A few months ago Ms. Kumquat sent me a note requesting my favorite sugar cookie recipe. She thought that as her baking-est friend, surely I must have something I could send her. Embarrassingly I had nothing. Despite all of the baking I do, sugar cookies are something I had avoided. While I love other varieties of homemade cookies, homemade sugar cookies have always hit a flat note with me. They are usually too hard, with a hint of cardboard flavoring. Several failed attempts and I swore them off forever.
As such, it was with much curiosity that I greeted this month's Daring Baker's challenge. I had taken a pass on the challenges over the past few months as my new job and our vacation kept me more than occupied. Who knew that a sugar cookie challenge would bring me back? Decorated sugar cookies were something that I had always wanted to try and this was the perfect opportunity. I just needed to figure out what I would do with all of the cookies.
|I made just one elephant. For some reason the thought of decorating an entire batch of elephants seemed overwhelming,|
At first I thought Aaron could just take them to work. Maybe I could decorate the cookies with little dollar signs or something equally ridiculous but appropriate for his office... perhaps a few elephants. A sole elephant cutter is the only non-round cookie cutter I have. Aaron didn't seem completely thrilled about having to tote a bunch of "cute" cookies into his office. Fortunately a friend freed him from that duty by planning a small party - the perfect venue for disposing of a batch of baked goods.
To say the cookies, themselves, were easy to make is an understatement. It might have been the easiest recipe I have ever tried... except for the part that said to add "any flavorings you are using". For some reason I interpreted that to mean "pick a random flavor and add it", so I accidentally dumped in a TON of cinnamon. Oops. Fortunately I don't think anyone at the party noticed, as the cookies disappeared quickly and nobody complained about the flavor. Maybe they were being nice?
I found the icing to be a little more challenging. It was my first time working with royal icing and I was totally unprepared. For some reason I assumed that decorating would be a piece of cake - the icing would come out of the tip smoothly and slowly. Of course the opposite was true. I found the icing to be runny and difficult to manage. It drizzled out of the tip and ran over the edges of the cookies once applied. My photos are misleading because I only took photos of the best ones.
Despite the mishaps, this was one of the more enjoyable challenges I have undertaken. I would call my first attempt at decorated sugar cookies an almost success, and certainly something I will repeat.