Ta-Daaa! My completed DB Challenge - Decorated Sugar Cookies!
Now this is what I call a challenge, certainly for someone who's never played with decorating cookies before. I was blown away by all the amazing creative art that can be done with coloured royal icing and cookies.
The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.
Unfortunately it became quite late when I started baking the cookies, so I don't have photos of the whole process.
Mandy wanted us to really get our creative juices flowing this month and decorate amazing cookies with the theme of September. September is the month of two of my friends' birthdays so what better than to give these little beauties as gifts. They came out very pretty and dainty and will look adorable once wrapped up in a box with a ribbon.
I made Lemon sugar cookies (my favourite!) and the top is made with white fondant circle cut-outs stuck on with royal icing and some were outlined with the royal icing too (who knew outlining would be so hard?!) and then made some ribbon roses and embossing. I really enjoyed making them and I'm sure my fellow Daring Bakers will agree when I say that it really was a great challenge! I will definately be making these again as gifts.
Thank you very much Mandy for hosting such a fabulous challenge!
Lemon Sugar Cookies:
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies
200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Lemon Juice
5ml / 1 tsp Lemon Zest
5ml / 1 tsp Lemon Zest
• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming creamy in texture.
• Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during baking, losing their shape.
• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
• Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.
• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.
• Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
• Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in some cookies being baked before others are done.
• Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
• Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated cookies can last up to a month.