Monday, September 27, 2010

September 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge #44: Get Creative!, My rainy and sunny day

"The sunny day"

Actually I don’t have any special occasion on September ^^. But when the host of this month challenge (Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!”), want all of us to get creative, I have to think about it again.

September is in the rainy season (but most of the time, I think Thailand has only summer season all year, haha), it’s raining almost every day. Even I love the smell and the refreshing feeling of after  the rain, but before raining the weather is the worst.

So, for me all I can think of this month is “Rain, rain and rain”, and I choose it as a theme for my creative decorating cookie. I start with the rain, that falling down and make all the place wet, everywhere is filled with mushroom ^^ (and all my mushrooms are edible, haha), and the snails are crawling across the lawn
But after that, when it’s stop, the sun will shine, the butterfly will begin to take the scene, they will fly all over the place ^^, and yes the mushroom still here to be our natural food!

This cookie is very easy to make and hold its shape very well, the cookie dough will be soften after taking out of the fridge but it’s not very fast. I have other recipe for cut out cookie that melt very easily, so if you are baking cookie for decorating, this recipe will be great. The taste of the cookie is good but accept it, it will become sweeter after you put the icing on ^^. Anyway I love it and have a lot of fun making these little rain drop, haha, so thank you Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!”.
Let’s take a look at my creative cookie, hope all of you enjoy it, and for me I hope that tomorrow it will be a sunny day, again!

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 rainy day"

"The mushrooms"

Basic Sugar Cookies
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies

200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean

a pinch of salt

• Cream together the butter, sugar, salt and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture.
• Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during
baking, losing their shape.
• 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 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
• Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.
• 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 30mins to an hour.
• Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
• Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in some cookies being baked before others are done.
• Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.

decorator's icing

3 tablespoons
meringue powder
6 tablespoons
warm water
confectioners' sugar

In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment beat the meringue powder; water; and confectioners' sugar at medium-low speed until the icing forms stiff peaks, about 7 minutes. Thin the icing to the consistency you want by adding a little warm water, a few drops at a time.

Thin some of the icing with water (adding it drop by drop) until it's thin enough to pipe the smooth line.
In another bowl thin some of the icing with water (adding it drop by drop) until it does not leave a trail when it drops from a spoon.

Outline the cookie and pour the thiner icing over the center. Spread the icing over the cookie .
Let the icing dry before decorating with more icing.

September 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge #44: 
Get Creative!, My rainy and sunny day



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