Monday, September 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Leaf Cookies

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. She told us to make sugar cookies that represent September. You can find the recipes she gave us to work with here.

I make cookies all the time. Roll-out cookies (including sugar cookies) require more effort (and counter space) than drop cookies, so they get made less often, but there are still several slightly stained recipe cards for them in my recipe box. One of the two go-to cookies if we needed to take cookies to an even when I was little were my mom's butter cookies. When these cookies were taken somewhere they were almost always decorated - although essentially never with frosting. The mess that comes with frosting was reserved for birthday cakes and the the construction and decoration of gingerbread houses. Thus this challenge was essentially asking me to take two things I was familiar with and put them together.

The theme for the cookies was easy - fall leaves. I have a couple of leaf cookie cutters (and an acorn!) that I picked up in the dollar bin at Target one time and have been looking for an excuse to use. We split the dough in half so that we could make some plain (and thus see what exactly the recipe gives us) and added orange zest and a dash of cloves to the other half. I would give you measurements, but we didn't actually measure the flavorings. They came out well, but I have to admit that this particular cookie recipe is not one I am likely to be going back to. I have others that fill the same kind of role that I like better.

With decorating, we tried putting veins in the leaves before and after flooding. Our conclusion was that it was more effective to add the detail after. One of the pictures below shows the difference.

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