Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A well laid plan , so they say , what do they know ?

I was inspired to make my annual sugar cookies , I was going to skip this because it is a big deal , it is a long haul ,and a big mess . Normally I do it on my own and my family enjoys my labours, I am not good at the excess mess , but my kids are getting older and I thought I should pass on my tricks and the fun of icing sugar cookies .
So here is how it went , "can we do it now ? ", followed by "is now a good time to make the cookies ?" and so on and so on , all while I was trying to take a little break , oh I love having the MOST impatient child on the planet earth, oh her name is MASON.
While waiting for the butter to soften to room temp I measured out all of my ingredients , it is a very simple recipe .
1 cup of butter {room temp}

2 cups of sugar

4 cups of flour

2 eggs

1/2 tsp salt & 1 tsp baking powder

2 tsp of vanilla

Cream together butter and sugar and then beat in eggs.

add in flour mixed with salt etc and vanilla until all combined , it will be quite a crumbly mixture .
Mold into two balls until it comes together well with your hands and flatten out into a round onto tin foil , wrap tightly place into fridge and chill for 15 to 20 minutes until firm .

Chillin' in the fridge.
Roll out quite thick for softer cookies {which most prefer} 1/4 inch thick approx. maybe a touch thinner .Bake 15 minutes at 325.
Then cool completely.

Prepare royal icing {best to use a hand mixer or whisk } separate 3 eggs and use only whites, add confectioners sugar slowly over time until you get a good thickness , lift up your whisk and when you get a slow flow you have got a good consistency .

I suggest you use disposable piping bags , as this is a messy product to clean up , I use a wide mouth glass to fold the bag over the edges and to make the filling of the bags easy as pie.

Have a handy spot to put piping bags while in use , air is the enemy , I wet a bit of paper towel and place it in the bottom of a tall glass for the tip to rest into .

I used disposable elastics to help the kids keep more air out , remember "air is the enemy"

Cut if the tip for easy icing application . Aren't they focused, there hair is wet because they went out and shovelled the side walk ,the little darlings!

When using more than one color , apply the largest color first , then walk away , leave it to set for about an hour , mix up next color and apply that color and so on , add sugars and sprinkles to wet icing , time is of the essence, you see why I left the kids out of this up until now , this is not for the faint of heart or the impatient.

Here are Mason's snowmen ,aren't they cute.

And Sophie's , also adorable.

This is mine , the kids thought mine were boring , whatever! I like them with out eyes as well so simple.

No Martha Stewart I am not! , but they were fun , and some are better than others .

A couple of left over bits of dough they get baked too .

These are the ones the girls chose to keep for themselves the others we will serve at our Christmas Eve gathering.
Ok , this is a long activity , it took 4 1/2 hours from start to clean up , I know that is a lot of work and yes I can understand getting bored of it , I know I did , the fun part is the icing and decorating , and I assure you this is worth the effort , I have been getting compliments from people who ate my cookies last Christmas , wow , talk about a lasting impression huh !
I will have to guard these cookies from my husband the most , or there will be nothing left for tomorrow , Christmas Eve woohoo , I am so excited to finally give my kids there gifts {just pj's Chirstmas Eve}and to see my family , I love it when my house is full of family and food and drinks , there is no better occasion , I hope you too have a wonderful Christmas , Cheers !
I am gonna take a couple of days off to spend with my wonderful , silly, crazy and yes sometimes totally annoying crew.

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