Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Party Prep 1 - Sugar Cookies

Now that we are back, preparation for K's 2nd birthday has begun. Over the weekend I started on the pinata and today the baking began - frosted sugar cookies!!

The party is going to be a Thomas the Tank Engine themed extravaganza, with a lot of red and blue. The cookies aren't quite finished yet -- the tops still need to be done -- but this is how they will get put in the freezer until next week when I thaw them out and decorate.

This might sound totally anal, but the cookie cutter had 23 little scallops on it. This totally bummed me out since I wanted the outside to have red and blue alternating dots - an even number of scallops would have been perfect. Unfortunately, the dots are a bit off on one part. It's the part I see first when I look at the little guys. It's bumming me out, but hopefully it will be less noticeable once the tops are decorated.

Can you see it?!? Gaaaa!!!

After much trial and error in the sugar cookie arena, I have settled on this cookie/icing combination. I started with three different recipes for each the cookie and the icing. I mixed every combination of cookie/icing and tasted all of them at the same time (as did Y and two good friends). It was a lot of cookies, but I'm pretty confident that these are a lovely combination.

I've made them many times in the past year...

For birthdays:

For little brothers:

For hen's nights:

For Halloween:

And for Christmas:

They are pretty foolproof and with a bit of practice can turn out really cute.

This is my tried and true recipe*:

170 grams room temp butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Combine the butter and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and vanilla. Sift the dry ingredients. Add slowly until incorporated. Form into a 4 inch x 4 inch square, wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour. Flour a surface, roll out to 1/4 inch and cut. Cook at 180C for 5-8 minutes. Cool and decorate.

1 1/2 tablespoons of meringue powder
440 grams powdered sugar
5-6 tablespoons water

Put meringue powder and sugar in a bowl and whisk together. Add the water slowly until desired consistency. Add color as necessary (I use gel colors - they are amazing).

*Neither of these recipes are my own. I found them somewhere online, but have no idea where. I completely apologize if the originators of these recipe drop by and see these.


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