I remembered when I was young, I enjoyed making biscuits with Mom. She is a very innovative person, and she likes to do everything practical. We didn't have an oven back then, so she decided to just "fry the dough!". I remember shaping the dough with all sort of cute cookie cutters, and when fried they became somewhat fat in the middle (maybe because of the baking soda).
So there, one day I decided that I wanted one of those sugar cookies to nom. I was also excited about the decoration, because I'd wanted to try decorating with royal icing for so long, and finally I had my chance to do so. I found some sugar cookies sold in the shops with ridiculous price. I know, I know, they look so gorgeous with those breathtaking icing decoration. Why not make my own? I even told myself that one day I was going to succeed in duplicating the famous, melt-in-the-mouth beauty in a form of overpriced Pepperidge Farm's Ginger Man.
I was set to follow Martha Stewart's recipe until one night before I started baking, I'd stumbled upon a blog. In one of her blog entries, Camelia explains that she followed Martha's recipes, and that the cookies turned out tad too sweet for her liking. I don't really like over-sweeten nibbles as they make me feel so full in a bad way! Malaysian way of saying this is 'jelak' and in Indonesian it's called 'eneg' feeling.
Naked cookies. They are so pretty; there was even a moment that I contemplated whether I should proceed with the icing or not.
My first attempt on icing cookies. I will definitely try again as I'm not too pleased with the end result. I need more practice! My hands are virgin decorators.
I need to research how to apply royal icing properly. It was a challenge for me because I'd imagined my cookies' icings to be smooth and pretty. Who has tricks on how to apply royal icing smoothly on cookies? I need that. ASAP. I'm as curious as a cat.
Or was my icing too hard? I didn't exactly follow the icing recipes to the end bit. The end result was not as watery as the icings I'd seen on YouTube before. I applied the icing and to smoothen it I had to use a plastic knife.
Ideal Sugar Sugar Cookies
from Martha Stewart.com
2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup instead)
1 large egg, lightly beaten (I beat it with fork in a small bowl)
2 tbsp brandy or milk (I used milk)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1. Whisk flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. With mixer running, add egg, milk/brandy, and vanilla, and mix until well combined. With mixer on low, slowly add reserved flour mixture and mix until just combined.
2. Transfer dough on a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
3. Preheat oven to 350º F. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper.
4. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into shapes and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes. Do not allow to brown.
recipe altered from NCC Indonesia website
I didn't bother to weigh the ingredients back then, so I just mixed the ingredients bit by bit. The ingredients I used was lemon juice, caster sugar, and egg whites. I just kept adding the sugar until I felt was enough. Well I guess my mistake that the icing wasn't perfect.
Here's the real recipe. Mix everything in a mixer:
100 ml egg white
500 gr caster sugar
1 tsp cooking vinegar or lemon juice
1-3 drops desired essence