Monday, December 13, 2010

A Tale of Three Cookies

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I love making cut out sugar cookies for Christmas. And after seeing this fun post I thought I'd try decorating them the fancy way. I usually make mine thin and crispy and brush on a light powdered sugar glaze to hold the sprinkles.

That's the way I made them with my mom all those growing up years. I have such wonderful memories of baking together at Christmas. Thanks mom for getting me hooked on baking so I can now enjoy the fun of doing the same with my children. We should have a baking with Grandma Kiki day some time. The girls would love that! But after your broken arm heals first.

Say, did I ever tell you all why my girls call my mom Kiki? When they were one or so, she tried to get them to say her name, Jeanie, and it came out "Kiki" so it stuck. We all thought that was pretty fun, so she's now Kiki.

Back to the cookies. Yesterday I tried this recipe, the one they made at the ranch. And it didn't turn out for me at all. Not finding any help as to why the cookies didn't retain their shape, and not wanting to waste any more butter, I scrapped the whole idea. But, as they say "tomorrow is another day" so I tried again, with a different recipe. I also armed myself with a new oven thermometer this morning, in case that was the culprit. But my oven seems to be just fine. I remembered Amanda's baking blog and thought I should try out her new sugar cookie recipe. So I did.

Now, let's take a look again and I'll tell you what happened.

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Left {Too big} The first 30 some cookies started out like this. They puffed up. Again. Grrr...

Middle {Crumby edges} Then I read a comment that Amanda wrote somewhere that she sometimes takes her cookie cutter and cuts out the freshly baked cookie again. Do this while they are still warm and then let them cool on a wire rack. But then the edges look crumby (pun intended). I did this for the ones that lost their shape the most and were beyond recognition. Hopefully with icing I won't care too much about the crumby edges. Here's a close-up of those edges. They kind of look like they've been chewed on.

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Right {Just right} The final tray I baked (of course it had to be the last one), of the 40 cookies we made, I decided to put in the freezer for 5 minutes before baking it. That's what the end of the recipe I tried the day before had me doing, but it didn't make a difference for those cookies. But with this 2nd recipe, it was perfection. They did get a little brown around the edges, but that's because I had to chase down a little boy to get his pull-up back on and couldn't get the tray out right away. They didn't puff up and the edges look great. I can't wait to make another batch next week.

Now, I'm also wondering if perhaps I just can't get myself to roll them out thick enough. They look pretty thin in these pics, but these are actually twice as thick as I'm used to making them. So to me they seemed thick at the time. I'll experiment with that next week when I make more. I'm determined to get the perfect sugar cookie down.

I leave you with my inspiration for decorating. I'll be back later this week to show you our pretties. I'll be using mostly red and aqua. I am ready to flood some icing! Wish me luck!

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BTW~these images were found by searching "decorated sugar cookies" and then clicking on "images".

3 comments:

Young Adventures... said...

Can't wait to see how they turn out! I'm sure they will be gorgeous! I might need to make some cut-outs for valentine's day.

Kim G said...

Angel, you are so ambitious! I have the BEST sugar cut-out cookie recipe, they turn out perfect every time. hint: almond extract... let me know if you woudld like the recipe. guarantee you will think these are the best!

Angel said...

Kim, I would love your recipe too. Will try it next week. Just e-mail it. Thanks!