Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hurricane Cookies

Oh, Irene.  Our friends back home in NC are still dealing with the aftermath of Irene.  She was angry when she hit the coast, and it will take a long while to recover completely from her wrath.  But, here in DC, there was much ado about nothing.  Sure, it rained.  And, sure, it was windy.  But, overall, Irene's power had gone bust by the time she drifted through here.  We did lose power for about 12 hours, and I may have stayed wide awake staring suspiciously at the trees that looked like they were tempted to lean on our roof, but other than that, Irene was just, well, a dud.

However, Irene's rain and wind did keep us trapped inside for a day.  So, the Monkey and I made cookies.  Or, I made cookies while she played with water in the sink.  And, what I thought would be a fun activity of frosting them together, turned into her licking the bowl while I tried to get the frosting onto the cookies and off her.  You'd think I'd know by now that the 2 year old always wins.

When it became evident that she had no interest in decorating cookies, I whipped out a pastry bag and used a 1M tip to make roses on the tops of the cookies.  They turned out to be quite pretty, and the icing crusted really well.  This type of frosting (with shortening), is a bit too sweet for me but seems to mellow after it rests for a bit.  These soft sugar cookies, though, are fantastic.  Simply amazing.  You must make them.  Today.

Soft Sugar Cookies:
2/3 cup shortening
2/3 cup Earth Balance vegan butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour

Vegan Shortening Frosting:
1/2 cup shortening
4 1/2 cups powdered sugar (no need to sift)
1/4 cups + 2 Tbsp. rice milk
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350.

Cream butter, shortening and sugar together until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes if using vegan butter (3-5 minutes if using regular butter).

On medium speed combine add in the eggs and vanilla and mix until well combined.

With the mixer on low speed, addthe baking powder, salt and flour and mix until it just comes together.

Using a medium dough scoop, roll into somewhat uniform balls, placing approximately 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper (don't worry, the dough is supposed to be sticky).

Bake 7 - 10 minutes until edges are *just* golden.

Once cookies are done, let them cool for a few minutes on the cookie sheet until they can be moved to a cooling rack without falling apart.

To make the frosting:
 While the cookies are cooling...with a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and on medium high speed, cream the shortening and powdered sugar together until smooth.  Slowly add in the rice milk and vanilla and mix until smooth.

If you want, color the frosting with whatever color you'd like (I used Americolor electric blue).  You can either spoon the frosting onto the cookies, or use a pastry bag with a decorative tip and pipe on pretty designs.  I used a Wilton 1M tip.

Source:  University of Cookie.

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