So I totally wish I had spent my weekend like this...
But, unfortunately, it was a somewhat busy one since I finally started my holiday baking in earnest. I mentioned my first batch of sugar cookies yesterday, but today I wanna talk icing. Those who know me, or have at least heard me mention it here, know that I have a pretty bad shake. It's an inherited thing, which is irritating but livable. So, when it comes to pretty edibles, I do my best to compensate.
Sugar cookies are one of my favorite things to do at Christmas. But I only do them at Christmas. They are just too much work to do any other time. I've learned exactly what I can do to keep my shakiness from resulting in crappy cookies, but every year I hope to try a little something different. Anyway, here's what works for me.
First off, pick a recipe. I've used a zillion different ones. But these, these, and the ones in my last post, have been successful for me. Once the dough has been refrigerated overnight, roll them out between two sheets of either parchment paper or wax paper. Doing that keeps you from having to add flour, which will eventually lead to brittle dry cookies. You can bake them right on the parchment paper, but not the wax paper. Trust me on this one. The wax paper smokes like hell!
Yes, my beautiful little geek girl decorated them like power stars from Mario Bros.
Once they're baked, let them cool completely, then ice them. I like icing that dries hard so that I can stack them. The standard icing for that is Royal Icing. But I don't like using it because it has raw egg whites in it. So the one that I use, which still dries nice and hard and shiny, is this one. To actually ice them, you can use a million different methods. Some people thin the icing out (just add milk) and paint it on the cookies with a paintbrush. Some pipe a thicker frosting (just add more powdered sugar) around the edge, then use a thinner version and just pour it, letting the thicker edges keep the thin icing inside the lines. I simply put the frosting in a bowl, turn the cookie upside down, dip it so that the top and sides are completely covered, try to let the excess drip off, then put it on wax paper to dry. Now there will still be a lot of excess icing that will run off as the cookies dry but, once completely dry, you can just break off the excess.
Anyway, that's what works for me. I'm gonna try some new decorations this year (like the little stars on top of the trees) and have tried some new recipes. I'm working on some chocolate cut-outs and, if they're successful, I'm sure you'll be seeing them soon!