Tag Archives: Frosting

Chewy Sugar Cookies

14 Oct

I’m back with a post that I hope you take seriously. Sugar cookies people, they must be taken seriously.

This is my theory – there’s not anyone out there who doesn’t enjoy sugar cookies. (If you know of anyone, don’t tell me. I’d like to keep the fantasy alive.)

I mean, there are folks who aren’t so into peanut butter cookies (what?)…or those bizarre people who don’t like mint cookies (still don’t get that one) and then people claim you need to be ‘in the mood’ for a good gingersnap (who are these people?). But seriously – aren’t you always in the mood for a sugar cookie?

Scenario #1 – You had the worst day, one of those days where you’d like to just bang your head on a wall. Solution = sugar cookie.

Scenario #2 – You had the BEST day right down to hitting all the green lights both to AND from work. Boom. Sugar cookie.

Scenario #3 – You are nervous as all get-out because you have a job interview/olympic triathlon/big date/final exam etc. the next day. Heeeelllloooo….sugar cookie.

Scenario #4 – You want to bake something delectable but don’t want to spend the whole DAY in the kitchen. Enter….sugar cookies.

Scenario #5 – You want any excuse possible to not do what you know you should be doing (i.e. laundry…unpacking…laundry…loading the dishwasher…taking out the trash…laundry)…consume a sugar cookie

Ok, ok, you get my point. I believe sugar cookies fit every mood, any type of day you had and always seem to hit the spot whether you have a real sweet tooth or not. They’re just a magical cookie.

Now, sugar cookies are fun because you use cookie cutters and frosting etc. BUT, sometimes you may not have the time for the whole roll-out the dough/cookie cutter scenario. THIS is the recipe for you in that particular circumstance. This version (thanks to my favorite magazine Real Simple) of sugar cookies is quick, simple and results in cookies that are as tasty as they look. I DO want to share a roll-out dough/make fun shapes/decorate type of sugar cookie with you at some point on the blog. But that post is not this one.

These cookies I made for a Iowa State University (GO CLONES!) tailgate. Both of my parents and my younger brother are Cyclones, so we were down enjoying a tailgate in Ames, IA and these were the perfect addition to the spread that day. (That’s the reason for the cardinal red and gold frosting colors.)

You in the mood for a sugar cookie?! (Obviously rhetorical due to the argument above.)

Ingredients:

  • 2 1/2  cups  whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat, but you can use all-purpose if you’d prefer)
  • 1 1/2  teaspoons  baking powder
  • 1/2  teaspoon  kosher salt
  • 1  cup  (yes, that’s 2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature (I’ve explained why room temp butter is necessary in past posts, just trust me. Your beaters/mixer will thank you.)
  • 2  cups  sugar
  • 2  large eggs
  • 1  teaspoon vanilla extract (the good stuff, if you have it!)

Glaze Frosting: (this is a pretty common recipe amongst many websites/blogs but I found mine here)

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • food coloring to achieve your desired color palette
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

How to Make:

Turn up the tunes that put you in a good mood (My roommate and I are currently huge fans of “Finally Found You” and “Heart Skips A Beat”. We highly recommend.). This should be the first step because tunage makes cooking/baking a lot more enjoyable, particularly when baking up sugar cookies. Add in a sous chef or two and the fun level just increases. Guaranteed.

Once the music is cranked, you’re ready to begin. Preheat your oven to 350 and go find two large-ish mixing bowls.

In the first of those bowls, whisk up the flour, baking powder and salt. Get everything mixed up well.

Now, mix up your butter and sugar in the other bowl. If you’re fancy with a KitchenAid (I didn’t have mine at this point, sadly) electric mixer, set your speed to medium high and go entertain yourself for 2-3 minutes. This is a great opportunity to dance to that excellent music you just put on.

For those without electric mixers, you can still dance. You just get to mix while you’re doing it. Multi-task.

Mix until everything is light and fluffy. Then, slowly beat in each of your eggs. Splash in the vanilla.

Now, on low speed, slowly mix in your flour. Do this in batches or you’ll end up with a huge flour cloud and an immediate need to clean your kitchen. Don’t overmix – you only want to mix until the batter is “just combined” when you turn the mixer off. Trust Real Simple. Don’t overmix.

Spray your cookie sheets with some Pam before dropping “heaping” (Real Simple’s word) spoonfuls of the batter on to your cookie sheet. 3×4 method always works!

The recipe suggests rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking process, but I just kept a close eye on them and I think you can bake without this step. Unless you have a finicky oven, then maybe you should do the rotating thing. I’ll leave that up to you. Key thing here – bake 12-15 minutes. Your cookies will get a little golden on top and that’s when you’re good to go.

Let them cool down (at least a little bit) before you try one. You WILL want a second. I’d bet just about anything on that.

