This week, Ulrike of Küchenlatein chose Grandma’s All-Occasion Sugar Cookies, which can be found on pages 146-147 of Dorie Greenspan's "Baking: From My Home to Yours". Before I get started discussing these cookies, I wanted to take a few moments to ramble on about how great this cookbook is! I have learned so much from this book and from my fellow TWD bakers! Oh dear, now I'm all verklempt. Please, talk amongst yourselves.
Now about those sugar cookies ... I've said it in a least a half dozen posts ... I do not like hard cookies. All of the sugar cookies that I have known have been hard. With that in mind, I wasn't really excited about making these cookies BUT I had an agenda so I made them. Please take out your Winter 2008 Fancy Flours Catalog. I'll give you a minute to find it. Come on ... I know you have one. Turn to page 25 and check out the upper right hand corner. That snowflake cookie wreath is beautiful! I really wanted to make one so I forged ahead with the sugar cookies, including my first foray into royal icing.
The cookie dough was pretty crumbly but I was really afraid of over beating it. I roughly divided the dough in half and put each half into a gallon ziploc bag and gently kneaded it until it came together. Then I rolled it out (while it was still in the bag - a tip I learned from making the brown sugar shortbread) and refrigerated it for a few hours. Most of the times when I make cut out cookies, the dough spreads into an unrecognizable blob. This time around, after I cut out the shapes, I popped the baking sheet and the cookies back into the refrigerator so they could chill out for another half hour or so (a tip from the linzer sables). It worked like a charm, my cookies came out beautifully!
The royal icing was not a fun adventure. I wanted to get it to "pouring" consistency, but no matter how much water I added, I couldn't do it. It took me hours to frost these cookies but I think the end result was worth it .... and if anyone has any royal icing tips to share, please do!
Here is my take on the Fancy Flours Cookie Wreath which you can see HERE.
I took the wreath to work and left it out for my coworkers. Apparently, they were quite good! After being admonished several times and told that the cookies were NOT HARD, I decided to try one for myself. Except, that by the time I made it back to the kitchen, then entire wreath was gone. Seriously, in less than a half an hour! Gone. Luckily I had a few stashed at home and I found them to be soft and delicious. Like buttah ...
As always, please check out the rest of the TWD Bakers.