Three Cheese Macaroni

Comfort Food: Lasagna

BBQ Grilled Cheese

Pork Sandwiches

What the Month of September Means to Me

Sunday, September 26, 2010

For a lot of people, September means 'back to school' or 'summer's over'. But for me it means something much more positive than that (unless you like going back to school).  September means Autumn, or Fall. The season of cool, fresh air, red and orange leaves and lots of pumpkins, squash and apples. Because of that cool, fresh air - I sleep better. Because of the pumpkins, squash and apples - I'm never hungry. It's a win-win folks. The end of September always meant the end of the MN State Fair where I showed cattle for six years.  It's a 4-H'ers favorite time of year - and I still dream about it, now that I'm too old and across the Country.

The September Daring Bakers challenge this month was to make sugar cookies with the recipe that Mandy from What the Fruitcake? provided - posted below.  We were then to decorate them according to what September meant to us. I cut my cookies out into leaves and cows. I'm going to be honest here when I say that the frosting decor isn't the best. I mean, decorating leaves isn't too tough - you just need the right colors. And my cows? Well, it's nearly impossible to make black frosting. (my previous attempt here)  I also procrastinated. I had two challenges to complete today for two separate events and well - I just can't do it all. I have my glass of wine sitting next to me and I'm ready to sit down and read a book or something. Phwew!

Here is the sugar cookie recipe from Mandy and my lovely fall leaf photos. I hope you're enjoying September and are as excited about October as I am - Halloween!

Basic Sugar Cookies
from Mandy at What the Fruitcake



Makes approximately 36 x 10cm / 4 inch 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

Directions:
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.



My husband's 'run-by' attempt to eat the cookies before they're decorated --->








Frosting


1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons soft butter
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon corn starch







5 comments:

Suzler said...

Gorgeous! I love the warm colours and the swirly effect. I'm a big fan of autumn too. I like having a reason to make myself cosy, yet it's not so bitterly cold that you don't want to go outside!

Your gingerbread barn with the cow is fantastic!

September 26, 2010 at 7:39 PM
Renata said...

Amazing cookies AND photos!

September 27, 2010 at 3:22 AM
Katerina said...

They look so beautiful. I love the colors. They remind me of the leaves in New Hampshire where I was studying.

September 29, 2010 at 2:35 PM
Kelly said...

How did you do the frosting with those(application?) What are dough hooks? They look amazing! How come I don't see the end result of the cows??

October 3, 2010 at 10:12 AM
Alise said...

@Kelly - I just added food coloring to the frosting and combined two different colors on the actual cookie. Then, swirled the colors together with a toothpick.
A dough hook is a ceramic hook that comes with a KitchenAid mixer. It's mostly used when making breads.
The end product of the cows looked bad - that's why you don't see them. LOL!

October 3, 2010 at 11:04 AM

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