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Saturday, April 25, 2015

Vanilla Citrus Roll-out Sugar Cookies

Simple miniature daisies coated with Lemon Drop Glaze
with a small yellow center piped from thickened, colored glaze.
When it is Spring, my head thinks of lemony desserts.  Happens every year.  The tart sweet combination of lemon and sugar is a flavor explosion for me!  I decided to make a recipe for a roll-out cookie dough utilizing some of my favorite flavors.  I think it turned out fairly well and is really just a simple rendition of the most popular cookie dough I make, the Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie.

These cookies are great with a simple lemon glaze or they can be beautifully decorated with royal icing flavored with either vanilla or fresh strained lemon juice.  Yum.

Here's what I did.

Vanilla Citrus Roll-out Sugar Cookies



Ingredients:

1 cup butter - room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg - room temperature
1 Tbsp Vanilla Bean Paste
1 Tbsp Cream
1 tsp Lor-ann's Lemon Emulsion
Zest of medium lemon (finely zested - with a Microplane - don't get the pith!)
Juice of that same lemon (after zesting) - should be about 2 Tbsp

3 cups All Purpose Flour - unbleached preferred
1/4 tsp. baking powder (may use up to 1 tsp of baking powder if you want a higher rise)

Method:

In bowl of a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until well mixed.  
Add egg and mix until incorporated.  
Add vanilla bean paste, cream, lemon emulsion, zest, and juice of lemon.  Mix until smooth.  
Measure flour and add baking powder to flour, stirring to combine throughout.  
Add 1/2 of flour mixture to mixture in bowl and mix on low setting of stand mixer.  
Add the rest of the flour after all incorporated, again on low.  
Stop and scrape all the way to the bottom, pulse again.  
Re-check for crumblies on the bottom of the bowl and scrape up into dough with a spatula.  
Pulse again to fully incorporate all dry ingredients.  Don't over mix.

Love the flecks of lemon zest and vanilla bean that show in
the dough.  Wonderful flavor!

Divide dough in half, pat into a fat pancake shape, and wrap each half in plastic wrap.  
Chill in refrigerator for at least an hour.  Roll between two sheets of parchment for easier rolling of this sticky dough.  If you need to roll on the bench - flour generously to avoid sticking, or add an additional 1/2 cup of flour to the dough when mixing the dry ingredients in.  I always place my baking sheet with cut-outs on it into the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Since this is such a soft dough, I want to ensure the butter firms up and doesn't spread too much when baking.  After the freezer time, it is easy to brush any excess flour from the cookies with a pastry brush before baking.
Dip cookie cutter in flour so it doesn't
stick in this sticky dough.


Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven until the bottom edge of the cookies are just barely starting to turn a light brown.
That can take anywhere between 10 and 18 minutes, depending on the size of the cookie and the particular pan I'm using.    These minis took about 12 minutes.

Remove when done and place pan on a cooling rack.  
Rest for at least 15 minutes.  
Remove from cookie sheet onto a cooling rack until completely cooled.  
  
I made a batch of  Lemon Drop Glaze and dipped the cookies upside down, placed on rack over the lined baking sheet and allowed to drip down the edges.


With the leftover glaze, I added more sifted powdered sugar and 2 drops of AmeriColor Electric Yellow gel color, and stirred until it was thick enough to pipe.  Using a #3 tip, I piped a little yellow circle in the middle of the daisy.  They were completely dry within 4 hours and able to be stacked between sheets of waxed paper in a container for storage.
Use at least a #3 tip so the zest doesn't clog the tip.
I had one of these this morning - it is a 2 or 3 bite cookie (if you are dainty - one bite if you aren't).  Wonderfully fragrant and full of flavor, enjoyed with a hot cup of tea or coffee.  These are not going to hang around very long I'm afraid!!!
Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!

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Friday, April 3, 2015

Paint-Your-Own Cookies

Ready to package!


This is really just a quick share!  If you want to learn how to make these cute cookies, there is a wonderful tutorial online via Montreal Confections' Patreon page.  It is a subscription - but for as little as $1 per month you can have access to many of her tutorials.  I enjoy learning from Marlyn and I bet you would too.  She was the original creator of the PYO (Paint-Your-Own) cookie - often copied in the cookie world!  She always says she's happy for people to learn and use her designs.  I do think, however, it is important for cookie artists to attribute the source of their design ideas in social media.  That's why you often see my posts including where I learn things.  I'm a little creative...but not THAT creative.  The link to her YouTube channel above shows samples of the types of PYO cookies you can learn to do on her Patreon Channel.  The actual tutorials are on Patreon at this point.

These were my first PYO cookies.  I made them for my grandkids and some friends of my oldest son...everyone seemed happy to get them!  They were also happy to see I had used my Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie dough.  It's the family favorite.  These cookies were really large and sturdy.  They measured 6 1/2 inches tall and were rolled 3/8" thick.  I only used 1/4 tsp. of  baking powder to prevent spread (but I used a tiny bit so I would have some lift - it's a fine line)!

Simple designs or more intricate.
You can gear it more towards
the age of the child by piping
larger patterns, easier to paint
and stay in the lines...
although staying in the lines
is not at all necessary!

A little tag stapled to the top of the packaging gives
instructions on how to activate the colors.
I loved that this particular project used
food color air-brushed M&Ms for the color dot
instead of more royal icing..
Tasty addition to the PYO line-up!
 Thanks Marlyn, for sharing your creative genius with the world.  I have learned so much from Obi-wan Marlyn!!!

Happy Easter Everyone!!!  May you be blessed with spending the day with your family and/or friends!  Those who don't celebrate Easter - just have a marvelous Sunday!

UPDATE:
I just received a photo of one of the painted cookies.  Yay!  Thanks for sharing the art work :-)

Photo Courtesy of James Harris




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