Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sugar cookies

I am back after another long break, with more vows to be regular on the blog. After a very hectic Eid, and much more hectic days at the university, I finally have found time to blog about my very satisfying experiment with sugar cookies.

I made these cookies as a gift for relatives for Eid (a religious celebration marking the end of Ramazan). It is a cultural tradition to give sweets to friends and relatives when one visits their home. I made more than 100 cookies for this event, and am really happy that they were really appreciated and liked by all.

Here comes the recipe with a sorry to those who have been asking for it since ages. The cookie dough has been adapted from Bake at 350. This is such a wonderful cookie dough as it does not need to be refrigerated at any point, even though refrigerating it won't really hurt the cookie. The cookies have been decorated with royal icing, tinted with food colors. I used a paper cone (made from baking paper) to outline the cookies and filled the cookies with a spoon and toothpick.



Sugar cookies:

3 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 cup sugar
1 cup ghee (or butter)
1 egg

In a bowl, mix flour and baking powder.

In another bowl, put sugar and add ghee/butter. Beat until light and creamy. Beat in the egg. Add four in 3 portions, mixing after each addition. If you are using ghee and dough does not come together, add a little more. If dough is too sticky, add a little flour. But do not disturb the ratios by a large quantity.

Preheat oven at 350 F/180C. When flour is mixed, roll out the dough into a 1/4" thick disc. Cut cookies into desired shapes. Bake cookies on an ungreased sheet at 350 F/ 180 C for 10 - 12 minutes.

Let the cookies cool completely before decorating them with royal icing.

Royal Icing:

1 egg white
115 - 125 gm icing sugar
1 tsp lemon juice

Beat egg white and lemon juice until just combined. Add icing sugar slowly and keep beating until desired consistency is reached. Add desired food colors.

For outlining cookies, do the 10 sec test. Swirl a spoon in the icing and see if the surface gets smooth in 5 - 10 sec. If it take longer, the icing is too thick. If it takes lesser, it is too thin. Act accordingly by either adding more sugar or a drop or two of water to reach the desired consistency.

For filling in the cookie, thin the icing by adding a couple of drops of water until it is easy to spread the icing on the cookie.

Let the icing dry before adding more designs if you want the designs to stand out. Make sure you keep the icing left in a bowl covered properly while you are decorating the cookies as it dries out very quickly. For more decorating ideas, visit Bake at 350.

Happy Baking!!!

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