Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Arctic Cookies: Polar Bears and Penguins

Arctic Cookies: Polar Bears and Penguins

Arctic Cookies: Polar Bears and Penguins
I love winter! The cold weather makes me feel vibrant and alive. I also love polar bears and penguins and baked some vanilla sugar cookies this past weekend. It is finally cold in New York, and we got a dusting of snow Sunday. Hurray for cold arctic weather. I had dough saved from a previous recipe in my freezer and just thawed it overnight. The recipe below is for a full batch. I always save a portion of the dough and freeze it since I do not need to bake huge batches of cookies unless it is Christmas. To store, cover the dough with plastic wrap and place in a freezer bag. I use Sweetopia's Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe and Joy of Baking's Royal Icing Recipe.

Polar Bear Cookies

For this recipe you need:
Round Cookie Cutter

Oval Cookie Cutter

Penguin Cookie cutter

Polar Bear Cookie Cutter

White Sugar Pearls (For eyes of penguin cookies using penguin cookie cutter)

White Sanding Sugar (For penguin cookies using penguin cookie cutter)

All the Polar Bear and Penguin Cookies I baked!

Vanilla Sugar Cookie 
2 cups, 4 sticks Unsalted Butter, softened and each stick cut into 8 cubes

2 cups Granulated Sugar

2 Extra Large Eggs

3 teaspoons Pure Vanilla Extract

5 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

3 variations of Penguin Cookies

Sift flour and add salt. Combine with spatula; set aside.

Cream butter and sugar in a hand held or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; about 2 minutes.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for a 10-15 seconds.

Add eggs one at a time, mix until incorporated. Scrape sides of bowl and mix for 5-10 seconds.

Add vanilla extract and mix on low until incorporated, about 20-25 seconds.

Slowly add flour mixture on low to combine. The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Roll dough into ball, cover with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours.

Penguin Cookies

Cut dough into 4 cuts, leaving unused dough covered with plastic wrap in the fridge until ready to use.

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

Use 2 sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached. I left the dough 1/4 inch thick.

Cut out shapes. Place onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper and put in freezer for 10 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 12 minutes.

Royal Icing
4 Egg Whites

4 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

6 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted

In a medium size bowl, whisk together egg whites and lemon juice.

Transfer to stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment.

Slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency. Watch the Joy of Baking (link at the end) video for both

Flooding Consistency and Piping Consistency Royal Icing. If you prefer a recipe using Meringue Powder, it is also available at this link.

Penguin Cookies
I placed the the icing in 3 plastic containers, and added AmeriColor Soft Gel Paste Food Color in Super White, Super Black and Orange. I transferred the icing immediately into 6 squeeze bottles (2 for each color; one for piping and the other for flooding the cookie) and kept them covered when not in use.

If the icing hardens due to exposure to air, use a spray bottle and spritz 1-2 times with a little bit of water and shake bottle well holding the tip with your finger. Test the icing consistency on a paper towel before decorating the cookie.

I did the borders around each cookie and waited 1/2 hour before flooding the cookie.

Use a paintbrush to reach edges and use cookie stick or tip of a toothpick to pop any air bubbles.

I placed the cookies on top of cooling rack with paper towels under it.

Let the cookies dry overnight.

For further information:
Please visit, Sweetopia for the Vanilla Sugar Cookie Recipe:

Please visit, Joy of Baking for the Royal Icing Recipe and Video Tutorial:

Please visit, The Cake Girls; My inspiration for the Penguin Cookies from the penguin shaped cookie cutter:

Please visit, Worth Pinning; My inspiration for the oval shape Penguin Cookies:

Please visit, Flour & Sugar; My inspiration for the round Penguin Cookies:


-Sophia/Two Frys

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