Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Spring Lemon Cookies

Pin It Spring Lemon Cookies

Lemon Sugar Cookies remind me of Spring which is why I made them for my Spring Series. The cookies have a fresh and lemony flavor from the lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and pure lemon extract. The cookie texture is chewy and the vanilla sugar highlights the lemon flavor in every bite. I use a bunch of different cookie cutters and busy rabbits wafer paper designs from Fancy Flours, and imprint cookie stamps with 3 designs. I decorated bunnies, chicks, baskets, bunny tracks, bunny tails, carrots and lambs. It was quite relaxing and enjoyable decorating the cookies and because my life has been so hectic lately, I needed this. Although my allergies are terrible during this season, I love when flowers bloom and the leaves on the trees are back. I love hearing the birds chirping in the early morning and the brightness from sunrise illuminating our abode day to day. Enjoy Spring and give these cookies a try. The lemon sugar cookie and royal icing recipes are below.

Spring Lemon Cookies

Spring Lemon Cookies

Cute Bunnies
Lemon Sugar Cookie Ingredients
5 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour

Zest of 2 Lemons

3 tablespoons Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice

1 1/2 cups Vanilla Sugar

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

2 Large Eggs

1 tablespoon Pure Lemon Extract

Bunny Tails

Busy Rabbits Wafer Paper Designs

Jumping Bunnies with dessicated coconut on the ears and tails

Directions
Whisk together flour and salt; set aside.

Cream the butter and vanilla sugar in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

Scrape sides of bowl with spatula and mix for 10 more seconds.

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

Baskets with candy decorations and bows from Fancy Flours

Family of Chicks, design from LilaLoa

Easter Eggs
Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and lemon extract, and mix on low until incorporated; about 20-25 seconds.

Turn off mixer and add the flour mixture and cover the mixer with a large kitchen towel.

Turn mixer on low speed, and mix until incorporated.

The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

Chicks and Lambs

Carrots

Lambs; body covered with dessicated coconut
Form dough into a disk, cover with plastic wrap, and chill in fridge for 1-2 hours or overnight.

Take half of the dough leaving unused dough covered with plastic wrap in fridge until ready to use.

Heat oven to 350°F.

Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.
Imprint Cookies Stamps: Hatching Chick, Carrot, Bunny Tails

Fresh lemon juice, lemon zest and eggs

Cookie dough done and ready to chill
Take cutters and make shapes. Repeat until you use all the dough.

Place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and put in freezer for 15-20 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 13 minutes.

Wait 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Decorate once cookies have cooled completely.

To make the grass for my 3 baskets, I put about 1/2 cup of shredded coconut in a plastic sandwich size bag and added 2 drops of leaf green color and 1 teaspoon of water. With the bag sealed, I massaged it until the coconut turned green. It only takes a few minutes.

To add rosy cheeks to the bunnies, I took a q-tip and dipped into watermelon color luster dust and gently pressed over dry icing.

Icing in Sweet SugarBelle icing bottles and tipless bags and tips from Cookie Countess

Basket set up

Baskets with 3 weave designs. I had no clue how to do it so made these up
Large Batch Royal Icing
Ingredients
8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Confectioners'/Powdered Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract

1-2 teaspoons Water, if needed

Working on LilaLoa Chicks 

Working on the Bunnies

Bunnies setting; very little icing on these cuties

Directions
In a large bowl, add powdered sugar; set aside.

In a bowl, add egg whites.

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

Transfer the egg white mixture to a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

With mixer speed on low, slowly add sifted sugar and beat on low until smooth.

Bunny Tails, Chicks, Carrots setting

Wafer Paper Busy Rabbits Designs and Bunny Tracks setting 

Busy Rabbits Wafer Paper Designs and Bunny Tracks setting
If needed, you may add 1 teaspoon of water at a time until you reach the right consistency.

I separated the icing in plastic containers with lids according to the different colors I needed.

I used Soft Gel Paste Food Color in various colors: teal, turquoise, lemon yellow, pink, violet, orange, buckeye brown and kelly green. Use 1-2 drops at a time until you have the color you need.

Keep the containers covered until you are ready to color.

I transferred the icing immediately into squeeze bottles and some into tipless icing bags I bought with tip clips from The Cookie Countess.

Lambs, Cookie Stamp Designs and Bunnies setting

Lambs and Cookie Stamps Designs setting
I outlined each cookie and then immediately filled it.

