Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Trick or Treat?! Is that really even a question!?

I mean seriously, during Halloween, when treats are flowing abundantly I think the "Trick" part of that phrase is meaningless:) And have I got a "Treat" for you! After making these sugar cookies for last month's Daring Baker's Challenge, I've been in the mood to make some more sugar cookies, but wanted to try a different recipe. I stumbled across the site Karen's Cookies, it's a great site to look at if you want to see cookie decorating tutorials and is also a great site for different cookie recipes. I decided to try her Basic Rolled Sugar Cookies, the recipe had butter, sugar, almond flavoring, and an extra egg yolk, how could that be bad? It was absolutely delicious. The only thing is, it's not the BEST recipe that holds the shape of the cookie cutter. This recipe is much better for that. But it's still ok, it holds the shape pretty good but not perfectly. These cookies will turn out to be a softer sugar cookie, which I like.

Now for the frosting. I love the look of cookies decorated with royal icing, but I love the taste of buttercream. I found on Karen's Cookies a recipe for Meringue Powder Buttercream, it's supposed to harden on the top of the cookie so you can still stack them if needed, but have less of a crunch than royal icing. Here's my review of this buttecream: I felt it didn't harden much more than a regular buttercream, but it tasted great. I'm kind of torn as to whether or not I will make it again, I don't see the point with going to the trouble making it when I could just make a simple buttercream. But we will see-maybe I will make it again and like it better the second time around.

Now as for the look of these cookies-don't judge me:) I only had peach food coloring as opposed to a bright vibrant orange, so these cookies weren't' the most appealing Ive ever made, but they certainty tasted great. And with a fussy almost 6 month old begging for my attention, I did the best I could at making them cute :) So if you are going to a fun Halloween Party this week these would be great cookies to take!

Basic Rolled Sugar Cookies
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup superfine sugar, or granulated sugar, processed in blender or food processor for 30 seconds
  • ½ tsp. Salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. Almond extract or emulsion, optional (I added 3/4 tsp. almond emulsion)
  • 2 ½ cups all-purpose flour.
Cream butter, sugar and salt until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes with mixer set at medium speed . Add yolk, beat well. Add whole egg, vanilla and optional almond extract and beat until well-incorporated. Add flour; beat at low speed just until flour is mixed in; do not overmix. Divide dough in halves or thirds and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate until firm, at least one hour and up to 2 days.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Dust work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll dough to 1/4" thick, sprinkling with additional flour as needed to prevent sticking. Cut into desired shapes and place on parchment or silicone-lined pans. Bake in preheated oven until cookies appear dry on the surface and are light golden brown on the edges, about 10 minutes (very large cookies may take up to 12 or 13 minutes). Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks and cool completely before decorating.

Meringue Powder Buttercream
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 T. meringue powder
  • ½ cup shortening (I used butter, I am a firm believe the shortening should never be used in a frosting!)
  • 4 ½ cups powdered sugar (1 lb. 3 oz. If you have a scale)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract (use clear vanilla if you want a pure white icing)
  • ¼ tsp. almond extract
Place half of the powdered sugar and the meringue powder in the bowl of an electric mixer. Whisk together well. Turn on mixer (use whip attachment) and, while motor is running, slowly stream in the water. Mix until everything is incorporated. Turn mixer to high speed and whip until stiff peaks form. Add flavorings and mix well. Change to paddle attachment (for stand mixer) or dough hook (for Bosch). If using a hand mixer, use the same beaters you were using before. Add remaining powdered sugar and shortening and whip for 2-3 minutes more.

Note: Don't skimp on the whipping time after adding the shortening. You really need to whip it well to prevent separation later.


  1. Nope, not a question...I'll choose treat every time! Just found you on the Hive and love your blog! I'm adding you to my reader and will catch up~

    Those cookies are sooo cute. i love your blog it's definitely my favorite, but it makes me soooo hungry hehe. miss you girl!