the cookie chronicles- part 1

For my friend Leah’s bachorlette party I knew I wanted to make some lingerie cookies.  Ya know, like these…

I’ve never decorated cookies before, so this was all new to me.  But Greg and I used to watch a lot of Cake Boss, and he makes it look so easy.  And I wasn’t decorating a 10-tier cake, so how hard could it be, right?  Haha.  Let’s just say I think there is a learning curve to this whole cookie decorating business.  I found some supplies at Party City, but honestly Hobby Lobby is the place to go!  They have a whole aisle dedicated to baking.  As far as supplies go, you need disposable decorating bags, decorating tips of your choice, cookie cutters, and some good recipes.

I bought this cupcake decorators set that included bags and 4 tips, but any of these supplies can be bought individually too.  And I even bought some additional tips to work with in different shapes (at Hobby Lobby!).  Below is a tip guide to give you an idea of what each shape does…

I didn’t bother with trying to make the “full body” lingerie cookies, but the “panties” are pretty easy because you can just use a heart-shaped cookie turned upside down.  Hobby Lobby also had some high heel cookie cutters, so I did those as well.

Now for the recipes!  I did some research online (and on Pinterest, of course!), and thankfully did a trail run on the cookies on Wednesday before the party on Friday.  The first attempt wasn’t bad, so I’ll give you those recipes in a minute.  It’s a recipe similar to these frosted cookies you see in grocery stores all the time… (and I got it from this site: Annie’s Eats)

Yes, they are very yummy, but for what I was trying to accomplish, they didn’t work.  In order to get the frosting to hold the shape and make detailed designs on your cookies, it has to be somewhat thick.  And the frosting I made in the first trial was way too runny.  Yummy, but too runny, so none of the decorating tips worked…all the icing just flowed together. Make sense?

But since they still tasted good, here’s the recipe from the first trial:
Helpful tip! The dough has to chill for 1 hour prior to baking. Plan accordingly when you begin. 😉
Frosted Cookies
Ingredients:
For the cookies
     – 4½ cups all-purpose flour
     – 4½ tsp. baking powder
     – ¾ tsp. salt
     – 1½ cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
     – 1½ cups sugar
     – 3 large eggs
     – 5 tsp. vanilla extract

For the frosting
     – 5 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
     – 1/3 cup (5 1/3 tbsp.) unsalted butter, melted
     – 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
     – 7-8 tbsp. milk (plus more, as needed)
     – food coloring (optional)
     – sprinkles (optional)

Directions:
In a medium bowl combine the flour, baking powder and salt, and whisk together to blend. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the butter and sugar and beat together on medium-high speed until soft and fluffy, about 2-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, add in the dry ingredients mixing just until incorporated and evenly mixed. Gently divide dough into halves or thirds, wrap in saran wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour (or up to 1 day). You want to gently handle the dough at this point to avoid activating the gluten, which could result in heavy cookies, and we want light fluffy ones!

While the dough is chilling you can make the frosting. Place the confectioners’ sugar in a medium bowl. Add the melted butter, vanilla, and milk to the bowl and whisk until smooth. (I used my stand mixer). Whisk in additional milk as necessary, 1 teaspoon at a time, until you reach your desired consistency. Tint with food coloring if desired.

When you’re ready to bake, line your baking sheets with parchment paper (works MUCH better than foil for preventing sticking). If you have cookie cutters, roll out your dough with a rolling pin. You want your dough to be fairly thick for these fluffy cookies, so roll it out to roughly 1/2inch thickness. If you have cookie cutters, cut out your shapes. If not, you can skip the rolling step and just scoop out approx. 1/4 cup of dough and flatten it to 1/2 inch size balls and place onto the cookie sheet. Place cookies approx. 2 inches apart. Bake at 350˚ F for 10-12 minutes. Keep a close eye on these cookies! You don’t want to overbake them. The tops won’t brown, just the edges will be a very light brown when ready. Let them cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes, then transfer to a wire rack. Once they are cooled, you can spread the frosting on with a spatula or spoon. (If the frosting begins to thicken as you decorate, just continue to whisk in small amounts of milk to smooth it out.) Top with sprinkles if desired!

And to show you what I mean by the frosting not holding it’s shape, here’s my trial 1 of lingerie cookies….

 Greg thought they were good, but I believe my exact words to him were “amateur.”  haha. I knew I could do better.  Check out “Cookie chronicles- part 2″…..