Use a cookie stick to reach edges, and to pop any air bubbles.

Add sprinkles, confetti, sugar pearls, dragees, candy decorations, etc. over wet icing.

If you are doing layers over the cookies let the base layer dry overnight.

I used AmeriColor Gourmet Writer Food Decorating Pens (Certified U.S. food grade) for some of the designs and to outline designs.

Let cookies dry overnight.

For further information:
For the LilaLoa fuzzy chick cutter go to:
https://www.etsy.com/listing/266317405/lilaloas-fuzzy-chick-cookie-cutter-or?ref=shop_home_feat_4

For the LilaLoa Easter Chick tutorial go to:
https://www.lilaloa.com/2016/03/how-to-make-decorated-easter-chick.html

For the candy decorations, wafer paper and more go to Fancy Flours:
https://www.fancyflours.com/

For the tiplesss bags, tips and more go to The Cookie Countess:
https://www.thecookiecountess.com/

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Monday, April 29, 2019

Peeps Cookies

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I love Peeps. They are so cute! The cookies are vanilla with Rodelle Vanilla Paste in addition to vanilla extract and vanilla sugar so you get a triple threat of vanilla in each bite. I use the Wilton Peeps cookie cutters. The Royal Icing recipe is in the forthcoming post Spring Cookies.

Peeps Cookies
Vanilla Sugar Cookie Ingredients
5 cups King Arthur All Purpose Flour

1 1/2 cups Vanilla Sugar

1 teaspoon Coarse Salt

2 cups (4 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened

Peeps Cookies
1 tablespoon Milk or Cream (I use Almond Breeze Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Coconut Blend)

2 Large Eggs

2 teaspoons Clear Vanilla Extract

1 tablespoon Vanilla Bean Paste (I use Rodelle Vanilla Paste)

Cutie Peeps
Directions
Whisk together flour and salt; set aside.

Cream butter and vanilla sugar in a hand held mixer or stand mixer with paddle attachment on low; 1-2 minutes. Do not overmix.

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

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

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

Purple and Yellow Peeps Cookies
With mixer on low speed, slowly add flour mixture and incorporate. The dough is ready when it begins to clump around paddle attachment.

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

Take half of the dough leaving unused dough covered with plastic wrap in fridge until ready to use.

Most of the ingredients for this recipe pictured here

Heat oven to 350°F.

Use two sheets of parchment paper with dough in between and roll with rolling pin until desired thickness is reached.

Take cutters and make shapes. Repeat until you use all the dough.

Place onto baking sheets lined with parchment paper, and put in freezer for 15-20 minutes. The cookies hold their shape when you do this.

Vanilla cookie dough; you can see the speckles from the vanilla bean paste
Bake 12-15 minutes or until the edges have slightly browned. My cookies baked in 13 minutes.

Wait 2-3 minutes before transferring cookies on cooling racks to complete cooling.

Decorate once cookies have cooled completely.

Enjoy!

-Sophia/Two Frys

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Speckled Egg Cookies

Pin It Speckled Egg Cookies


Happy Spring! To make these Speckled Egg Cookies I baked vanilla sugar cookies with Rodelle Vanilla Paste. I came across the post How to Make Speckled Icing with Vanilla Bean Paste via Sweet Sugarbelle and used this technique. It was great not having a mess everywhere including my kitchen walls. This really happened when I made Speckled Egg Cookies a few years ago. I even got some on my glasses. I made a large batch of Royal Icing (recipe below) for my Spring Series. My cookies and the icing have lovely speckles and there's no mess to clean up. For the Vanilla Speckled Cookies see Peeps Cookies. My icing uses egg whites so if you prefer meringue powder Sweet Sugarbelle has a recipe (link below) you can use.

Speckled Egg Cookies

Large Batch Royal Icing
Ingredients
8 Egg Whites

8 teaspoons Lemon Juice, freshly squeezed

12 cups Powdered/Confectioners' Sugar, sifted

1 tablespoon Clear Vanilla Extract

Speckled Egg Cookies in three sizes

Speckled Egg Cookies

Directions
In a large bowl, sift powdered sugar; set aside.

In a bowl, add the egg whites.

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

Transfer the egg white mixture to a stand or hand held mixer with paddle attachment and mix on high for 1-2 minutes.

Add vanilla extract and mix for 5-10 seconds.