If you are going to add any frosting, make sure the cookies are completely cooled. Or if you’re impatient like me, just know the frosting will be a little melty. As long as you’re alright with that, proceed.

To mix up your frosting (forewarning – this is more of a  ‘glaze’ than a frosting), stir all (except the food coloring) your ingredients together. Once it’s all thoroughly mixed, start creating your desired color with your food coloring. Remember a few drops of color goes a looonnggg way, so start with a few and add more if needed.

 

 

Now I struggled with frosting the first few cookies. The knife wasn’t spreading the frosting well and I was getting frustrated. It was getting all gloopy.

 

Then I remembered the fun kitchen utensil that usually sits untouched in the drawer – the pastry brush! It’s PERFECT for applying this particular frosting/glaze because the liquid is fairly thin and you can move the glaze around on the cookie much better with the brush than a normal knife or spatula.

The frosting will harden, just give it a little time. You WILL be able to stack and pack these into Tupperware – we brought them on a 3 hour car ride and they survived just fine.

Now set these out for all your friends and just sit back and watch them disappear.

Just…

like…

that.

Advertisements

Vanilla Bean Frosting

10 Mar

Is there anything better than vanilla bean? I think not! I have always LOVED the taste of this wonderful ingredient but used it for the first time today in the frosting for Dad’s cake. It was a bit of a hectic day, so I didn’t get a chance to whip up (no pun intended…ok…slightly intended) the frosting until my parents arrived at my apartment. Ah well, I enjoy cooking with some company. 🙂

For dinner, my parents and I had planned something relaxing and delicious – none other than Punch Pizza! See my recent post about Punch and why I think it’s so divine. We enjoyed both a Margherita Extra (the best EVER) and a delicious meat concoction with onions. It was great to have the combination of the two pizzas with the olive oil on one to outweigh the zip of the spice on the meat version. I’ll have to look up the name of that pizza, it was tasty.

Back to the vanilla bean. And the frosting. So, I’ll put this out there – this is not a healthy frosting. But MAN is it good. Mom and Dad kept sticking their fingers in the bowl of frosting and insisting on putting more on the cake. I even caught them in their frosting frenzy – including Dad sneaking extra layers on the cake. Got to love it.

For the recipe, this again a Sweetapolita creation. Below is her exact wording, measurements, ingredients and ‘how to make’ process which can be found on this page in her blog (when you see an ‘I’ that refers to Rosie, not to me):

******************************************************************************************************************************

Whipped Vanilla Bean Frosting

Ingredients

3 sticks + 2 tablespoons (375 grams/13 ounces) unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes

3 cups sifted (480 grams/1 lb + 1 ounce) confectioners’ sugar (icing, powdered)

3 tablespoons (45 mL) milk

1 vanilla bean, scraped

1 teaspoon (5 mL) pure vanilla extract — I use Nielsen-Massey Vanillas 8-oz. Madagascar Bourbon Vanilla Extract

pinch of salt

Method

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 8 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.

2. Add remaining ingredients and mix on low speed for 1 minute, then on medium speed for 6 minutes. Frosting will be very light, creamy, and fluffy.

3. Best used right away.

4. You can eliminate the vanilla bean and use a total of 1 1/2 teaspoons of pure vanilla extract.

*Adapted from Donna Hay

***************************************************************************************************************************

So, as I was whipping the frosting for a total of 8 + 1 + 6 minutes, I got in a little workout too. I unfortunately do not own a Kitchen Aid mixer. I know – the shame! It’s on the lists of “I’d really like…” but hasn’t quite made the list of “I REALLY NEED…”. Yet. If you’re like me and use a hand mixer, prepare for a little arm workout. If you have a Kitchen Aid mixer…well good for you. What color is it?!?

Back to frosting and cake. Locate your cake plate, or in my case, an upside down pizza pan. (I meant to buy a large cake stand last weekend and totally spaced it out. The humor here is I own three mini cake plates (for perfume, picture frames etc.) but not one that’s cake size. I know – little weird.) Either way, as long as the surface you use is flat, you should be good.

Slather frosting all over the top of whichever cake you’d like to be the bottom. I was told I should have put MORE frosting on for this middle frosting layer, but this is up to you and much you LOVE frosting. Set your other cake on top, face down. This gives you a nice, flat surface for the top of the cake and makes it easy if you wish to decorate. Layer on the frosting on all sides and the top until your satisfied with the both the coverage and depth of frosting. I didn’t use all of the frosting, but there wasn’t too much leftover.

Decorate as you’d like or be like me and just use candles. Here’s the birthday boy:

And here he is, in vanilla heaven:

All in all, a delicious cake and frosting recipe and a successful birthday celebration was had. I highly recommend both the frosting recipe and the cake recipe from yesterday’s post. This is no ‘boring vanilla’ cake . I’m a chocolate girl and loved this cake. Trust me.

Now go make some cake!

%d bloggers like this: