Archive | September, 2012

Sugar Cookies, Royal Icing and the Buenos Aires Cookie Club

20 Sep
Sugar Cookie Recipe

Sugar Cookies (Pink and blue frosting)

What a success the first Buenos Aires Cookie Club was! There were a few hiccups along the way (how many cookies should everyone make??), but in the end everything turned out beautifully and we were blown away by the positive reaction. This meeting was just the first of many to come, and the grand event will be near Christmas time! Just think: dozens and dozens of beautiful Christmas cookies. Mmmm…

I thought for weeks about which cookie I’d make: peanut butter? gingerbread? biscotti? In the end, I decided to make a childhood classic, that I have fond memories of decorating as a child: Sugar cookies with royal icing.

They turned out decent…I didn’t realize the icing would need so long to dry, so they kind of stuck together during transport. But the taste was awesome! I threw in some orange juice and lots of orange zest to give it an extra kick.

Buenos Aires Cookie Club

Sugar Cookie Recipe (Adapted from Joy of Baking)

3 cups (390 grams) flour

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 cup (227 grams) butter, room temperature

1 cup (200 grams) white sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

2 tablespoons orange juice

Zest of one orange

Preheat oven to 350F (177C).

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Cream the butter with the sugar, then add eggs one at a time, then the vanilla and orange juice and zest. Add the flour and mix well. Divide the dough into two balls and cover with plastic wrap and store in fridge for at least an hour.

Roll out the dough and cut with your favorite cookie cutter. Bake 8-10 minutes, until the borders are lightly brown. Cool completely before icing.

Royal icing:

2 large (60 grams) egg whites

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

3 cups (330 grams) powdered sugar, sifted

Beat eggs whites with lemon juice until foamy, add powdered sugar and continue beating until you get the right consistency. You don’t want it to be too runny otherwise they will drip off the cookies. You can add food coloring at this time.

Have fun with decorating! You can put the icing in a pastry bag, try different tips, different colors, use a tooth pick to swirl it around, anything really. Here’s some inspirational cupcakes that I made:

Cupcakes with Royal Icing

The best lemon curd recipe and how to use it

6 Sep

Lemon CurdThe first time I tried lemon curd was during a trip to London when I was 21. I had it slathered on a piece of toast, and it completely blew my mind and rejected every idea I had on all the jams and jellies eaten in my lifetime. Curd is sweet, tangy, cool and smooth. Not too sweet, not too sour. And completely versatile.

If you search “lemon curd recipe” on Google, you’ll get bombarded by dozens of different recipes and techniques. Which is the best? Which is the simplest? Well, I’ve done the work for you, weeded through the recipes and selected this recipe for lime curd, which can be apdated to other citruses, like lemon! I’ve also tried grapefruit and my mom tested this recipe with orange, in both cases we did half lemon juice and it tasted amazing.

Lemon Curd (adapted from Lime Curd recipe on Honest Cooking)

3 large eggs
1/2 cup (96g) of sugar
Zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup (0.118L) of fresh lemon juice
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

1. Whisk the eggs and sugar in saucepan until a light lemony color. Add in the zest, lime juice and pieces of butter.

2. Place saucepan over medium heat and constantly whisk mixture until it starts to thicken.  Allow it to come to a simmer for a couple of seconds and remove from heat.  Cool to room temperature, add vanilla and then place in a container in the fridge. It will thicken more as it cools down.

How to use it:

1) Slathered on a freshly-baked scone

2) As a filling to a spongy vanilla caked, topped with my whipped white chocolate and orange ganache.

3) Served with toasted baguette, perhaps in this shape?

3) Sandwiched between two crispy, chewy macaron shells.

4) Fill a pâte sucrée with it, and top with toasted coconut and/or whipped cream, or some fresh fruit.

5) You tell me how you used it! 🙂

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