Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stenciled Easter Cookies

I get asked to make a lot of decorated sugar cookies and I have a love/hate relationship with royal icing. That's actually an improvement over the outright hatred I used to feel for it. We've worked out most of our issues, (well I've done the all work) and now have a pretty good working relationship. Although sometimes, on occasion, I still yell at it, call it mean names, and threaten to throw it away and never use it again...rrrr love/hate! When it came to these cookies I didn't feel like dealing with my frenemy royal icing. I was just making these cookies for fun and didn't want to work that hard. So here is my lazy girl answer to royal icing decorated sugar cookies. I went easy all the way. I made a no-chill sugar cookies, really just roll out, cut out, and bake...easy!  Instead of high maintenance, finicky, royal icing, I made super easy corn syrup icing, no whipping or thinning, just mix and use...also very easy. Then I iced cookies, when the icing dried, I threw a stencil on the cookies and sprayed with some Wilton color mist. So easy and cute! The only problem with these cookies is that the stenciling was really fun and now I'm coveting  this airbrush cake decorating kit. Maybe one day!

How adorable are these cookies!
No-Chill Sugar Cookies
Source: Wilton recipes

Yield: about 3 dozen 3-in. cookies

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon no-color almond extract 
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

Preheat oven to 350ºF.

In large bowl, beat butter and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and extracts. Mix flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture 1 cup at a time, mixing after each addition. Do not chill dough. Divide dough into 2 balls.
On floured surface, roll each ball into a circle approximately 12 in. diameter x 1/8 in. thick. Dip cookie cutter in flour before each use. Bake cookies on ungreased cookie sheet 8-11 minutes or until cookies are lightly browned.
Note: These cookies taste great but do spread a little when baking, unlike this recipe, but for simple sugar cookies, it's a great choice.

When the cookies cool, pipe an outline(you can skip this but it helps keep the icing from running), spread icing on the rest of the cookie. Let the icing dry, about 6 hours, overnight is best. 

Corn Syrup Icing
Source: Karen's Cookies  
2 lb powdered sugar
½ C plus 2 T milk (10 T)
½ C plus 2 T corn syrup (10 T)
1 Tablespoon flavoring, anything you like: a combination of clear vanilla and almond extract is nice. I also like lemon flavoring for this icing.

Mix together till smooth. Divide up and color as desired.
You can use this icing just the way it is for both outlining and filling in. If you're looking for more detail, you can thicken up your outline color with a bit more powdered sugar if desired. The formula is not set in stone, feel free to experiment with different ratios of liquid to sugar to get the consistency you like the best.
Note: Love this icing....so much easier than royal icing. However, the consistency is too thin for piping intricate designs (so I'll still be using royal icing for those cookies) but it's perfect for a simple iced cookie, like these.

Now for the fun part.... stenciling! I found this pack of stencils at Wal-Mart in the craft section.
So cute and they're the perfect size for cookies!
Lay stencil on top

Spray iced cookie with color spray.
Ta da!
Notes: Be sure to cover your work area well, there's quite a bit of over spray. It takes a couple of tries to get the feel for using the color mist. I practiced on a paper towel first. The first couple of cookies still didn't turn out perfectly.  Doing couple of light coats works better than one heavy coat. There's a little bit of a learning curve but even the less than perfect cookies are delicious! 
This is one of the first ones I made...not exactly perfect!
zebra stripes!
Easter basket ready!


Elizabeth said...

These are adorable! I love the stenciling.

grace said...

these are absolutely so pretty! i haven't seen mist like that used before, but you've done it masterfully!

Anonymous said...

Is it possible to substitute the corn syrup? I can't find corn syrup here where i live..