Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Sugar Cookies

Baking inspiration comes from everywhere and today my inspiration comes from a truely pleasurable read from Joan Medlicott, a book called, The Ladies of Covington Send Their Love. It is the story of three ladies who meet in a retirement/boarding house that none of them belong in; they have all ended up there by some twist of fate and choose to venture out to a new home, together, in Covington, North Carolina.

It is a story of growth, healing and love for themselves, their families and their new lives. There is a whole series of books about these ladies: Grace, Amelia and Hannah; you can bet I am reading the whole series as you read...thank you Grandma for sending these ladies into my life!

The cookies today are from Grace, the nurturer of the three. She makes these cookies throughout the book and by the end it was all I could do to finish the last page before springing up to try my hand at these cookies.

I loved them!


Grace's Sugar Cookies

2/3 cup Butter
¾ Cup Evaporated Cane Sugar
1 Teaspoon Vanilla
1 Egg
4 Teaspoons Milk (I used buttermilk)
2 Cups AP flour, sifted
1 ½ Teaspoons Baking Powder
¼ Teaspoon Salt

Pre-Heat oven to 375F.

Thoroughly cream the butter, sugar and vanilla.

Add the eggs and milk; beat until light and fluffy.

Sift together the dry ingredients and blend into the creamed mixture.

Divide the dough in half and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

On a lightly floured surface, roll to 1/8 - ¼ inch thickness and cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters.

Bake on an un-greased cookie sheet for 5-7 minutes; allow cookies to cool slightly before removing from the pan.

I topped them with royal icing:


Wilton Royal Icing

3 tablespoons Meringue Powder
1 pound (4 cups) Confectioners' sugar
6 tablespoons warm water

Beat all ingredients until icing forms peaks (7-10 minutes at low speed with a heavy-duty mixer, 10-12 minutes at high speed with a hand-held mixer). Recipe makes 3 cups.

Keep all utensils completely grease-free for proper icing consistency.

Allow to dry on cookies over night before handling.

9 comments:

BC said...

Mmmmm...sugar cookies :) I bet they're delicious!

Sab said...

How did you do your icing technique? It looks like some of them are...um..."melted" together. How did you to that!? Amazing and im sure yummy!

Holly said...

Hey Sab-
To get the cookies to look like that all you have to do is ice them all at once. You don't have to wait for one color to dry first...you just ice away. The protein from the powdered egg whites causes the icing to stiffen extremely quickly and not bleed the colors together. Good luck, let me know how your turn out if you give them a try!

josephine said...

I have an icing question. I used a premade powder mixture that only requires you to add water. I made shamrock cookies for my daughters class, coloring the icing green. However, when they dried there were some whiteish spots. Do you know why that happened? Could it be because I put them in a covered tupperwear before being completely dry? Thank you very much!

Holly said...

Josephine-
I have never used a packages icing recipe and am not certain exactly what additives are included but they, the additives, may be the problem.

Your other guess may also be correct; I always let mine dry on a rack for about 24 hours and then keep them in an airtight container. You ought to make the icing from scratch because it is so simple. Save the box mixes for cakes. Hope I helped.

Happy icing!

Anonymous said...

hi, how did you apply the icing on the cookies? they are perfect and not completely covered just the borders aren't. Is there a technique? Thanks

Holly said...

To get the cookies to look like that all you have to do is ice the outer edge first to create a border and then fill in the center. Ice each cookie all at once, don't do all the borders and then go back and do all the filling- do one cookie at a time. You don't have to wait for one color to dry first...you just ice the back ground color first and then lay the design on top of the back ground, it will sink down and become level as it dries. The protein from the powdered egg whites causes the icing to stiffen extremely quickly and not bleed the colors together. Also it helps if you hold the icing bag and tip at a 90 degree angle to the cookie; in other words, directly up and down, not tipped to the side like a pen. Good luck, let me know how your turn out if you give them a try! Don't forget to let the cookies rest over night in a safe place to harden before packing them up to give away.

Arlene D. said...

I've used this frosting before and had good results with the color and design. My finished product has a matted look to it but yours looks glossy. Any suggestions as to what I'm doing wrong?

Katherine said...

How did your royal icing turn out to be "glossy" in appearance. When I use this exact recipe,it usually turns out dull with no shine at all. Thanks!