Daring Bakers, September: Decorating Sugar Cookies

Late, oh so late, because I hadn’t taken the photos off my camera, and I forgot where it was, only just found it. 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. I did it, it was fun.

Basic Sugar Cookies:
Approximately 50x 7cm biscuits.

200g Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
 
Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy.  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. 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. Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.

Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted). Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.

Royal Icing:
2½ – 3 cups Icing Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
10ml / 2 tsp Lemon Juice

Directions
Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.  Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites. Beat on low until combined and smooth. Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.

I bought some Wilton colourings for the icing, which included a black (impressive) and they turned out to be awesome (more impressive).  I might try and do more decorating with them soon, this was a lot of fun.

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