Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sugar Cookies

I am not as successful at regularly posting recipes as I had initially hoped.  Life is busy, and my ZEST has all but disappeared.  I am hoping to reclaim it in the near future.

I managed to eek out some sugar cookies for my VT ladies (AND my family) last week.  I started with the grand idea of making home-made chocolate-covered marshmallow eggs (which I will most likely NOT post the recipe for, as I have determined it was my first and last attempt - too many steps, too much mess, not as amazing as I had hoped). I realized that I was NOT going to have enough finished product on it's own to take to my two sisters and Bill's HT family, so I whipped up a batch of these little babies.

I got the recipe from a friend back in my YW days.  The icing/glaze recipe changed my life.  Soooooo much quicker and easier than spreading or piping buttercream, just enough sweetness to make the cookie perfect.

Julie Williams' Sugar Cookies and Glaze

1-1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover and chill cough for at least an hour (I usually don't chill and the cookies turn out fine).

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with cookie cutter. Place cookies 1" apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely.

Cookie Glaze

1 to 2 cups powdered sugar (enough to make it stick, but not so thick it's globby)
1 Tbs. light corn syrup
2 Tbs. water
Food coloring
Flavoring (if desired)

Stir powdered sugar, corn syrup, and water together in a small bowl. Stir in food coloring and flavoring, if desired. The glaze must be stirred each time you use it. If it is not stirred before each use it may dry with a mottled look instead of a solid color.

Note: This glaze is pretty forgiving.  You can add drops of water if it gets too thick, a little more powdered sugar if it gets too thin.   If you want to add sprinkles, you must sprinkle IMMEDIATELY or the glaze will start to harden and not-a-thing will stick. Once the cookies are glazed, let them dry for an hour or two. The glaze will harden and the cookies will be stackable (I LOVE that). Cookies with the hardened glaze also freeze well.

My Super-Fast-Sugar-Cookie-Glazing Technique

This is not how I usually glaze (for a solid glaze I usually just use a regular spoon, scoop up a spoonful of the glaze, drizzle it around, then spread with the back of the spoon to fill it in), but needed something  that was even FAST(ER). I decided to try putting the glaze (two colors, for fun) in quart-sized ziplocs, then snipped the corner and drizzled.  As you can see, I tried some crosshatch style, which turned out looking sort of PLAID, and others one-directional.

My intention was to swap out the cookie tray underneath the rack of cookies being iced, but I was in too much of a hurry. (BTW, cookie decorating is NOT fun when you A) do it by yourself, and B) are in a time crunch.  I just wanted to git 'er done.)  I think the results were great considering the amount of time I devoted to it. Let's just say it took longer to clean up than it did to glaze.

I really liked the technique for a quick solution, but would definitely take the time to rotate the cookies to the pan to save on clean-up. I would probably also make one more batch of glaze to drizzle, just to give each cookie a little more glaze.

Easy peasy.
Those marshmallow eggs, on the other hand, not so much.

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