Monday, September 27, 2010

Daring Bakers and some sugar cookie pops from The Swamp! Go Gators!

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.

Thank you Mandy for our first challenge of the fall! It's always so much fun when a recipe is chosen that basically gives you a blank canvas to get super creative with decorating your challenge. The only two things that were a must for this challenge was the sugar cookie recipe and our cookies had to be September themed. Or to be more exact, what we think of when we think of September. In our house September means one thing, Gator season starts! No I don't mean hunting gators. Although my BSM (Big Sexy Man) and I do enjoy some good gator meat every now and then. Not on game days though because we wouldn't wanna jinx em or anything. Duh! So anyways I obviously mean college football starts. Every Saturday from now to December is dedicated to football. BSM wears one of his many Gator t-shirts or hoodies. I too gear up with a t-shirt or my fav Gator hoodie and of course I ALWAYS wear,
drumroll please,
Gator underwear!
Not actual made of gators underwear, but cute lil boyshorts in blue and orange with the signature Gator symbol on them. Go ahead and laugh, but every time I wear em they win. So there! Well now that you know what kinda panties I wear every Saturday I guess we'll move straight on to the recipe. As you can see I chose to make mine into sugar cookie pops. Yum!

Preparation Time

30 minutes: Making dough & rolling
1 hour min: Refrigeration
8-15 minutes: Baking per tray depending on size of cookies

Basic Sugar Cookies

Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies

200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 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 in texture.
Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during baking, losing their shape.
• 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.
Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoid flour flying everywhere.
• 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.
Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.
• 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.
Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in some cookies being baked before others are done.
Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated cookies can last up to a month.

Royal Icing

315g – 375g / 11oz – 13oz / 2½ - 3 cups Icing / Confectioner’s / Powdered Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
10ml / 2 tsp Lemon Juice
5ml / 1 tsp Almond Extract, optional

• Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined.
Tip: It’s important that the bowls/spoons/spatulas and beaters you use are thoroughly cleaned and grease free.
• Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites.
Tip: I’ve listed 2 amounts of icing sugar, the lesser amount is good for a flooding consistency, and the larger amount is for outlining, but you can add even more for a much thicker consistency good for writing. If you add too much icing sugar or would like to make a thinner consistency, add very small amounts of water, a few drops at a time, until you reach the consistency you need.
• Beat on low until combined and smooth.
• Use immediately or keep in an airtight container.
Tip: Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.

Decorating Your Cookies: Royal Icing

The most important thing when it comes to decorating with Royal Icing is the consistency.
There are two ways of flooding your cookies. Some like to do the outline with a thicker icing and then flood with a thinner icing. Some like to use the same icing to do both which saves time and you don’t have to have two different piping bags for each colour you’re using.

The Same Consistency Method
• Mix your royal icing according to the recipe/instructions
• Drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing and count to 10
• If the surface becomes smooth between 5 & 10 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency.
Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, do the 10 second test, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat, etc.
Tip: To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 10 second test.

Two Different Consistencies Method
• Mix your royal icing according to the recipe/instructions.
• Separate into 2 different bowls, one lot of icing for outlining, the other for flooding.
• For the outlining icing, drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing.
• If the surface becomes smooth at around 10 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency.
Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, count to 10 seconds, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat, etc.
Tip: To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 10 second test.
• For the flooding/filling icing, drag a knife through the surface of the Royal Icing.
• If the surface becomes smooth at around 3-4 seconds, the icing is at the correct consistency.
Tip: If your icing is too thick, thin it by adding a few drops of water. Mix, count to 3-4 seconds, then if it’s still too thick, add a few more drops of water, repeat, etc.
Tip: To thicken your icing, add small amounts of icing sugar until thick enough for the 3-4 second test.

This Saturday the Crimson Tide better be prepared because The Swamp is comin to Bama!
Go Gators!!!
Stay tuned for my next baking adventure!
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Joseph's Grainery Recipes said...

Too cute!

Jeanne said...

I love the cookie pops! Great job decorating!

Christina said...

Thank you! They were such fun to make :)

Peechy said...

nice!! love the colours and must make some cookie pops

chef_d said...

What a great idea to make them sugar cookie pops! Great job on this challenge!

Lori said...

Such a great idea- I wish I had thought of it. My kids go crazy for this kinda stuff.

alice said...

