Jan 27, 2011

Not a Cookie Rookie

Posted by Tonia at Thursday, January 27, 2011
By Rachel

The first time I ever baked cookies I was 12 years old. I overcooked them and my brother tormented me by using them as Frisbees for the dog. Trauma. Probably need therapy. But, even after I rescued some of them, I can assure you, burnt cookies don’t taste any better with icing on them.
But, 23 years and 2 children later (don’t do the math), I am proud to say that I have perfected my cookie baking abilities. I’m sure this is due to having to provide them for every friggin’ school holiday party known to schooldom.
And it’s survival! Have you seen those evil looks from Nazi-stay-at-home moms when someone tries to bring store bought cookies? I have friends who are so intimidated that they repackage store bought cookies to look like homemade ones.  I would do that, too, but my children would rat me out. Little snitches.
Did you know that cookies were discovered by accident? Yep. Just like penicillin, sweetener, and microwaves. Cookies began as little test cakes used to check out oven temperature. Small amounts of cake batter were dropped onto pans to test the temperature of the oven before the cakes were baked. No one thought the “test cake” would become a dessert on its own but, hey, who knew that mold would fight infection?!  (My mom’s refrigerator could supply an entire hospital!) By the 14th century, cookies and cookie recipes were everywhere throughout Europe. Now, don’t you feel enlightened?
As for your Estrofests entertaining, cookies aren’t just for kids. They’re so easy – not like cake where you actually have to use plates and forks (well, some of us use plates and forks).

So, for your next girlfriends’ Inside-the-Purse-Scavenger-Hunt or your next purse exchange party, use a purse cookie cutter and try these recipes:

Sugar cookie recipe
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In a bowl or container of your choice, mix together on medium speed the butter and sugar and blend until smooth. Beat in the eggs and vanilla. Mix in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight). Hide the dough in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator so the kids and spouse won’t find it (you know they would never look there for a snack).
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (find your manual if you don’t remember how to turn it on). Roll out the dough on a floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes using a cookie cutter or if you can’t find one, use your kid’s play dough shape makers. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake 6 to 8 minutes. Cool completely before icing.  The recipe yields approximately 5 dozen cookies.
 Icing recipe
4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter
5 tablespoons milk
1.5 teaspoon vanilla extract
food coloring

In a bowl or container of your choice, mix together on medium speed the confectioners' sugar and butter until smooth. Slowly mix in the vanilla and milk until smooth and stiff. You can color with food coloring if desired. The recipe yields approximately 3 cups.
Divide the icing into several bowls and tint with food coloring. Place the icing in piping bags and decorate. You can also use sprinkles, candies and any other edible items to enhance your design.


MarkJohnsonFAIA on February 1, 2011 at 8:52 PM said...

Fun blog. I might even try the recipe! Of course I'll have to come up with a masculine version. Maybe a knapsack shaped cookie or "camo" frosting.

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