Rolled & cut sugar cookies may seem evil,
but here are a few simple tricks:
1. I use Ina Garten's shortbread (lack of leavener prevents much rise) and
this royal icing recipe (calls for meringue powder, not egg whites- easy peasy).
2. Try rolling pin bands (consistent thickness is helpful!), and roll between layers of plastic wrap, so you avoid adding lots of extra flour.
3. Dough should be well-chilled throughout the whole process. I like to stick my rolled out dough in the freezer for 15 minutes right before baking.
4. To get even crisper edges, dip the cookie cutter in warm water and cut again immediately AFTER removing baked dough from the oven. You have to work fast!
5. I use gel colors to tint my icing. It's potent! You only need a dab.
6. Plastic squeeze bottles are so much easier than piping bags. Use a fine tip for outlining and a slightly wider one for filling in ("flooding").
7. Work assembly line style, and don't rush! It takes lots of time & practice. Allow drying time in between layers/colors.
8. And finally: Clean the kitchen as you go, so your husband won't ban you from future baking for friends.
Monday, March 28, 2011