Thursday, July 30, 2009

Girls Only Party

The following sweets are brought to you by Rachel's Lingerie Shower. I have to admit, because I'm still working on my piping skills, this was the most difficult cake I've ever made. It turned out to be a BIG learning experience for me, having never done anything like this before. I also made cookies, and I'm quite proud of them, especially since we didn't have a cookie cutter and so cut them out by hand, (the hubby helped.)

Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream

And here are the cookies...
A selection of my favorites

More cookies!

The cookie recipe comes from Nigella Lawson, (who doesn't just adore her?) I used Wilton's Royal Icing recipe instead, only because I was more familiar with it.

Nigella's Cut-Out Cookies
Yield: 25-30 cookies
6 tablespoons soft unsalted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 to 3 tablespoons just-boiled water
1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
Food coloring, preferably pastes
Special equipment: cookie cutters

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Cream the butter and sugar together until pale and moving towards moussiness, then beat in the egg and vanilla. In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt. Add the dry ingredients to the butter and eggs, and mix gently but surely. If you think the finished mixture is too sticky to be rolled out, add more flour, but do so sparingly as too much will make the dough tough. Form into a fat disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour.

Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place disk of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then roll it out to a thickness of about 1/4-inch. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on 2 parchment or silpat lined baking sheets.

Bake for 8 to 12 minutes; obviously it depends on the shape you're using and whether they are on the upper or lower shelf, though you can swap them around after about 5 minutes. When they're ready expect them to be tinged a pronounced gold around the edges; they'll be softish still in the middle, but set while they cool.

Remove the cookies with a flat, preferably flexible, spatula to a wire rack. When they are fully cooled, you can get on with the icing.
Put a couple of tablespoons of not-quite-boiling water into a large bowl, add the sieved confectioners sugar and mix together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Color,as desired. I think pastes are much better than liquid, not just because the range of colors is better but because they don't dilute the icing as they tint. Ice cooled cookies, as desired.


~Telah said...

Wow! You did an incredible job on the cake and the cookies! I'm sure they were a huge hit!

Fresh Local and Best said...

These are beautiful designs on your cookies!

Melissa said...

Wow! Great Job :)