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.


restyled home said...

Now I look really bad...

Merry Christmas anyway ;0)

julie said...

Yummy! Thanks for the recipes and directions! I might have to try next year! Merry Christmas!

Pearl Maple said...

What a sweet post to celebrate all that is good in the season.

Thank you for all your fun posts, they make my day.

meg duerksen said...

oh that looks good!
hope your christmas was wonderful. we are still coming out of it here. today is the last day fro family. and oh my the laundry is insane. yikes.

can't wait to see what 2009 brings in your home!