as well.
some conversions for folks elsewhere! (again, not tested, based on internet research):
2 sticks butter = 1 cup = 8 ounces = 227 g
1 cup confectioners (or icing/powdered) sugar = 128 g
1 teaspoon extract = 4.2 g = 5 mL
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour = 312 g
1 teaspoon salt = 4.2 g
4 tablespoon meringue powder = 56 g
1/2 cup water = 4 ounces = 60 mL = 113 g
6 cup confectioners sugar = 768 g
1/4 cup vegetable shortening = 56 g
1 cup granulated sugar = 200 g
2 cup flour = 240 g
1/2 cup cocoa powder = 62.5 g
1/2 teaspoon baking soda = 2.1 g
1/2 teaspoon salt = 2.1 g
375 degree F = 190 degree C
When I get a scale (hint, mom), I’ll test these, I promise.
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