Friday, November 18, 2011

Dirty's Next Secret, Experiment !

This Sunday I'll be doing a Bridal Show at the Desmond Hotel and have been asked by A Gracious Event to  make wedding themed cookies. So last week I played around in my kitchen to see which concepts worked best.

I started with these:

And some of this:

This being a full batch of my homegirl Martha Stewart's Sugar Cookie Recipe, holla! I've made this dough multiple times and if you follow the recipe and instructions exactly you will get a perfect Cut-Out Sugar Cookie Dough.

That being said... I did some experimenting and discovered some of these Dirty Little Secrets for this recipe:

  • Throw in a teaspoon or two of CINNAMON (or any sweet spice) elevates the flavor just a hint and adds your own personal touch.
  • Do or don't refrigerate the dough for a full hour before a pinch I did 35 minutes and it came out just dandy! 
  • Do or don't freeze your cut-out shapes. Working out of a home kitchen I lacked the space in the freezer as well as counter tops to be able to freeze each half sheet pan, and considering I just baked off and decorated 200 yes 200! cookies, I did not have the luxury of space and time for this step :) 
  • Use SCANT cups off flour. Scant is some fancy? or maybe not so fancy? term for slightly less than full. I found the dough with four full cups of flour was too dry and crumbly, by using less it was easier to roll out.
  • Zap the butter in the microwave. The recipe calls for 2 sticks of room temperature butter, but I like to slice the butter into sections and microwave for 10 seconds. I found that this helps the dough come together which, once again, makes it easier to roll out! 

    Here are some of the shapes baked... REMEMBER JUST LIKE A SNOWFLAKE AND DESPITE WHAT THE SALES PEOPLE WANT TO SAY... NOT EVERY OVEN COOKS THE SAME so be sure to watch your first batch carefully! This is where that experimenting comes in....if you want thinner cookies... you need to get the timing right so you don't burn them and vice versa.  I found with the size I wanted for MY COOKIES that 14 minutes was perfect. By discovering this I was able to dovetail rolling, cutting, and rotating cookies making me a cookie machine...or maybe cookie monster?

    I'm going to take some liberties here since I do not have any documentation of what came next because I was too involved in the process to stop and take a picture! But just pretend this is a movie and I'm doing a Hollywood fast forward - - - swoosh, swipe, fade out... fade in.....and.... 


    Some powdered sugar, egg whites, and pink food coloring combine et voila ! Cookies! 

    And more cookies!  Yum, yum, yum!

    The hearts were my personal favorite. 

    Alas, even with my love for the hearts we opted to go with the wedding dresses. Since I just made 200 of the wedding dresses ...and here's another of Dirty's Little Secret's... despite their simplistic shape, it is actually HARDER TO PIPE ROYAL ICING ONTO A ROUND SHAPE THAN ONTO AN ODD SHAPE! So thank the LBJ (Lord Baby Jesus) we did not opt for my personal favorite! 

    Now I know earlier I said if you follow the recipe exactly you will get the perfect cookie. But through my experimentation I've found that you can cut some corners, and save some time by using some of these Dirty Little Secrets

    Be sure to check back for my next post and see the entire cookie monster mash! This time I've taken plenty of pictures to document the madness that is and was 200 fully iced and decorated Cut-Out Sugar Cookies

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