Love the cookie-pops! Well done on a great interpretation of the challenge.

tehstotehara said...

Awesome! And nothing wrong with supporting your team with some cute undies! Haha.

I love the cookie pop idea!

Suzler said...

Oh, this made me laugh! I have lucky underwear that I wear for exams/job interviews, so I understand. ;)

Fantastic cookies! I love the idea of making cookie pops (so much more fun to eat) & they look brilliant. Go Gators!

Claire said...

Cute...I guess it's hard to get that true gator orange and blue. The pops, I'm sure, were quite fun to eat!

Cheap Ethnic Eatz said...

Love it as pops, great idea. Can I have one hehe?

Renata said...

Love your cookie lollies! Funny Gator story! Hahaha
Thanks for your lovely comment on my post!

Marcellina said...

love the sugar cookie pops! What sort of sticks do you use? Thanks for your kind comments on my blog!

Mandy said...

I love your cookie pops! And if your wearing Gator underwear helps them win, then you'd better carry on wearing them! :)

Thank you for taking part of the September challenge.

Anonymous said...

Love the Gator's colours, great idea making them pops :)

Ruth H. said...

My parents live in North Florida, so I had to compliment your cookies!! I love the brightness you got in the colors, and the cookie-pops are awesome!! Great job on this challenge!

Mary said...

Very creative! Love the pops, and the artwork too!

Caroline said...

Love the lollipops!

Leandra said...

Too cute yours cookie pops!

Anonymous said...

LOL about Gator underwear! Your Gator cookie pops are such a cute idea. I wonder where I'd be able to find lollipop sticks in Australia - hmm?! Great job on the challenge!!! - Jen =)

Deeba PAB said...

C.U.T.E. LOL, I love what you did with the challenge! Go Gators! Go Christina!

Cath said...

Hope your BSM liked his cookies!!! They look great!

lo81 said...

Sugar cookie lollipops, what a great idea! Well done on this challenge. GO Gators ;-)!

Kris Ngoei said...

Cookie pops, fabulous idea! Cute cookies...

Sawadee from Bangkok,

Fabi said...

Hi Christina, I love your cookie pops, they're so cute! Thank you for your visit, cheers from Fabi in Madrid-Spain.

Aparna said...

Your cookies looks good. Maybe they'll prove lucky too and you can bake some every time there's a game. :)

Happy Cook said...

They looks absloutley beautiful .

Christina said...

Peechy - Thank you :)

chef d - Thank you :) Cookie pops make cookies that much more fun.

Lori - Definitely would be great for kids. A fun project to do together.

alice - Thank you :) I wanted to do something really fun with this challenge.

tehstotehara - lol. My feelings exactly :)

Suzler - I feel everyone needs some kinda lucky charm ;) definitely more fun to eat.

Claire - Yeah getting the exact colors was hard so I had to settle for the blue being a little off. But that's ok because they were so much fun.

Cheap Ethnic Eatz - If you're in central Illinois stop on by :)

Renata - Thank you :) I really loved looking at all of your amazing cookies. My BSM's daughter would go nuts for the hello kitty ones!

Marcellina - I just went to Michaels which is a craft supply store here in the states. And they have everything from craft supplies to baking supplies. I used an 8 inch lollipop stick.

Mandy - I plan on it :) Thank you again for a great challenge!

Zita - Thank you :)

Ruth H. - I hope they're Gator fans :) lol. Thank you :) They were a lot of fun for sure.

Mary - Thank you :) I loved that stamper you used for your cookies!

Caroline - Thank you :)

Leandra - Thank you :)

tmrose - Thank you :) Not sure where you'd find them in Australia, but in the states we have Michaels which is a craft/ baking supply store. You can also probably find them online.

Deeba PAB - Thank you :) Your post was such a sweet and beautiful tribute.

Cath - Thank you :) He loved his cookies! He was so excited when I told him what they were gonna be.

lo81 - Thank you :)

Kris Ngoei - Thank you :) Your cookies are amazingly pretty!

Fabi - Thank you :)

Aparna - Oh man BSM would think he'd died and gone to heaven if he got cookies for every game. lol :)

Happy Cook - Thank you :)

Catalina said...

These cookies pops are a great idea! And the football theme is pretty cool, too :)

frankie said...

cute pops! and great royal icing tutorial!!

