Sunday, 23 December 2012

2002 - Sugar Cookies in a Snap(shot)

This morning I was saying, "Ahh!" Now I'm saying, "Argh!" And marveling at the late hour. I started early by slicing up the Lime Meltaway logs. Apart from taking a long time to bake (15 minutes), they're fairly easy. It's a shame so many of them kept breaking and I had to eat them! (heh heh!) I froze the baked cookies on sheets, then stacked them in holiday baking cups, before storing them in tins. They're tucked away in the freezer now till tray-loading time. Freezing before stacking should keep them from sticking together like they did last year. A golden, citrus-y yield of 5 1/2 dozen should be adequate.

Now, I must say, only the truly dedicated (demented?) bother to bake Sugar Cookies. They can be SO much work! What's more, Charlie woke up while I was cranking them out, making it very difficult to concentrate. I used Martha's recipe again - just a nice, plain Sugar Cookie. She calls for cooling cookies on parchment in the fridge or freezer before baking. It helps them keep their shape, which makes icing them easier.

I made a dozen each of trees, bells, holly leaves, snowmen, candy canes and stars (6 dozen), and used the scraps for a dozen and a half mini trees - they're so cute! Charlie helped: he super-imposed a star on a snowman, dusted a few stars with flour, and dropped his (wet!) candy cane in the flour canister!

Before I  put Charlie to bed, I mixed up some Royal Icing (using Just Whites powdered egg whites) and generally got everything together so I could start icing cookies in the morning. Once he went off, though, I figured I would be better off getting them done while he wasn't around. I was up till 2 a.m.

I used the outline-then-fill method, which works really well and isn't as messy as just slapping it on there. I also used my frosting tips and bags for the first time. It was all very professional, I must say.

I gave the candy canes stripes, of course. The trees have stars on top and multi-colored ornaments. The holly leaves have three red-hot berries each. The bells are red, with red hots for handles and silver-dragee clappers. And the blue stars have a silver dragee on each point.

By the time I finished all those cookies, I didn't even want to do all the mini trees that I thought were so cute earlier. But Neil came in and he put the decorations on after I frosted them white (they had yellow stars on top and green sugar sprinkles.) I left them out overnight to set, and froze them this morning. They looked so pretty and festive all over the table that I got Neil to take a photo.

It's 2 a.m. - I'm going to bed now!

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