Flood Frosting Sugar Cookies

Day 3 of the Holiday Sugar Cookie Series

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I’m going to preface today’s post, a happy conclusion to the Holiday Sugar Cookie Series, by saying that it would not have been possible for me to even attempt any of this without Ree’s inspiration and the amazing cookies over at the Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle. So I’m going to to say this now — check out their blogs!! I mean seriously they are inspirational._MG_1258

There isn’t any recipes involved with today’s post, just some ideas. To help you slackers that haven’t made your cookies yet, here are a few tips for the cookie baking process.

As far as your equipment is concerned, this is what I used. A lot of these things I had laying around or could be repurposed — although I did use this as an excuse to buy more tips, couplers, and some squeeze bottles.

Now I know some of you have been following since day 1. So gather your cut-out sugar cookies, and get the following set up. Everyone else, come back a day after you’ve made your cookies and right after you’ve made your royal frosting. Or keep reading for the fun of it.

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Start by arranging all of your equipment. Line cups with paper towels, fit couplers to piping bags, and arrange pipping bags so that they are inverted into cups and are held up.

Outline icing

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Start by filling a two-cup measuring cup with some of your fresh royal frosting. Add the color of your desire, and mix. If you’re using a mister, mist two or three times, otherwise add around 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of water to the icing and mix to combine. Repeat this process until your frosting is like toothpaste.

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Do not get impatient and add more motor or else your icing will fall apart. Once it reaches the toothpaste consistency, take about 1/2 cup to a 3/4 cup of icing out and add it to a pipping bag. Tie with a pipping bag tie or rubber band.

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Flood Icing

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Continuing in the same mixing cup, continue to thin out the icing using 2-3 mists at a time (no more than 1 tsp) of water until it reaches the thickness of shower gel. If you draw a ribbon, it should be able to fall back onto itself in two seconds. Take this, and fill it into your squeeze bottles for easy squeezing. This should be thinner, but not thin enough to the point where it will just ooze all over the cookie.

Decorating Time

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Now its time for the fun part. Outline your cookies with your outline frosting and let it set for a few minutes, until they are just sett. Then, fill your cooking with your flood icing. Don’t worry about reaching all the edges. When you have most of the center filled, use a toothpick to help you along.

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You’re done!

Yay! Flood-icing sugar cookies, with just a little patience and a little more practice, can produce stunning results that really is a lot more effortless than they may appear. To get you started with a few cookie ideas, I’m sharing two of my designs with you. As I mentioned in my cut-out sugar cookie post, these cookies started out as party favors. I wanted to make snow-globe-like cookies, one more fitting for Christmas, and the other for the new year.

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For the Christmas snow globe cookie, I made my cut-outs utilizing a round cookie cutter. When the cookies came out of the oven, I gently outlined a Christmas tree onto the cookie using a tree shaped cookie cutter. When the cookie cooled down, I simply traced with my outline frosting and then filled with my flood frosting. I then used some red filling frosting and dropped droplets into the tree to create some ornaments. When my tree was set and done, I outlined the entire snow globe using a white outline icing. It was then filled with white and embroidered with blue droplets to act as glitter.

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I then proceeded to made a new year cookie by filling a cookie completely using grey and decorated it with the same blue droplets as the christmas tree snow globe. Once those were completely set (I did this the next day), I traced the numbers 2013 onto the cookie using a food coloring marker and then traced that writing using an outline frosting. This was then filled using a different color to create a foreground/background effect.

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Photo Guide: Salted Caramel Sauce, Version I

I usually hate contrasting flavors. I mean seriously. Just why would you do that. I don’t mind it when basil and oregano are used to compliment tomato sauce and when horseradish is used to compliment roast beef but I can’t handle strong contrasting flavors

But of course my friends would decide to bring me salted caramel cupcakes from Sprinkles half way through freshman year. I didn’t like the sound of it. Salted. Caramel. But I didn’t want to seem weird, the girls were all raving about the thing, I couldn’t turn it down. Eager to fit in, I took a bite and I’ve been in love ever since.


Ok so maybe I didn’t fall in love with it; this isn’t a Romance Comedy with a twisted plot. But, I did have a better appreciation for sweet and salty things. I’ve been experimenting with salted coffee, salted chocolate and other salted sweets. I’m taking baby steps.



