Monday, September 27, 2010

Fall Sugar Cookies

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.

The theme for this challenge was 'September'; we were allowed to create anything representing what the month meant to us.

For me, September represents a lot.  The end of summer, the beginning of a new school year, cooler days, with fall just around the corner.

September brings my favorite colors to life, with leaves painting a canvas full of warm, comforting hues.

September means big, beautiful sunflowers gracing the path of the farmer's market.

So I decided to capture everything I love about September - the nature, the colors, the warmth - on basic sugar cookies.

Basic Sugar Cookies
makes approximately 36 4" Cookies
½ cup + 6 tablespoons unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3 cups + 3 tablespoons all-purpose four, sifted
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preparation Instructions
Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming creamy in texture.
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.
Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.  Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 1/4 inch.  Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
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 30 minutes to an hour.
Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Bake until golden around the edges, about 10 to 12 minutes.  Leave to cool on cooling racks.  Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.

Royal Icing

3 cups confectioner’s sugar, unsifted
2 large egg whites
2 teaspoons lemon juice

Preparation Instructions
Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.

Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites.

Beat on low until combined and smooth.  Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.


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