Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Blogging By Mail - The Easter Edition
A big thank you to Emma of The Laughing Gastronome for organising another round of Blogging By Mail.
I was delighted to receive a box of Easter inspired treats from Barbara of Winos and Foodies. Beautifully wrapped in pastel coloured tissue paper were all the fixin’s to make Easter biscuits. Barbara sent me cocoa, icing sugar, a set of food colourings, some silver cachous (AKA dragees or non pareils), the cutest little bunny shaped cookie cutter and a pretty tin to keep the finished biscuits in. To top it all off a tiny, gold wrapped, Lindt chocolate bunny. Thank you Barbara for a very thoughtful box of goodies.
I don’t have a tried and tested recipe for cut out cookies so I sent an SOS to my friends The Daring Bakers and received a very prompt reply from Quellia at All Things Edible. I couldn't find the recipe on her blog so I've reproduced it here. Hope that's OK Quellia?
Quellia's Sugar Cookies
1 cup butter at room temp (1/2 pound or 227 grams)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar
1 large egg, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 2/3 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Preheat oven to 350F
In a large bowl, mix butter and sugar together until fluffy (I used a wooden spoon)
Beat in egg and vanilla
In a small bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg and add to butter, sugar and egg mixture
Mix well until a ball forms
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead gently for 1 minute
With a rolling pin, roll dough out to a thickness of about 1/4 inch
Cut with cookie cutters (you can sprinkle with colored sugars here if you want)
Bake on a non-stick cookie sheet for 9-12 minutes
Let cookies cool slightly on a baking sheet, then move to a rack to cool completely
I chilled my cookie dough for an hour but two would have been better as it's a softish dough.
Quellia's recipe was for cookies with a hint of nutmeg but because Barbara had sent cocoa powder and I wanted to make chocolate bunnies I substituted 1/3 of a cup of the flour with 1/3 cup of cocoa and I added a teaspoon of cinnamon to the mix. The combination of brown and white sugar in the cookie mixture gives a really good flavour. I love their texture - crisp but not hard. I will definitely add this recipe to my collection.
A friend needed to give her husband some quiet time to study so she came to my house to help me bake and decorate the cookies. Because the cookies spread a little and also because I only have two cookie sheets we had to bake them in several batches. It's a wonder we didn't burn more of them because we were so distracted with our decorating and chatting that most of the time I forgot to set the timer. Our decorating skills leave something to be desired and I was a bit generous with the food colouring but hey I'm a bright kinda gal. We experimented with some coloured sugar, 100s and 1000s (jimmies or sprinkles) and the silver cachous, but we didn't care for the look very much so they didn't make it to the photo shoot. It was a lot of fun and I can see why kids enjoy this kind of baking. How cute are these bunnies?