27 September 2010

Daring Bakers September 2010 - Decorated Sugar Cookies

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

These were also meant to be decorated with the theme of September. Since it's Spring here (except you wouldn't know it, as it's rained everyday) I thought I'd go with spring flowers. It's also the month that I've finished my chemotherapy so they are made with happiness and love! Hehe.

The first ones I made were done with the basic recipe but the second ones have a generous amount of espresso coffee blended by my good friend Arron at Heaven Espresso especially for my baking. These ones are not for the kiddies as just one cookie gives a fantastic caffeine hit.

These are good (maybe even better) dipped in dark chocolate and eaten with a shot of espresso. Now that's a way to get going in the morning!

The next batch were done for my sister in law for her birthday present.

Recipe is below:

Basic Sugar Cookies:
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies
200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture.
Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during
baking, losing their shape.

• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an
hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and
then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.

• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.
Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in
some cookies being baked before others are done.

Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated
cookies can last up to a month.


chef_d said...

Very pretty cookies! Great job!

Sophie said...

wow, gorgeous decoration!!

Renata said...

Absolutely adorable cookies! I must try the coffee flavored version, sounds delish!
Great days for you!

Heather said...

Gorgeous cookies - take care

lo81 said...

Your cookies are so elegant! I love them!

Zita said...

Aww...so dainty and nice pics :)

Honey @ honeyandsoy said...

You made HOW many batches, Superwoman?! ;) They look lovely, especially the spotty effect of the espresso. Thinking good thoughts and sending it your way re. finishing chemo, and a big hug!

Phuoc'n Delicious said...

Hi Monica!

Flowers makes everyone happy I think. I love the espresso cookies and you are right, I think they would go down exception well if dipped in chocolate.. YUM!

Renuka said...

Awesome cookies, love the colors. The coffee flavored sounds divine. Sending hugs and good wishes your way.I found your site through daring bakers.