See the speckles

See the speckles; bunny candy decoration from Fancy Flours
Turn off mixer and add the powdered sugar and cover the mixer with a large kitchen towel.

Turn the mixer on low speed and beat until smooth.

I found the best way to color royal icing is to separate the icing in plastic containers with lids according to the different colors needed for tinting. I save the containers when I get a pint of soup from Chinese takeout. They are great for icing. You can also use Tupperware.

Keep the containers or Tupperware covered until you are ready to color.

For this cookie project, I used 1 cup of royal icing but if you have a lot of cookies adjust accordingly.

Rodelle Vanilla Paste

Color just mixed together with the vanilla paste. See the speckles.
Per 1 cup of royal icing add 1 tablespoon of vanilla bean paste and stir.

I used 2 drops of Gel Paste Food Color in teal for the Speckled Egg Cookies. I also made other colors for the forthcoming posts.

Dip a toothpick in the color and then swirl it into the icing and mix together. Repeat until you reach the desired color.

If the color is too dark, you will not see speckles so be careful. Also, the color will darken with time.

Transfer into an icing bottle or pastry bag.

Ready to add royal icing

See the speckles on the cookie
I outline each cookie and then immediately flood it.

Use a cookie stick to reach edges and to pop any air bubbles.

Add sprinkles, confetti, sugar pearls, dragees, or candy decorations over wet icing if desired.

If you are doing layers over the icing you need to let the icing dry overnight before you continue.

Many years ago I learned to make Royal Icing Recipe from Joy of Baking:
http://www.joyofbaking.com/RoyalIcing.html

How to Make Speckled Icing with Vanilla Bean Paste is from Sweet Sugarbelle:
http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2019/01/easy-speckled-icing/

-Enjoy!

Sophia/Two Frys

Saturday, April 27, 2019

Bunny Tail Cookies

Pin It Bunny Tail Cookies


A few weeks ago while shopping for groceries at my local Stop & Shop I spotted a display with Betty Crocker Limited Edition Bunny Tail Shortbread Cookie Mix. I was tempted to pick up a box and pondered for a few seconds if I should but ultimately gave in. I made two batches of cookie dough from scratch but I wanted to give this a try and see if I would like the texture and taste.

Bunny Tail Cookies

Cutie pastel Bunny Tail Cookies
But allow me to digress... When I woke up on Friday, April 19th I opened my fridge and noticed it was not cold. I was perplexed but ignored this and with one eye open made my coffee and got ready for work. It was later in the afternoon after speaking to Allen that he confirmed my fear that our fridge was BROKEN! So we were without a fridge for four days and on Wednesday our new one arrived. My plan was to start baking after work Thursday and Friday and finish in time by Easter. There was no baking for Easter due to our fridge fiasco until this weekend. I am so thankful to have a new and very pretty fridge, and to be baking and decorating again.

Close-up of Bunny Tail Cookies

I love how they came together

They are adorbs!
This was the first of my spring baking series and I was pleased with the great taste of the shortbread. The cookies have a nice crisp bite and are tender and flavorful (meaning very buttery) inside. The dessicated coconut over the powdered sugar truly elevates this cookie. All you need to add is 1 stick of softened unsalted butter to the shortbread mix and combine in a hand held or stand mixer for a few minutes. Follow the box directions. Easy peasy.

Glad I bought this

What I used for this cookie project and just added butter
I separated the dough and tinted it in 4 colors: leaf green, violet, turquoise and pink. I used a cookie scoop and rolled the dough into balls placing 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. I took two bowls and in one added powdered sugar and dessicated coconut in the other. After I baked the cookies and while they were warm, I dipped them in the powdered sugar and then in the dessicated coconut.

Left: powdered sugar. Right: dessicated coconut

Colored dough
I ordered bunny paws and tails edible decorations from Fancy Flours (link below). I put a little royal icing (if you do not have royal icing, you can buy ready made icing from Wilton or Betty Crocker) and gently pressed them into each one. I put the cookies on a sheet tray and covered them overnight to let them set.

Cookies ready for their tails and paws

Tails and paws I used
I fully recommend the Betty Crocker Limited Edition Bunny Tail Shortbread Cookie Mix. It was a fun project.

A dab of royal icing to stick onto the cookie

Turquoise Bunny Tail Cookies are done
For the bunny tails and paws and other great products go to Fancy Flours:
https://www.fancyflours.com/

-Enjoy!

Sophia/Two Frys