Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Easter Cookies



Easter Cookies

My niece invited us for dinner on Easter Sunday at her new house.  It is pot luck—everyone brings their speciality.  My husband is making mashed potatoes and dressing to go with the turkey and the ham.  I’m making sugar cookies, not my speciality, not yet anyway!

Why am I making cookies that aren’t my speciality?  I just received these new cookie cutters as a late birthday gift.  They are from Williams-Sonoma called Message in a Cookie, Cookie Cutters and Stamp & Style Easter Cookie Cutters.  They look interesting and creative so I’m trying them.

The basic cookie dough is a Sugar Cookie Recipe included with the cutters.

Ingredients

  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • Sprinkles or other sugar decorations (optional)

Preparation

Using an electric mixer, beat butter in large bowl at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and salt and beat until pale and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add egg; beat until well blended, about 1 minute. Reduce speed to low and beat in vanilla. Add flour and beat on low speed just to blend. Gather dough into ball; divide in half. Form each half into ball and flatten into disk. Wrap disks separately in plastic and chill until firm, at least 4 hours. DO AHEAD: Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.

Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350°F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. Working with 1 disk at a time, roll out dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper to 1/8-inch thickness for smaller (2-inch) cookies and 1/4-inch thickness for larger (3- to 4-inch) cookies. Using decorative cookie cutters cut out cookies and transfer to prepared sheets, spacing 1 inch apart.

 If cookies become too soft to transfer to baking sheets, place in freezer on waxed paper for 5 minutes before continuing. Gather scraps, roll out dough, and cut more cookies, repeating until all dough is used. If not icing cookies, decorate with sprinkles or other sugar toppings, if desired.

Bake 1 sheet at a time until cookies are firm on top and golden around edges, about 7 -10 minutes for smaller cookies and up to 12 - 14 minutes for larger cookies. Cool completely on rack. Decorate with icing, then sprinkles or other sugar toppings, if desired. Let stand until icing sets. DO AHEAD: Can be made 4 days ahead.

The icing is a Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting.  The recipe is in http://www.epicurious.com/  click here to see it.

I haven’t made roll-out sugar cookies in a long time so I am practising.  I made a batch two days ago; weren’t great. The cookies were edible but I needed to chill the dough longer as they squished out on the parchment paper.

I made another batch yesterday.  They turned out well but the decorating didn’t.  I am rusty.  The vanilla butter cream frosting tasted yummy however my artistic abilities were just this side of horrific. 

So…I’ll be at it again today.  I’ll let you know about the results in the next blog.
Easter cookies ready for the oven

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've been making and decorating sugar cookies for years...I never realized how much work they are until recently...good luck! xo,M

Carol Steel 5050 said...

Thanks, they are time consuming but much of the time is spent waiting for dough to warm after cooling, and for cookies to cool after baking. Carol