Sunday, October 2, 2011

Little People Sugar Cookies

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So last week my 3 year old daughter was the "Special Helper" of the week in her preschool class and needed to take a snack and drinks for her classmates. Their theme was Friends and the letter C so I came up with the idea for "Friend Cookies" using both the them and the letter... Then I had to figure out how best to do this.  I remembered the wonderful sugar cookie recipe from The Decorated Cookie blog.  So I made a double batch of the cookie dough and a single batch of the royal icing from my adaptation of her great recipe and then rolled out white fondant to 1/8" thick and "painted" it with "paint". Two special items I used which you can find online are the "princess" flavoring from King Arthur Flour and the Pettinice Fondant from KitchenKrafts.com This is, by far, the BEST fondant I've ever worked with. It rolled so smoothly and worked so well as a "canvas" for painting the people that I will definitely be using it again!

For anyone not familiar with painting on fondant, it's best to let it dry for an hour or two after cutting but before painting. This allows it to "harden" a bit and makes it easier to handle while painting. For the "paint", I used a medicine dropper to put about 3 drops of clear vanilla into a small bowl and then used a toothpick to put a "blob" of gel food coloring (available wherever cake making supplies are sold) into the vanilla. Stir this until the color is dissolved and you have a wonderful "watercolor" paint that works perfectly on the fondant.  Not being any sort of painter, I was pretty proud of the results of this project. I used a food marker to put the kids names on their cookies after painting. They were a big hit I understand :)

All ready for school! 14 cute kids and 3 super teachers!
                      
Basic Sugar Cookies


Adapted from The Decorated Cookie


2 sticks unsalted butter -- softened
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1 egg
2 drops "Princess" flavoring
2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt


Cream butter and sugar in mixer for 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add egg and blend well. Add extract/flavoring and blend. Mix flour and salt together in a separate bowl and gradually add to creamed mixture. Put dough into a gallon size Ziploc bag and chill for about 2 hours. Working with about 1/3 of the dough at a time, briefly knead and roll about 1/8-1/4" thick. Cut out shapes. Bake cut out cookies on parchment lined baking trays at 375 for 12-14 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack to completely cool.


Note: You can also freeze this dough. After mixing, put dough in a gallon size Freezer ziploc bag and freeze. Thaw overnight or for at least a few hours in the refrigerator in the ziploc bag. If too chilled to handle, let sit at room temperature for 30 min-1 hour until workable. Chilled is good so don't let it get too mushy before rolling. If dough is sticky, put back in fridge until re-chilled before trying to roll again.


Cookies cooled and ready for decorating, fondant "toppers" painted


Royal Icing




Adapted from The Decorated Cookie


4 tablespoons meringue powder
1/2 cup water
7 cups confectioner's sugar -- (7 to 8)
2 drops Princess flavoring
1 tablespoon light corn syrup


Combine meringue powder and water in a stand mixer using whisk attachment. Whisk for 2-3 minutes or until foamy on low speed, then increase speed to high and whip until stiff peaks form. Add princess flavoring and corn syrup, then gradually add confectioner's sugar. Store at room temperature in a sealed container for up to a month.


Enjoy!





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