These Aren’t the Cookies You’re Looking For

Star_wars_logo

06 Nov These Aren’t the Cookies You’re Looking For

Star Wars_allThere are very few things in this world that brings out my nerd as much as Star Wars does. Memories of my childhood consist of watching Return of the Jedi on old, scratchy VHSs and having epic lightsaber fights with my best friend. Little has changed since then: I still prefer the VHS copies over DVDs and instead of fighting with foam swords, I enjoy Star Wars: Battlefront. With all of this being said, you can only imagine my excitement when a friend requested some Star Wars cookies. Immediately, I wanted to make ALL of the cookies. I wanted Yodas and Bobas and bears (oh my!). Woops, sorry wrong movie. I pictured Millennium Falcons, Storm Troopers, Darth Vaders, lightsabers, and C3POs. My goals were ambitious. Little did I realize how complex recreating Star Wars was going to be (an issue that I’m sure George Lucas figured out by the time he got to Revenge of the Sith). I ended up narrowing my lineup down to the following: Boba Fett, TIE Fighters, Darth Vader, R2D2, Death Stars (both finished and unfinished), the “Star Wars” logo, and some plain ol’ stars to fill in.

First step was to make the cookies. I found some absolutely incredible looking cutters from Williams-Sonoma but had a little sticker shock. After reading this fantastic post by The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle, I was inspired to go through my old cutters and repurpose them for this project. I used a square cutter for the logo, a circle cutter for the Death Stars, and a bell cutter for Darth Vader. For Boba and R2D2 I actually hand-cut each individual cookie. The Millennium Falcon was done using a giant circle cookie cutter which I modified. The TIE fighter was a generic frame cutter. One batch of the below recipe made plenty of cookies. I made 5 of each of the above shapes and used the leftover dough for stars.

DSC_0540
DSC_0540

No Fail Sugar Cookies

November 6, 2014

This recipe is adapted from Cake Central's post: http://bit.ly/1gdg5ia

Ingredients

6 Cups of Flour

3 Tsp. Baking Powder

2 Cups of Unsalted Butter

2 Cups of Sugar (white granulated)

2 Eggs

2 Tsp. of Vanilla Extract

1 Tsp. Salt

Directions

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture.

Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours.

Roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes.

Bake on ungreased baking sheet at 350 degree F for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges.

This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3" cookies.

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For my royal icing, I went with my new recipe but I didn’t add an flavoring. One batch was more than enough and I had some leftover.

Dog_Bones
Dog_Bones

New Royal Icing Recipe

November 6, 2014

This recipe is a courtesy of the absolutely brilliant Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle, found at: http://bit.ly/1T8IMuN

Ingredients

1 Bag of Confectioner's Sugar (about 2 lbs)

1/3 Cup plus 1 Tablespoon of Meringue Powder

3/4 Cup of Warm Water (plus some to add to achieve correct consistency)

Directions

Using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment, pour all of the sugar and meringue powder into a bowl and mix on low until incorporated.

With the mixer still running, pour in 3/4 cup warm water.

Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of the bowl and then turn the mixer on medium for 6 minutes.

After that, turn the mixer on high for 4-5 minutes. The icing should be very stiff at this point.

When working with the icing, make sure to keep the bowl covered with a damp towel to ensure that it doesn't dry out. If you put this icing in an air-tight container, it should save for weeks (just make sure to give it a good mixing before using it).

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The order in which everything is piped is what made these cookies look so fantastic. By allowing time between different colors and layers for the icing to dry, the edges remain crisp and clean. Below is my very best R2D2. The first step for him was outlining the gray head and white body. This was done with flooding-consistency icing and a #2 Wilton tip. While this was drying, I mixed a little royal blue icing, and watered it down to a stiff-ish flooding consistency. I then used my #2 tip to pipe all of the blue pieces. Once the blue icing was dry to the touch, I flooded the gray head, the gray detail on his torso, and his white body. After another hour, he was ready for the black eyepiece and the white detailing (stiff icing consistency and a #1 tip).

R2D2

After mixing a darker gray icing to flooding consistency, it was time to tackle the Death Star, TIE Fighter, and Millennium Falcon. The first step is to pipe the base of each of these cookies. In order to get a clean edge, I would use a toothpick on any freshly piped icing to shape it the way that I wanted. After the first layer dried, I piped a small black circle in the center of the TIE Fighter and then finished the rest of the detailing with a #1 tip and some light gray icing. I wasn’t exactly sure of the best way to depict an unfinished Death Star (short of actually biting off chunks of cookie) so I ended up with the below interpretation. Close enough.

MF_logo Fighter_logo Death_Star_Unfinished_logo Death_Star_Unfinished_logo

Darth Vader and the “Star Wars” logo cookies were both decorated with the some kind of chocolate icing that I used in my grand piano sugar cookies. The last time I made the chocolate icing, it didn’t matter if the piano was pure black but it was really important to me that my Vader was as black as possible. I mean, gray Vader just isn’t intimidating. As a result, I ended up adding WAAAAAYYYY more black dye than I did with my pianos. I guarantee that this black icing stained a few tongues (totally worth it). Using flooding-consistency icing, I piped the square background for the logo and filled in Vader’s head. After that layer dried (and it took a long time for some reason) I used a #1 tip and some bright yellow (stiff) icing to write “Star Wars”. The stiff consistency was key for this. I also whipped up a batch of stiff black icing for the detailing on Vader. Once again using a #1 tip, I outlined his helmet and drew in his intimidating stare.

Star_wars Darth

The cookies that turned out the absolute best were my Boba Fetts. I’m not sure if it’s because he was colorful compared to the other cookies, but he most certainly stood apart from the others. For him, I started by piping the “T” shape in black and the little white dent. After that, I piped the dark green (then let it dry) followed by the maroon (once again, let it dry) and then finally the lighter green of the rest of his helmet. I used a #1 tip to add his antenna and little yellow stripes.

Boba_logo

 

whatwentwrongThis post wouldn’t be complete without a “What Went Wrong” entry. In my last post I talked about Badger, my cute yet grumpy puppy. She’s so small that she doesn’t really cause much of a problem around the house. But then there’s Moose. Moose is our big goldendoodle puppy. And she loooooves to cause trouble. More than once she has eaten my baked goods. In her life, she has stolen cookies, cheesecakes, brownies, and then chased it all with a little bit of eggnog. Now I know what you’re thinking: “Stupid Becca, just put the food in a higher place!” You see, we have actually caught her ON TOP OF the kitchen table before. Like, all 4 legs standing on top of the kitchen table. There are limited surfaces in our home that are high enough to evade her gaping maw. As a result, sometimes cookies end up on a table but I typically surround them with a cage of wire drying racks. This time, obviously, my system wasn’t enough to discourage her from chowing down on a Millennium Falcon and a couple of Death Stars. From what I can tell, she had used her paws to drag the tray towards the edge of the table and then proceeded to scarf as many cookies down as possible before I caught her red-pawed. Moral of the story is to eat all of your cookies quickly before your dog does. If only the Rebel Alliance had known the Death Star’s true weakness: a hungry puppy.

dead falcon