Tuesday, December 16, 2008

What I Did This Past Weekend

I don't bake. Don't get me wrong...I LOVE to cook. It's just that my talents don't cover the realm of pastries, pies, cakes and cookies. With that in mind I decided to test out some snowflake cookie cutters I purchased last year for next to nothing during the after Christmas sales. 1st I had to decide upon a recipe. I am a frequent purveyor of http://www.allrecipes.com/ and came upon The Best Rolled Sugar Cookie recipe. It has an average 4.5 out of 5 star rating with almost 2000 reviews. So I plunged in. Took me an hour to get everything mixed on Friday afternoon and into the fridge the dough went to chill.

Since I am off so very few weekends I had to figure out when I'd have the time to roll out and bake these cookies. I decided Saturday morning was best. I started working the dough and cutting cookies at 9:00a.m. 3 and 1/2 hours later I'm still at it. These snowflakes were driving me nuts. The small ones kept tearing and the large ones were obviously time consuming. The dough wasn't very cooperative either. Finally I just rolled a few and put them in the oven while I rolled a few more. They expanded a touch during the baking process so some of my intricate designs were no longer that intricate. Oh well, at least this part was over.

Christmas shopping, a choir concert and a sleepover took up the rest of the day. Mass, packaging gifts, more Christmas shopping and a Carolina Panther game was on the agenda for Sunday. Sunday evening around 8:00p.m. was the only time slot available to ice these snowflakes.

Icing the cookies was another battle. I, again, went to trusted Allrecipes and found one that I had all the ingredients for called Butter Icing for Cookies. It included confectioner's sugar, butter, cream and vanilla. Simple, right? After following directions EXACTLY what I had was a mess. The icing hardened up really quickly, wouldn't spread.I even tried "piping" the icing but again, just a crumbly mess. HELP! I went back to Allrecipes and posted my plea on the Recipe Exchange board. Within minutes I had many suggestions: some suggested adding a little more cream while others instructed me to keep the icing over low heat and to stir continuously between cookies. I still had rotten luck. I ended up adding a LOT more cream and using the icing as a "glaze" into which I dipped the cookies. When the icing ran low, I drizzled the rest over the remaining snowflakes. I was finally finished 3 hours after I began.

The snowflake cookies actually turned out quite pretty and tasted yummy. Would I do this again? NO WAY! I do not have the patience for this type of cookie baking. If you all have a simple cookie recipe to send my way I'm game! Feel free to share in my comments section.

I'm off to deal with more deck issues. An update will be given sometime this week, I promise!


L.B. said...

Check you out - that is fantastic! I'm going to try my hand with some cookies soon and if they turn out half as wonderful as yours do I'll be happy.

5thsister said...

Thanks LB...but 7 1/2 hours? That's way too much time to spend on just cookies, IMHO. I can get a couple of Thanksgiving feasts underway in that time! I'm happy, though, that they looked pretty. I've got a box of them mailed off to the Seminarian we "adopted" and another box ready for the next door neighbor. About 10 cookies bit the dust during my icing troubles and I have only about a dozen leftover for the family, and Santa, to enjoy!

ChristineM said...

They are beautiful, 5th! But I'm with you - even though I love baking, I have never been a "cut-out" kinda girl! (Strange, but I do like making my dogs homemade cut-out biscuits...that dough's easier to work with!)

I remember seeing some woman on one of the cooking shows years ago, who did cut out cookies and used royal icing. Her cookies were works of art, really beautiful! And she made it look so easy...just can't think of her name right now. I'll probably try some cutouts this year - my 3 year old will enjoy it!

My favorite simple cookies are the ones that you roll into balls and either roll in sugar for the crackle effect or flatten with a glass. And of course, my chocolate Italian Spice Cookies (see my blog today and the recipe at Grouprecipes!)

5thsister said...

Oh, "crackle" cookies are the best! I'll be sure to check your blog. Thanks for the head's up!

Pamela said...

Oh Wow!! I have to admit..w/ all of my baking expertise...LOL...I've never tried cut out cookies. They scare me. But, you give me motivation...I'll try to squeeze it into my busy schedule! HA HA HA!!


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