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Decorated Sugar Cookies a la Daring Bakers

27 Sep

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.

This was the first Daring Baker’s challenge that we got to make together, since we only joined in July and Krista went home for the summer, so we were excited to see what our first joint effort in the kitchen would be.

Our first thoughts were… sugar cookies… really? What is so daring about sugar cookies? But these were to be no ordinary sugar cookies, these were to be beautifully decorated sugar cookies. Our host challenged us to decorate our cookies in a September theme, whatever that meant to us. To the two of us, September brings back memories of back to school, when you’re all excited to start off the year fresh. A new back to school outfit, new lunch box, new books, new pens and pencils and new crayons! In choosing what we wanted to make, we decided to kick the challenge up a notch and attempt a 3D creation… the crayon box, complete with cookie crayons.

We followed the recipe below but added in a little food dye when shaping the cookies to make each crayon a different colour. We used royal icing to decorate our crayons (recipe below), which proved to be one of the trickier parts of the whole process.

Basic Sugar Cookies
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4″ Cookies

INGREDIENTS

½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose  Flour
1 cup Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

DIRECTIONS


STEP 1) Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture.
NOTE: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during
baking, losing their shape.


STEP 2) 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.

STEP 3) Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces. Cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.

STEP 4) Divide dough into 24 equal pieces. Add food colouring and mix well.
[To make regular sugar cookies roll out the dough and cut into shapes.]

STEP 5) Roll dough into crayon sized cylindars and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

STEP 6) Preheat oven to 180°C/ 350°F

STEP 7) Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.

STEP 8 ) Cool & Decorate!

ROYAL ICING- INGREDIENTS

315g – 375g / 2½ – 3 cups Icing Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
2 tsp Lemon Juice
1 tsp Almond Extract, optional

DIRECTIONS

STEP 1)Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.
Tip: It’s important that the bowls/spoons/spatulas and beaters you use are thoroughly cleaned and
grease free.

STEP 2) Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites. Beat on low until combined and smooth.
Tip: Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.

DECORATING CRAYON COOKIES

STEP 1) To make our cookies look like crayons we began by adding a tip to each of the cookies using a piping bag and some really really thick royal icing (emphasis on the really thick!). [NOTE: Krista’s super smart method of keeping the cookies upright while the icing dried. We cut cross slits into the bottom of an empty egg carton!]

STEP 2) Once the tips were hardened we poured a thinner consistency of royal icing over top of the entire cookie.

STEP 3) When this was dry we added the details on each cookie using a thick consistency of royal icing.

STEP 4) We put the crayon box together much like a ginger bread house and decorated it to look like a real crayola crayon box.

The Verdict:


We really liked how our cookies turned out. They were a lot of fun (though a lot of work was involved). We will definitely make decorated sugar cookies again. And are happy to have this skill added to our repertoire. Thank you Mandy for this challenge!

We can’t wait to see the October Challenge!

~ K&N

Basic 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 Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

Directions
• 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.
Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoid
flour flying everywhere.

• 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.

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23 responses to “Decorated Sugar Cookies a la Daring Bakers

  1. KT

    September 27, 2010 at 2:24 pm

    did they turn your mouth fun colours??

     
    • twocupsofsugar

      September 27, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      only the blue and purple and black ones I believe lol

       
  2. PW

    September 27, 2010 at 3:20 pm

    That is amazing!!

     
  3. ericasedibles

    September 27, 2010 at 3:24 pm

    Amazing job!! WOW! I love that you dyed the dough too. So creative, mine are very blah. By the way, love the photo of you eating crayons lol

     
  4. chef_d

    September 27, 2010 at 3:40 pm

    Wow, so creative, I love your crayola cookies!

     
  5. Sue

    September 27, 2010 at 4:36 pm

    What ambitious cookie bakers! These are AWESOME!

     
  6. Christina

    September 27, 2010 at 5:14 pm

    Super cute!

     
  7. Ruth H.

    September 27, 2010 at 8:13 pm

    These are amazing. Seriously, I can’t believe you did this! I am in total awe. I want to bake with you! Thank you so much for sharing your talent and creativity with us!!

     
  8. Vicky

    September 27, 2010 at 10:47 pm

    Love your blog Nicole! Hope you’ll visit mine too 🙂

     
  9. Namratha

    September 27, 2010 at 11:17 pm

    These are outstanding! The idea itself is brilliant, very well done!

     
  10. Renata

    September 28, 2010 at 1:21 am

    These are probably the most creative cookies of this challenge! Hats off to you!

     
  11. shaz

    September 28, 2010 at 8:31 am

    Awesome, awesome idea. Great work girls! I’m going to have to steal your idea soon I think 🙂 Thanks for sharing.

     
  12. Lisa

    September 28, 2010 at 10:19 am

    I LOVE these! How creative you two are! And I really like how you took the added step of making the crayon cookies colored all the way through – brilliant!

    Hugs!
    Lis
    xoxo

     
  13. Julie

    September 28, 2010 at 5:48 pm

    These are awesome! I saw them when you first posted them in the forum, and I chuckle whenever I think of them. Kudos for all the time and work you put in this month!

     
  14. Amanda & Melissa

    September 29, 2010 at 9:33 am

    What a creative idea! We love that they are colored all the way through 🙂 Awesome idea! We might have to try these one day!!

     
  15. twocupsofsugar

    September 29, 2010 at 2:51 pm

    Thank you everyone!! 🙂

     
  16. Maria Beatrix

    September 29, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I’m speechless. Super creative. Amazing. Congrats

     
  17. Sirius73

    September 29, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    That was a great idea and very nicely executed – congratulations!

     
  18. annmartina

    September 29, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    You win for cutest idea! Awesome idea

     
  19. Catalina

    September 30, 2010 at 2:41 am

    Wow wow wow! It’s so cool 🙂 You’re so talented to create the whole box and all these crayons! Superb work.

     
  20. growcookeatgrow

    September 30, 2010 at 5:34 am

    Truly creative and original.

     
  21. Maytina

    October 14, 2010 at 11:54 pm

    I don’t even know where to start. I saw this the day you posted it but I guess I was so stunned by how amazing this creation is I didn’t comment. My fave part? That you tinted the cookie dough so when you break a crayon, they match the outside!

     
  22. Lea

    March 21, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    This is amazing, I hardly ever see such great and creative idaes!

     

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