Monday, January 30, 2012

Christmas Baking Part 2: Christmas Cookies

Alright so this is really the last of the Christmas themed posts since the holidays have been over for a month now! Every Christmas I love to make baked goods for my loved ones and my favorite thing to make is frosted sugar cookies! They're always so cute and festive and make me insanely happy! 

I've shared this cookie recipe with all of you before, but I'll put it up again. Also, I made a chocolate version of this recipe since my family doesn't really like gingerbread cookies. 

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies

  • 1 1/2 cups butter, softened
  • 2 cups white sugar 
  • 4 eggs 
  • 2 teaspoon vanilla extract 
  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder 
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  1. 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 dough for at least one hour (or overnight).
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Roll out dough on surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.
  3. Bake 6-8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely. 
For the Chocolate cookies: Melt down about 4 ounces of semisweet chocolate and cream it with the butter and sugar before you add the eggs. 

This recipe is exactly as written from allrecipes with the only change made is an added teaspoon of vanilla extract. The directions for this recipe are fine, but I do like to do one more thing before I actually bake the cutout cookies. I like to let them chill again in the freezer for 30-60 minutes before baking. I feel that this helps the cookies retain their shape. Also to make cutting the cookies easier, dip your cutters in flour before making each cutout. 

Royal Icing 

  • egg whites from 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons water
  • 4 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon of any clear flavored extract

I am very adamant about safe food handling procedures, so I scoured the internet to find information about the proper way to handle raw eggs whites in an icing recipe. Luckily I found wonderful information from here on how to handle egg whites properly. 
  1. In a double boiler or metal bowl placed over water in a saucepan, stir together the egg whites, half of the confectioner's sugar and the water. 
  2. Cook over low heat or simmering water, beating constantly with a portable mixer at low speed, until the whites reach 160 degrees F. 
  3. Pour into a large bowl and add the remaining sugar and clear extract and beat until you reach soft peak consistency. This is the consistency you'll use to pipe your borders, lines, dots, etc.

To color your icing: 
I like to use gel or paste food coloring for my icings or frosting. Gel food coloring is much more concentrated than liquid coloring and doesn't affect the consistency. Just add a little coloring at a time until you get the colors you want. 

To change the consistency:
To get a runnier consistency for filling spaces, simply add water a little at a time till you reach the consistency you want.

Extra Tips:
Don't let your icing sit out uncovered. I like to take a wet paper towel and cover the bowl until I'm ready to use more icing. 

Cute little stockings for Ai, her boyfriend, and their dog! 

Christmas stars! 

Snowmen and an ornament! 

Christmas presents and a wreath! 

Red nosed reindeer and Santa's sleigh! 

Snowflakes are my absolute favorite to make! 

So that's all for this week folks! Hope you go out there and make some of your own cute cookies! ♥  

Friday, January 13, 2012

Christmas Baking Part 1

So we know we've been really bad bloggers! We had set an easy once a week posting schedule and we just got busy/lazy during the holiday season. hahahaha But we're back for good now! We know that the holidays have been over for a few weeks now, but for the next few weeks, you're all finally going to see what we've been up to! 

Our first round of holiday baking posts were inspired by Bakerella's snow globe cupcakes, but of course we did things just a little different. We did everything the same except we made our own fondant using this marshmallow fondant recipe and we topped the cupcakes with chocolate sugar cookie disks so we'd have a stable base. I'll share my cookie recipe on next week's post! 

So now it's on to all the snow globes! 

All the cupcakes without their snow globe tops.

An overhead view.

We made the presents with the same chocolate cookie recipe as the disks and just used royal icing to decorate. 

A cute little Christmas penguin! 

The same penguin in his snow globe! 

A polar bear with a big red bow on his back!

The bear's super cute bow! 

Inside his snow globe! 

Another Christmas penguin! hahaha I made this one and he just looks like he's a tad slow! 

Three polar bears! 

Our three penguins! 

A solo shot of our last penguin! 

Our reindeer! Their antlers were also made out of the chocolate cookie dough.

Hanging out inside of their snow globes!

A snowman, snowlady, and polar bear! 

Our fat little snowman! 

Our cute snowlady is striking a fabulous pose! 

This little guy has a present topped with a big red bow just for you! 

Winter time pets! 

Two cute kitties all ready for Christmas! 

My doggie Gizmo all ready for the holidays! 

Ai's dog Socks all bundled up for winter! 

Christmas tree with a cute train going around it! 

So that's all for this week folks! We hope that everyone is having a lovely start to the new year! May the new year bring all of you new and wonderful crafting ideas! ♥