Sunday, January 30, 2011

Rapunzel cookies

My friend Ginger asked me to make some cookies for her daughter's Rapunzel themed party. She had made invitations with a braid of hair coming out of a window so I told her I would try to do that on a cookie!

I couldn't think of a way to do it with Royal Icing so I made some fondant (recipe here) and it was so much fun! I love making fondant, well.....ever since I found out you can make it in a mixer. I tried making some by hand last year for my son's birthday cake and it was so hard and I said I would never make it again! But I found this recipe and technique and I have a whole new love for fondant. And it tastes yummy! The mixer does the work for you and all you do is knead it a little bit and you're done!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cookie dough prep

Ok so I know I've said I'll work on a tutorial for decorating cookies and I hope to soon, but I thought I'd share how I prepare my cookie dough to cut out shapes and bake.

I can't remember where I found this idea but if I did I would give them credit!!! It's probably my most time-saving tip/advice and it just makes rolling out the dough a lot easier

So I make the cookie dough and right after I mix it, I roll it out. I tear off some wax paper, put half of the dough in the middle...

...then put another piece on top of it and roll it out.

And yes, I use a PVC pipe to roll my dough! I found these spacers (the green things on the end) at William's Sonoma and they wouldn't fit on my rolling pin. So my husband got a piece of PVC pipe cut at Lowe's and that works for me!

The spacers are really great. Your dough is completely even and it comes in 3 different sizes. I use the thickest one, probably 1/4 of an inch or so. It makes the cookies really thick and soft.

I put them on cookies sheets and put them in the freezer to harden. If I have a batch to do, I make the dough in the morning and then that afternoon when my son is napping, I bake the cookies.

To cut them out is a little tricky. I pull one piece of dough out of the freezer at a time. Then I turn it upside down and pull off the top piece of wax paper. I put a little bit of flour on the dough and spread it evenly. Then put the wax paper back on and flip it over again. Since the dough has been in the freezer, it shouldn't break or anything but just be really careful. Then take the wax paper off and you're ready to cut out! Since the dough won't warm much since you're not rolling it out, it will usually stick inside the cookie cutter and you can transfer them to your cookie sheet.

If they've been out of the freezer for very long at all, I like to stick the cut out cookie dough shapes in the freezer for just a few minutes before I bake them. That helps them to keep their shape in the oven.

As far as the scraps, I just roll them into a ball and start all over again. But this time I put flour on the wax paper and then put the dough in the middle. Then put another piece of wax paper on top and roll again. I usually just cut out the shapes and then pull up the remaining dough and put them in the freezer until they harden enough to bake.

I hope this made sense. I like doing it this way as opposed to wrapping the dough and putting it in the fridge and then rolling it out when you're ready to bake. When I did it like that, it would be really hard to roll the dough out and the more you roll it and mess with the dough, the tougher the cookie will be when you eat them, as with any kind of dough.

Happy Birthday Ella!

Sock Monkey birthday party

Happy Birthday Harper!