I call this a version 1 recipe because there are so many different ways of making caramel sauce, each with different results. It originated when I tried making salted caramel popcorn macarons from Annie’s Eats. The macarons didn’t necessarily end well – that was my fault. In the near future I’ll be testing other caramel sauces, I’ll report my results back soon, maybe in a cupcake?

You want to stop burning the sugar when it reaches the top right, not the bottom right.

Usually when you make candy, you need a thermometer to check the temperature. I’ve been able to reproduce consistent results without the use of a thermometer. I even messed up the recipe purposely by burning the sugar pass golden. Nothing bad happens, I ended up with a bowl of delicious caramel candy. It was a nice treat while I was baking.

don’t let it get this dark….

I personally recommend doubling this recipe if you’re making it – I have a few recipes that utilize this caramel sauce coming your way soon!

Salted Caramel Sauce I

Recipe from Annie’s Eats

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 6 tbsp. heavy cream
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt

Directions

  1. Combine the sugar, cream of tartar and water in a medium saucepan.  Cook over medium-high heat without stirring until the sugar begins to melt and turn golden at the edges.  Continue cooking, swirling the pan to cover evenly, until the sugar turns golden amber.
  2. Standing back, carefully pour the cream down the side of the pan in a slow, steady stream, stirring constantly until combined.  If there are pieces of sugar, cook on low heat until smooth. Stir in the sea salt.  Transfer the caramel to a bowl and let cool.  It will thicken as it cools.

 

Guest Post: Chocolate Crinkles

Most of my readers have figured out that I live in a college apartment, which means I have roommates. They are my victims for my famous diet.

My apartment mate, Darryl, wanted to try my diet with me: he made me chocolate crinkles. Darryl is the author of Aoifitness, a fitness blog. Ironic? Definitely. Did I care? Not after these cookies.


These cookies are not only simple but delicious. The secret was using Devil’s Food cake. Darryl left me one tip and one tip only, avoid adding too much oil, lean on the lower side: the oil makes the dough sticky and difficult to work with.

Not to worry Darryl, I’ll keep that in mind. I have an idea for cake batter flavored crinkles already… hang tight fellow readers!


Chocolate Crinkles

Ingredients

  • 1 (18 1/4 ounce) box devil’s food cake mix (Betty Crocker Super Moist suggested)
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • confectioners’ sugar for rolling
  • 3/4 cup chocolate chips or M&Ms, optional

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350F
  2. Stir (by hand) dry cake mix, oil and eggs in a large bowl until dough forms. Add chocolate chips or M&Ms if you’d like
  3. Dust hands with confectioners’ sugar and shape dough into 1″ balls.
  4. Roll balls in confectioners’ sugar and place 2 inches apart on ungreased cookie sheets. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until center is JUST SET.
  5. Remove from pans after a minute or so and cool on wire racks.

Photo Guide: 30 minute chocolate chip cookies

Chocolate chip cookies, start to finish, 30 minutes. It was about a year ago when I first posted the chocolate chip cookies that my friends talk about. Big, fat, chewy, chocolate chip cookies is what they’re called in Allrecipes.com. But of course, the ingredients are only a sliver of a recipe–the execution makes up the majority.

Over 4 years after my initial discovery of these cookies, I’ve come up with a method that lets me use these cookies as a “fallback” for almost any given situation. The techniques used in this photo guide might be slightly controversial in terms of what is “taught” or what is “standard baking”.  Throughout the years however, I’ve grown to learn that specifically for this recipe, everything I’ve done has worked… time after time.

Start by preheating your oven to 325 F. In bowl of your stand mixer, add the butter straight from the fridge. Using the paddle attachment, beat on low to break the butter up and then medium until it is smooth and creamy. Add the brown sugar and granulated sugar and cream together. Add the eggs, egg yolks, and vanilla extract and continue beating until combined. Add in the baking soda, baking powder and salt at this time too.

Here’s the second secret to speeding things up. Lower the bowl of the stand mixer and add the flour. Start the stand mixer on the lowest speed possible and slowly raise the bowl up. You’ll have to take your time doing this but using the stand mixer increases the efficiency of this process while preventing a flour cloud.

