Friday, September 24, 2010

Longhorn Sugar Cookie Cutouts

Last night my friend Alice came over for a big event- cookie making! Alice loves baking just as much as I do so it's always so fun to get together and make a new cupcake/cookie/muffin recipe! Since we are both UT alumni and still big fans- we had our little burnt-orange hearts set on making some Longhorn cookies!

I was elated to discover I still had an (expired) rebate card for the Co-Op- that they graciously honored for me! I stocked up with a Longhorn cookie cutter, Texas cookbook (Can't wait to flip through this weekend!), silicone Longhorn baking pan and an adorable teeny UT jersey for my parent's dog, Jackson.

(Can't you just imagine him cheering on UT from the couch?)

Let me just say that it was a LONG evening. First we got started making Fiesta Salad (Recipe coming soon!). We took a break to watch the premiere of the Office and then started whipping up cookie dough and icing. By the end of the night, a cloud of powdered sugar had settled over the kitchen and my feet were aching from standing bent over the counter with a bag of icing in my hand. But it was fun- really! We did get a couple quizzical looks from the boyfriend, who asked "Why are ya'll doing this?" haha Might I add that he did not complain when he was sampling.

Anyway, on to the yummy part. The cookie recipe we used was from Alice's mom and I used Mrs. Humble's royal icing recipe and instructions. Try not to judge our icing skills- this was a decent first attempt, in my opinion anyway. In the end, some cookies were not fully iced since we ran out of time/patience, but I think now that we know what method works best, the process will be more streamlined next time. I do have to say... they are delicious and the bf agreed! He was a Texas Tech Raider but still managed to wrangle a few burnt orange cookies into his mouth. :)

Traditional Sugar Cookies
  • 2 sticks butter, softened
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 3 TBSP whipping cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Preheat oven to 400. Sift together all dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Cut in butter until mixture is blended and looks like well-blended particles (I sliced the butter into pieces, added to flour mixture and blended with paddle attachment ). Add egg, cream and vanilla, beating until smooth and dough comes together. Divide dough into 2 balls and put 1 in the fridge to chill. Use this dough once the first ball gets too soft/warm from squishing scraps back together.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface until pretty thin (1/8").

And go to town with your cookie cutter!

Place on a baking sheet lined with a silicone mat/parchment paper.

Place tray in fridge/freezer for about 5 minutes. Place cold tray directly in hot oven. This will keep the dough from spreading and losing its shape! (Thanks Mrs. Humble for this tip!) Cook 5-8 minutes or until lightly browned or appear firm. We had some trouble with our horns getting crispy at first, so we only did about 5 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack and you're ready to ice!

Mrs. Humble's Royal Icing
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 5 TBSP meringue powder
  • 1/3 cup + 1 tsp water
  • couple drops of almond extract
  • food coloring, if desired
Mix in bowl until smooth. Icing will be very thick. If you pull your spoon out, it should leave a stiff peak that does not immediately sink back into the icing. Divide into bowls to add food coloring, if desired. Transfer to icing bags/decorating bottles. Pipe a very thin border around your cookies or whatever design you want to make.

The outlines need to dry for about 10 minutes before you fill them in, so keep outlining as many cool cookies as you can get your hands on. After you've done all the outlines you can thin your icing with a tiny bit of water (add only a few drops at a time). When you pull your spoon out and the peaks immediately sink back into the icing, you're ready to roll. "Flood" the middle of your outline with the thinned icing. Go easy! Spread to the edges with a toothpick/skewer/whatever you have (I could only find a plastic knife). Let dry for several hours or they will squish when you try to stack them.

I HATE having things sit out across all the kitchen counters, so it drove me crazy to leave these out overnight, but I just packed them up when I dropped Sonny off after our run this morning. I have to warn you this makes a LOT of cookies. I filled a whole container for work, Alice took a HEAPING plate home, I left a few for my roommate and I filled G's whole cookie jar! Next time probably best to freeze half the dough!

All in all- delicious and a great way to celebrate a UT victory this weekend (knock on wood- I don't want to jinx it or anything).

Hook 'em!

Update- I brought these to work and asked for feedback- this is what I heard:
  • Yummy
  • Cookie was not as crunchy as it looked- nice surprise!
  • hard icing goes well with soft cookie
  • perfect game-time finger food
  • so cute
  • Is this frosting lemony? (I think it was just the almond extract and loads of sugar playing tricks)
  • tastes like cookie bouquet cookies!
Only one anti-UT fan refused to eat them...even when I offered up one that had its horns broken off...haha

Have a great weekend!

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