I definitely think that giving cookies as a gift is just as good as giving flowers, cakes or anything else of that ilk, oh, apart from vouchers for a private yoga lesson followed by a Thai massage, now that beat cookies hands down I’m afraid. I know this because my mum and dad bought me a voucher just like this for my birthday last summer and I’m only just getting around to using it. Eight months of having twins have finally forced my shoulders to reside up around my ears and I am feeling the need for some relaxation on a global scale.
Anyway back to the cookies
Like the baby blue cupcakes that I made for my girlfriends recently, these cookies are fab for dishing out as gifts. These quantities make approximately 16 cookies for only a few pounds and you can get as creative as you like with the icing decoration. I chose to stick to a fill and some piped dots but that’s because I’m boring, it was the weekend and I had an episode of Grey’s Anatomy that I wanted to watch on my Sky box. I love my friends but please allow me to have my priorities straight!
This recipe is the usual 2,2,4,1 recipe that is great to remember if you like to bake at a moments notice.
200g of unsalted butter (softened, not straight from the fridge)
200g of caster/superfine sugar
400g of plain flour
- Heat the oven to 180c
- Cream the butter and sugar together until just combined in a mixer with the paddle attachment or in a bowl with a wooden spoon like my Mum used to
- Beat the egg and add that to the mixture, mix together
- Sieve the flour and add that to the mixture. Mix until the dough has formed a ball, coming away from the sides of the bowl
- Wrap in cling film and chill until the dough is cold. This is vital.
- When the dough ball has been thoroughly chilled, remove from the fridge and roll out to a thickness of half a centimetre or more if you want to make some fabulously chunky cookies. I would only recommend a thicker cookie if it is small in size though. For these heart shaped cookies half a centimetre is ample.
- Cut out the cookies in the shape of your choice, place on to a baking sheet and then place back in to the fridge for another thirty minutes. This is something I got from the fabulous Peggy Porschen. I had never chilled my cookies again after cutting them but it made a real difference and my cookies kept their shape very well.
- Keep a very close eye on the cookies as they bake. I bake mine until they are cream in colour as there is nothing worse than a burnt cookie. I don’t even allow them to turn golden.
- Remove from the oven, allow to cool and then you can ice them.
To ice the cookies -
- Add 400g of sifted royal icing to the mixer.
- Add a few drops of your chosen colour
- Add water one tablespoon at a time, until you have made icing with soft peaks. This means that when you pull the paddle out of the bowl the icing stays in a peak on the paddle for a moment before slowly starting to droop.
- Place four tablespoons of icing in to a piping bag with a No.4 nozzle and pipe an outline around the edge of the cookie
- When you have finished outlining the cookies return any left over icing to the bowl and add some more water to the bowl, slowly, until you have icing with a now runny consistency
- Using a teaspoon fill the center of the cookie with icing. The outline that you piped with the thicker, soft-peak icing, will hold the fill in place.
- To decorate the cookies further you will need to make some more soft peak icing and decorate in a manner you see fit. But do wait until the fill has dried completely.
So it’s Valentine’s Weekend here at mine. Robert has asked for a certain book and I’ve asked for a ring from Tiffany’s.
I have Robert’s book on express delivery from Amazon but I’m yet to see any small blue boxes appear in his wardrobe.
It would seem that one of us is going to be dissapointed.
That person is going to be me, of that I am 100% certain.
No harm in asking though, eh? I mean the catalogue arrived, I browsed through it, saw what I would like and asked for it. Robert looked at me like I was wearing my knickers on my head as a fashion accessory and carried on doing what he was doing.
Have a wonderful weekend. I love you and wish for all the peace in the world for everyone who reads this today. Peace, ahhhhhhh, nothing like it really!
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