Tuesday, October 28, 2008
What Does Love Look Like?
Here is a confession. I don't really like to make cookies. Yes, you are at the right blog - Dana Treat - the woman who is a personal chef and who brings her clients a "treat" each week because she likes to bake. I do like to bake, I just don't like to bake cookies.
It seems that most people who bake start out with cookies and I'm not really sure why that is. Perhaps it's because that is what they did with their mother in the kitchen and is what got them interested. That is how my baking journey started. But really, I think cookies are much harder and more temperamental than most cakes. The fact that you have to form them individually, do all kinds of switching of baking sheets once in the oven to insure even baking, and that there is still so much room for error, just makes me feel hopeless before I even start. But people love cookies and so I bake them.
My very least favorite type to make is holiday cut out cookies. While this dough is dead simple to put together, it needs to be rolled out between layers of wax paper and then requires time in the refrigerator. No matter how long I leave that dough in there, it totally sticks to my cookie cutters and forces me to use a thin spatula to transfer the cookies to the sheet. Even then, some don't make it and I have to re-roll that dough into the scraps. The scraps get smooshed together, rolled out again, refrigerated again, cut out again, transferred to the baking sheets again, ad nauseum. I only ever have the patience to do it twice before I chuck the dough and concentrate on the icing and decorating.
Because this whole process takes much longer than I would like, by the time I get to the "fun" part, I'm done. I used to decorate each cookie individually with charming sprinkle patterns but now I just rush through it.
Now, you might think that I go through this laborious process for my kids. Admittedly, they love these cookies - who wouldn't? They are very sweet and cute looking. But really, the person who loves them most is my husband and that is who I make them for.
Easy Powdered Sugar Icing
Adapted from The All American Cookie Book
Makes enough for approx. 50 3 inch cookies
I'm not giving out the recipe for the actual cookies because clearly I need to find a new one - one that is not so tricky and sticky to work with. But I think this icing works great - just the right consistency and hardens up just right.
1 16 oz. box powdered sugar, plus more as needed
2 tsp. light corn syrup
1/8 tsp. vanilla, almond, or lemon extract (optional)
Liquid food coloring (optional)
Using a whisk, mix together the powdered sugar, corn syrup, extract (if using), and 3 tablespoons warm water in a large bowl. Adjust the consistency as needed with more water (if too thick) or more sugar (if too thin). Using a small spatula or table knife, spread the icing on the cookies. Be sure to allow to rest 6 hours before storing.