More cookies!

2/16/2009 03:32:00 pm

Following on from last week's cookie adventure, of which incidentally, there are more pictures here, I made some more flooded cookies to contribute to tomorrow's staff meeting. Ordinarily there's no way I would go to so much trouble, especially because I don't actually work there anymore, but it's a gold coin donation for the Victorian bush fire appeal- I urge you to donate money to the Red Cross or donate blood if you are able.

So, in keeping with the theme, I made Red Cross cookies...not so great because I've never been patient enough to perfect a neat piping technique, but I've decided that off-centre whimsical shall be my signature style..

They weren't really what I was planning: I couldn't find a cross-shaped (or square) cutter, so I had to improvise.

Oh, and a few people have asked me since last week how to make royal icing. It's really easy and dries solid overnight. This is the way I make it:

Royal Icing.
1 egg white
~250g pure icing sugar (not icing mixture)
2 drops lemon juice/vanilla

Separate the egg white from the yolk carefully to avoid any yolk contaminating the white.
Sift the icing sugar and add it to the white one spoon at a time.
Continue mixing the icing sugar in until the icing is opaque and reaches 'stiff peak' stage. That is, when you lift the spoon up, a little peak is pulled up, and holds its shape fairly well when you take the spoon away.

Now is when you add your colouring and lemon juice/vanilla. The juice isn't essential but makes the icing taste a little better (lemon will make white icing brighter too).

I use stiff-ish peak icing to pipe lines, and let them dry a while before flooding the outlines. To make the icing runny enough for flooding add water drop-by-drop until you get the consistency you want.

One egg white makes more than enough icing to fully cover ~30 cookies.

I usually use Wilton gel colours because they don't leave grainy flecks of colour or change the consistency of the icing. If you're using liquid ones, like the Queen ones that come in the 4 pack at Coles/Woolies, go easy or you'll need more icing sugar to stop the icing getting too runny.

For the red cross cookies I used uncoloured icing for the background, and oil-based powder red for the cross. To use powder colours you need to grind them a little with a spoon so they're fine enough. It was recommended to me that I mix the powder with a little bit of oil first to dissolve it and bring out the colour, but I think as long as you grind it you don't need to bother.

With all colourings, add gradually. It's easy to make the colour more intense, but it's hella difficult to un-colour without adding copious amounts of white icing.

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