Thursday, June 28, 2012

Every great inspiration is but an experiment - Charles Ives

It was experiment week in the kitchen. Throwing things together and being bored and missing Mike while he has been out of town.

So between the crazy baking spree I recently went on with beer bread and peanut butter balls I have now made more sugar cookies. Regular this time - well I used rum extract since I'm out of vanilla. Can't really tell when you eat them though. It works.

I made the frosting first, not knowing what I was going to use it on. Brilliant right? Who said genius had to come after the main part of a baked item was created?

So when I was bored I had powdered sugar and softened butter. I then realized, after combining ingredients that I was out of vanilla...well I didn't want to do rum frosting. I just made rum cupcakes not too long ago. I didn't want to do coconut. A lot of people hate coconut. So I looked and found I had vodka, gummy flavored. I thought to myself, hmm I wonder if this would taste good as frosting? I enjoy the gummy vodka by itself as well as mixed in a drink but wasn't sure how it would work as a flavoring. Then again most all extracts are a flavored alcohol basically. Good extracts have alcohol in them. my thinking I figured it would just come out as a gummy flavor. Well, sort of. I had to play with the ratio of vodka to sugar and butter. Added a bit of water here and there to thin out without adding a crap load of alcohol, since this is not a cooked frosting.

I think it turned out well...I added red food dye to give it a gummy kind of feel. (More pink than red - but I'm not going to add that much food coloring). I personally think it tastes more like cotton candy than gummy in frosting form. It's super sweet so just a teaspoon per cookie is enough. From what people that have tasted them for me have said, it's not sicky sweet but it's definitely a "one and done" deal for eating.

So the cookies are pretty basic. They are my mom's super awesome "Christmas Cutout Cookies."

The edges got a bit crispy but still tasty

2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
2 Tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder

Cream sugar and butter. Add egg and vanilla. Add milk. Mix well. Combine flour, salt and powder in another bowl. Add flour mixture in batches until dough comes together. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Roll out dough on floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness and cut out with desired cookie cutters.

(I chose stars for Independence day. Also a good reason for the red coloring for the frosting - I thought of that after I cut out cookies)

Bake at 350 degrees for 6-10 min (depending on your oven - mine is gas and seems to cook things a bit faster than electric ovens I have used.)

Once you set them on a rack to cool you can start making your frosting. The basic frosting I make is 1 stick of butter, 1 lb powdered sugar, a splash of vanilla and a splash of milk for consistency. Add more milk to thin out frosting to obtain a spreading consistency. If you are lactose intolerant, use water.

Once your cookies are cool, start frosting those puppies, or stars in my case.

If you are using the Gummy Vodka recipe, please note 1 TEASPOON is way more than enough frosting for these. Up to 1 1/4 tsp. But no more. If you use more it will be too sweet and in my kitchen Audrey is watching, and a lady NEVER over frosts her cookies. ;)
Audrey watches me cook and bake.
She approves of the pink color
So until next time kids - I think Mike said something about clam chowder....that will hopefully be next. Time for some real food right?