UFRV said...

Loved the pop idea, definitely useful for showing them around during the games! They look terrific!

Linda V @ Bubble and Sweet said...

Good work on your Gator cookies, I love seeing all the different theme's September has brought. Wish your team the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Your cookie pops are incredible! What a fun idea! I am seeing the need for cookie pops in my near future. So, do you just lay the dough over the sticks and press down to adhere?

Jenni said...

Cookie Pops! So cute! You did a great job on this challenge!!

Beth said...

Cute cookies!

Christina said...

Catalina - Thank you :) Football is the only theme for us from September to December. lol

frankie - Thank you :) The icing tutorial is all Mandy. She was such a great hostess this month giving us great links for tips and techniques.

UFRV - Definitely a game day dessert :)

Linda - Thank you :) Me too, it's so much fun seeing what ideas everyone else came up with!

outoftheoven - Thank you :) Cookie pops are good for the soul :) Yup just lay them over the sticks. I even attached a small piece of dough to the stick first before pressing the cookie on.

Jenni - Thank you :) I want to get a cookie stamper and try making them like yours.

Beth - Thank you :)

Lovliebutterfly said...

So cute! Nice work on the decoration! :) These are the kind of challenges that make you feel like a kid again!

shaz said...

Very cute! And since I don't have any allegiances, being in a totally different country and all, I'll cheer for you. Go Gators! :)

Danielle said...

Cute cookies! Great idea to make them into a sucker. They're a lot easier to eat that way. And more fun too.

Lisa said...

Dantastic idea and the Fla Gator colors are so vibrant!! Beautifully done!!

Anonymous said...

You crack me up. And I love the cookie pops idea.

Christina said...

Lovliebutterfly - Thank you :) Absolutely! It felt like when you're little and making cookies with your mom for the holidays :)

shaz - Thank you :)Go Gators!

Danielle - Definitely more fun to eat! Thank you :)

Lisa - Thank you :) It was hard getting the blue to match but I still love how they turned out.

annmartina - Why thank you :) I love it if I can give someone a good laugh and a tasty recipe. lol

Penny said...

They look great! How did you get the sticks to stay on the cookies?

veena krishnakumar said...

too cute:-)

Jacque said...

LOL, what a fun post. Your gator enthusiasm really shines through. If you were an Ohio sports fan you might be my husband's best friend! Anyway, nice job on the cookies, they look fantstic!

Jacque said...

LOL, what a fun post. Your gator enthusiasm really shines through. If you were an Ohio sports fan you might be my husband's best friend! Anyway, nice job on the cookies, they look fantstic!

Christina said...

Penny - Thank you :) To make sure they attached I wrapped a small chunk of dough around the stick and then lightly pressed my circles onto the sticks.

veena krishnakumar - Thank you :)

Jacque - lol thank you :) Where did you get those cool edible markers?

Baker at Law said...

Your cookie pops are cute. Great minds think alike. I thought I was looking at my own kitchen for a minute when I saw your counter tops in the background and cookie pops. Job well done!

Emily said...

How cute!! These would be perfect for Halloween. Must try soon!

Anonymous said...

They looks so cute! I love them, and the fact that they're cookie pops :D That's such a great idea :)

Dee D.

Anita said...

love the lollipops - great idea!

Todd M said...

I love these - my mom used to make them like that.

Gnightgirl said...

Hey Christina! Met you at the Jason Aldean concert, and am just getting around to putting my posts up! I have a few more to do, and will mention you and Ryan, and this cool blog in one to come. So fun to "accidentally" meet a fellow blogger!

Great posts and photos, by the way. Everything looks so pretty-pretty...and yummy!

Christina said...

Baker At Law - Thank you :) And great minds definitely think alike.

Emily - I know you'll make some kind of delicious cookie on a stick. Everything you make looks great.

Dee D. - Thank you :) Cookies can be so much fun!

Anita - Thank you :)

Todd M - Thank you :) I love those moments when you make something or someone else makes something and it brings back childhood memories.

Gnightgirl - Thank you sooooooo much for the shout out on your blog! Very sorry it's taken me so long to reply back, but all day morning sickness has kept me from food blogging for the last couple of months. It was so great to meet a fellow blogger at an awesome concert! Thank you for the wonderful comments :)