Monday, September 27, 2010

SUGAR COOKIES & ROYAL ICING (DARING BAKERS Sept 2010)

SUGAR COOKIES &
ROYAL ICING


I am proud to announce myself as an official Daring Baker September participant! woohooo!! Last couple years of my blogging life, I have just been a silent appreciator of this DB events on people's blogs and wished that soon I too would be one of those bakers ! At last....at last the opportunity came. I am not saying that it was a hard task or anything, but last 2 years have been a busy roller coaster ride for me. I had traveled, moved few residences to being pregnant and having a baby....all that has kept me far away from fulfilling this long time wish.

I finally feel a lot more settled in and control over my new life. Last 1 year has given me a beautiful new life. A baby who fills up my time with laughter and happiness. Allah has gifted me with Sufyaan after losing a 9 month long pregnancy with a stillbirth: our daughter Hafsa.
Even though I no longer get those 8 hour straight-up sleeps, and sometimes wake up feeing super exhausted wishing I could sleep for a whole month....I am thankful. What is motherhood afterall?

Anyway, getting back to the topic. Now that Sufyaan has grown into a bigger baby who can crawl and play with himself, I can now get some time to pay attention to my own passion. Baking and blogging!

I joined the DARING KITCHEN just last month and this was my first challenge. Thanks to Mandy of "WHAT THE FRUITCAKE?" She made it possible for me to accept this challenge as it was already in my comfort zone to bake sugar cookies and icing them. I love love love baking cookies, especially the ones that require using cookie cutters. And decorating them....! 

I had fun doing this challenge. I did have a few problems to keep my cookies firm while rolling and baking but overall I am happy with them. I cant input too much time to perfection still as I do have a 'tail' in the back of my body: my baby. Even though he is playing with himself or staying with his grandma, he does scream for a lot of my attention! And I really mean 'scream'! 

Thanks for reading this horribly long post, I am very sure no one has read it up to this far but if you have thank you ! Enjoy my challenge photographs and keep coming!

DARING BAKERS SEPTEMBER 2010

We were asked to choose a theme for our cookie making, and immediately I knew what my theme would be. EID offcourse! My September cookie challenge theme would be EID. 



On September 10th we had our Islamic Celebration: Eid. My sister and her kids visited us from Virginia, U.S.A on this occasion. On Eid we cook and eat all kinds of delicious sweets and meals. I baked my cookies for mostly my sister's kids who loves sweet sugary snacks.


Basic Sugar Cookies (Mandy's recipe)

Ingredients:

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


Directions

• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavorings 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.





Royal Icing
(I used an EggFree icing recipe. I really don't like the idea of consuming raw eggs)

Recipe taken from AllRecipes

Ingredients

  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 2 teaspoons milk
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
  • assorted food coloring

Directions
  1. In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar and milk until smooth. Beat in corn syrup and almond extract until icing is smooth and glossy. If icing is too thick, add more corn syrup.
  2. Divide into separate bowls, and add food colorings to each to desired intensity. Dip cookies, or paint them with a brush.



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