When the dough is almost mixed in but you can still see the flour, stop the mixer, lower the bowl and add in the chocolate. Repeat the process with the flour – start the stand mixer and raise the bowl slowly. You might feel a bit resistance but don’t worry its completely normal! When the chocolate chips are mixed in the flour should be perfectly mixed in as well.

Start making approximately 1/4 cup balls of dough on a baking sheet with parchment paper.

I tried fitting in 16 but they started touching, if you have smaller baking sheets I’d fit 12 on a sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven for 17 minutes or until the edges are golden brown. When these cookies first come out of the oven, the middle will be soft! Don’t worry because they continue to cook as they cool down – this is the secret to super soft cookies. If you let them cook until they are done while they are still in the oven, they will over cook as they cool down. Transfer to a wired wrack to cook. Store the cookies in a plastic bag with a slice of bread to keep them moist!

It’s been years that I’ve been baking and cooking. From jello mix to French Macarons, these cookies have followed me every step of the way; they are considered one of my few prized collections. If you get a chance I highly encourage you to try them out sometime!

Link to the original post with the recipe: https://boomieskitchen.wordpress.com/2011/06/19/chocolate-chip-cookies/

Photo Guide: No-Fail Creme Brûlée

Hearing the name “Creme Brûlée” invokes a series of different emotions in different people. The wide range of reactions to Creme Brûlée include ” brew what?” to “Isn’t that just failed flan?”. The seemingly fancy dessert is really just a facade to a simple burnt cream.

To me, creme brûlée signifies simplicity and spontaneity. I tend to fall back on creme brûlée when I need a dessert for any dinner occasion. The sweetness of the creamy custard is contrasted with the depth of the crispy caramelized sugar creating a multiplicity of aromas, flavors, textures, and emotions.

Yesterday, I went with my good friend Trishala to visit her roommate Sara on a road trip. This marked the beginning of my spring break and also the start of a much needed getaway. One goal of the road trip was to create a dessert that would signify the success of the trip. Finally settling on creme brûlée, I also decided that it was finally time for me to invest in a torch. Yes. That was no typo. Finally.

My friends Trish and Sara

For those of you new to this dessert, it can be separated into two different components, a rich custard base, or the “creme” and a crunchy caramelized sugar top, or the “brûlée”. The brûlée   has been marketed to be produced with a torch. Now that I have most of my readers equally confused, I’ll start making my point.

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Photo Guide: Braided Garlic Bread

I’m back again with another photo guide; this time for my braided garlic bread! Today I wanted to share some pictures from the bread making process so you all can know what your dough should look like. I’m really excited to finally debut this entry because I’ve been buzzing about my “photo guide” series for a while. This was a joint effort between my roommate, Shawn and myself.

When I’m crunched for time I like to speed up my kneading process by turning up the oven to the lowest temperature so the heating element is warmed and the entire oven is toasty. Then, I turn the oven off and let it cool down slightly and use the residual heat in the elements to speed the proofing process up.

When I have the time, I let the bread take its time to rise so I can develop some nice flavors in the bread dough as the yeast breaks the gluten and sugar down.

In my kitchen, I always keep a jar of Active Dry Yeast in the refrigerator so I can whip up some bread when I’m craving some carbs. I sprinkle the yeast on top of warm sugary water and then stir to let it dissolve. The water should be heated so that its very warm, but you should still be able to submerge your hands in the water without wanting to pull them out. If you aren’t sure, keep it on the cooler side. By heating the water up, the yeast becomes active faster. I usually end up with some clumps, which is fine because they dissolve after letting it sit for a minute. You want to let it become nice and foamy which usually takes about 5 minutes. This is the “proofing” process.

Just to save some time I get started on the flour and spices while my yeast proofs. I find that tossing the spices together with my hands tenses to be more efficient than using a dough hook. I promise I washed my hands before hand! I like to add my oil into the flour ahead of time because it is a lot easier to combine chunks of flour and oil with water than it is to add oil to dough. This technique is also used in the Japanese Water-Roux technique –it is said that adding part of the liquids into the flour actually helps the water to be absorbed more evenly. Make sure you use bread flour because it will make kneading a lot easier. The higher gluten content makes for faster kneading times a better “crumb”.

more after the break! Continue reading