Monday, September 27, 2010

Sugar Cookies for the Daring Bakers...September Theme

Well, I know some of these cookie choices look very familiar (fall '09), but for our Daring Bakers' challenge this month we were asked to pick cookies that personally represent the month of September.  Of course I had to make a barn since we make multiple treks each fall to our local pumpkin patch:)  There we also pick apples and enjoy the colorful array of changing autumn leaves:) Fall also means football, especially since my son-in-law coaches for a local high school's J.V. team.  I love all the fall COLORS and wanted to make sure that these cookies reflected that aspect of fall!  I really enjoyed this challenge!
 I have baked (and iced) many sugar cookies using my favorite "No Fail Sugar Cookies" recipe and Royal icing recipe. This recipe was unusual in that it did not call out for any baking soda or baking powder.  The reasoning behind omitting them was to better help the cookies keep their shape. As you can see these cookies did hold their shape well, but when it came to eating them,  they were too dense and heavy for my taste. I'll stick with my tried and true recipe, but it was nice to experiment with an alternative.

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

Basic Sugar Cookies: (Daring Bakers' challenge recipe, and tips from Mandy)
Makes Approximately 36x 10cm / 4" Cookies
200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean
• Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming
creamy in texture.
Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during
baking, losing their shape.

• Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl.
Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms.
Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoid
flour flying everywhere.

• Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces.
• Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch)
• Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins.
Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an
hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and
then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker.

• Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface.
• Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife.
• Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour.
Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking.
• Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up.
• Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4.
• Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies.
Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in
some cookies being baked before others are done.

Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly.
• Leave to cool on cooling racks.
• Once completely cooled, decorate as desired.
Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated
cookies can last up to a month.

Thanks Mandy, for a fun challenge!  Now I'm really feeling the spirit of fall!

 Wrap-up from Sue:  We could use the Royal Icing recipe of our choice.  I used the one that I have linked above.
P.S.  I used a Wilton #3 tip to outline the cookies and to add the details after flooding.  To flood, I used a spoon. Also, for the football grass I used Wilton tip #233, and chocolate sprinkles on the squirrel's tail:)

This post is linked to Alicia's (A Beautiful Mess) "Tasty Tuesdays"and 
Tidymom's "I'm Lovin' it Fridays"


  1. Great job and great color/theme choice.
    The little pumpkins on the farmhouse cookies are totally precious. I just found your blog this morning and I'm going to follow you :)
    take care

  2. My goodness the cookies turn out really cute. Love them all.

  3. Beautiful fall cookies! So cute!

  4. Sue,
    Thank you for the detail on the cookie baking tips. Now I can see why your cookies are all so perfect, you are ver particular about your work. I noticed that you use super fine sugar- do you ever blend your own, or do you purchase it that way? I have never, never been fussy over sugar cookies like this, but I am going to print up your sugestions and make a stab at it when I make my next roll out cookies. Wonderful post!

  5. Very nice, especially the squirrel

  6. These look so yummy ...
    I actually have never made colorful sugar cookies. And I have made quite alot of cookies ... Will have to make some. Especially since I think my kiddos would get a total kick out of these!

  7. These are PERFECT! Yay to you! (I don't use baking powder or soda in mine, either, for exactly that reason!)

  8. WOw! amazing piping! Perfectly done! Hats off for you! Thanks for your lovely comment on my post!

  9. I love the fall theme! Your cookies are adorable!

  10. Are those chocolate sprinkles on the sqirrel's tail?! So adoarable!

  11. I've had so much fun today looking at all you Daring Baker's decorated sugar cookies.

    Yours are just adorable!

  12. Your cookies are precious Sue, just too precious. How beautifully you did them. I love love love the fall colours and the attentiong to detail! FUN!

  13. These are all so cool, Sue!! I think my favorite is the squirrel with his bushy sprinkle tail. SO cute!! Now, if the weather will only cool down (it was 103 today!!) it might feel like fall outside, too.

  14. Sue, what bakery are you selling these at...they do look so professional and yummy! Joni

  15. I love these cookies! Your strawberry pie looks so yummy, I've been thinking about making one...maybe on Sat.

  16. Love that squirrel. These are wonderful.

  17. Sue, these decorative sugary cookies look beauuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuutiful!


  18. Great selection of cookies my fav is the cute barn with the pumpkin, adorable.

  19. Well once I heard this was the challenge I knew you'd do some absolutely awesome ones Sue! :D

  20. Hello Señorita! Wow, you're quite the baker! I loved your fall cookies, but most of all I'm crazy in love with your munchkins. Big hug from Fabi in Madrid-Spain.

  21. I am sure you will come up with something amazing .... and you do.. Just love all these skillfully decorated cookies..

    And the selection of the colors are simply suitable with the theme.

    For me, you are the decorated sugar cookie expert!

    Sawadee from Bangkok,

  22. you make THE CUTEST cookies!! love the owl ones! gonna have to make a recipe card for those! thanks for stopping by my blog.

  23. I love your cookies! They have so much detail, and they are so cute! Perfect fall dessert!


  24. These are adorable! This one is a must try. Love all your notes and tips. Thanks for linkin it up to tasty tuesdays.

  25. Those cookies perfectly represent fall. I love the bright colors!

  26. Remember in my blog entry where I spoke of all of those 'Flickr' photos of decorated cookie perfection? Yours rank right up there if not above. I'm envious of your amazing icing ability, but I've seen it before and knew you would rock this challenge! I'm in love with the barn and squirrel!

  27. What adorable cookies! I wanted to participate this month but I failed. I don't know why I'm so scared of doing beautiful cookies :)

  28. These are so professional! I am glad I finally tried these with my daughter in law after she made crown ones for her daughter's birthday. They were really fun and then my daughter and my other daughter in law came over and tried them. We felt soooo successful!
    Love your shapes and colors for fall. They are beautiful.

  29. Wow, I really love those. They are so cute and colorful. It looks like way too much work for me to make though! I'll just enjoy looking at your perfect little creations instead! You really did a great job.

  30. Oh what lovely fall/autumn cookies! Nice work :)

  31. Your cookies are fabulous as usual! I agree about the cookies needing some baking soda or powder.

  32. These are fantastic, but I always love your sugar cookies. You are so talented :) I'm in love with the squirrel.

  33. Cute! I love that you used fall as a theme for your cookies.