Thursday, May 20, 2010

Happy Flower Cookies for a Rainy Day!

Since it was raining all weekend last week I decided to make some yummy sugar cookies to brighten our day! Plus, I wanted to try out a royal icing technique I had found online. The cookies were DELICIOUS! I usually roll them out to about 1/8 inch. However I tried making them a little thicker this time and rolled them to about 1/4 inch. They were so moist they almost fell apart and the flavor was just sweet enough! I used almond extract for the flavoring and it was perfect. Here they are just out of the oven:

 After they had cooled I started outlining the cookies with royal icing. This is the technique I had read online. When you outline the cookies and allow the outline to dry before flooding the cookie, it will give a more crisp appearance to the decoration.

I noticed as I was outlining the cookies that the icing was a much different consistency than I expected. It wasn't shiny at all and was actually pretty thick. I had a difficult time squeezing it out of the icing tip (I used a #2 Wilton tip).You can probably tell by my not-so-pretty outlines! :)

After the outlines were completed and dried, it was time to flood the icing and fill in the cookies! The only problem was I had all of the icing for both colors in the bags. Since I didn't want to go through the mess of scooping it out of the bags, mixing some water in and putting it back into the bags, I decided I'd just use this as an opportunity to try out some of my icing tips! I used a small star tip to make the centers of the flowers a little more textured and used a #3 tip to swirl and fill in the petals.

With Royal Icing you have to give it plenty of time to dry before trying to stack the cookies or wrap them. I allowed them to stay out all night and dry. By the morning they were ready to be packed up! I was pretty happy with the end result as far as flavor and consistency were concerned. However, I will try to be sure to not put all of the frosting in the icing bags next time so I can actually use the flooding technique and end up with a much more uniform batch of cookies!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Creamy Chocolate Frosting

These cupcakes are just plain and simple, chocolatey goodness! I used my own version of Devil's Food mix (with a little vanilla pudding mix) and made creamy chocolate frosting using evaporated milk, powdered sugar, cocoa powder, butter and vanilla. I was super excited with the consistency and color, it was perfect for decorative frosting! The flavor was a bit of a disappointment though. I prefer a rich chocolate frosting and it had a little bit of a "fake" sweet taste to me. Next time I think I'll use my other recipe for rich chocolate frosting! 

Rich Chocolate Frosting

2 C. butter (softened)
9 C. confectioner's sugar
2 1/2 C. cocoa powder
1 t. vanilla extract
1 C. milk

In a large bowl, cream butter. Gradually beat in confectioner's sugar, cocoa, and vanilla. Slowly add milk until it reaches your preferred consistency.

I was also super excited about the new icing tip I purchased in order to make the cupcakes pretty. I felt like one of the only bakers out there who didn't own one yet, so I had to get it! I highly recommend it if you don't already own the 1M Wilton Icing tip. Your cupcakes will look much more professional! 

Overall, I was pretty happy with these cupcakes. They were a big hit at my Scentsy Party and everyone ate them up! So I guess I'll take that as a compliment... :)