the cookie chronicles- part 2

So after my first (what I would consider failed) attempt at some lingerie cookies for my friend’s bachelorette party, I did even more research online for cookie decorating recipes and helpful tips.  That’s when I came across this website: Karen’s Cookies.  It was a life saver!! Anything you need to know about basic cookie decorating is on this site.  And the best part is she goes into much detail about each step of prepping and baking. You should check her out, she’s much more of a pro than me!  I decided to use her “Basic Rolled Sugar Cookies” recipe and her “Meringue Powder Buttercream” frosting recipe.  She has several other types of cookie and frosting recipes, but these were the ones I chose.

So here’s how it goes:
Basic Rolled Sugar Cookies
Ingredients:
     – 1 cup butter, softened
     – 1 cup superfine sugar (or granulated sugar, processed in blender for 30 seconds)
     – 1/2 tsp. salt
     – 1 large egg
     – 1 large egg yolk
     – 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
     – 1/2 tsp. Almond extract (optional)
     – 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

Directions:
First of all, I didn’t bother to buy superfine sugar, so I opted for the toss-sugar-in-a-food-processor route.

In a stand mixer (or with a hand-held), cream the butter, sugar and salt together until light and fluffy, about 3-5 minutes with mixer set at medium speed.

Add the yolk, beat well. Add the whole egg, vanilla and optional almond extract and beat until mixed. Add flour and beat at low speed just until flour is mixed in (do not overmix- remember, we don’t want heavy cookies!).  Divide dough in halves or thirds and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour and up to 2 days.

Oh, and make a big mess in the kitchen….that’s step 4, 7, and 10

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough to 1/4″ thick, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment-lined baking pans.

Bake in preheated oven until cookies appear dry on the surface and are light golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes (very large cookies may take up to 12 or 13 minutes). Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks and cool completely before decorating.

Meringue Powder Buttercream Frosting

Ingredients:
     – 1/3 cup water
     – 3 Tbsp. meringue powder
     – ½ cup shortening
     – 4 ½ cups powdered sugar
     – 1 tsp. vanilla extract
     – ¼ tsp. almond extract

**Helpful hint #2: Don’t bother looking for Meringue Powder in grocery stores. Just take my advice and safe yourself a bunch of trips, and get it at Hobby Lobby, on the baking aisle of course!**

Directions:

Place half of the powdered sugar and the meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk together well.

Turn on mixer (use whip attachment, if you have it) and, while motor is running, slowly stream in the water.  Once the water is mixed in, turn mixer to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form (this step took me about 7 mins). 
 still too runny…
stiff peaks…

Add flavorings and mix well. Change to paddle attachment or dough hook (if you have them…I do not.  My mixer is a true antique, and I just have plain old-fashioned beaters!). If using a hand mixer, use the same beaters you were using before. Add remaining powdered sugar and shortening and whip for 2-3 minutes more.

Note: Don’t skimp on the whipping time after adding the shortening. You really need to whip it well to prevent separation later.

Next is the fun part….cookie decorating!

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