Sunday, 23 February 2014

Gluten free sugar cookies with royal icing! If you dont mind!!

Its sugar cookie day!! And I am all prepared and ready to go, STOP... I do not have fresh lemons for the icing, I have bottle lemon juice but the recipe says use fresh lemon juice and one thing I have learnt about baking is never, ever, ever stray from the recipe not by a gram, not by a drop and certainly not by a different ingredient (sort of, that's the hysteria I am injecting to his lordship), so even though it's his mothers birthday and he is taking her out for lunch he has very kindly (and a little begrudgingly) gone off to get me a FRESH lemon and calm has been restored.
As you can tell I am petrified of baking, I love to cook, ask for something and I will have a go at whipping it up with great confidence but ask for a muffin and I go all white and clammy. Baking is a very exact thing and Im not an exact person. 
His Lordship who has a sweet tooth very thoughtfully bought me a Thermochef in an effort to increase the amount non-existent cakes that where being baked and that has helped but the fear is still ingrained so today is a very big day in this household!

I am using a ThermoMix the recipe the ingredients are:

Sugar Cookie Dough

200 grams unsalted butter softened, at room temperature
200 grams caster sugar
1 egg
400 grams plain flour
1 cap-full Vanilla Extract

EDC Royal Icing (double quantity)

500 grams white sugar
2 egg, whites
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed

All done and ready to go! Always start with coffee, there is not point going into this with a caffeine withdrawal.

First ingredient I have the unsalted butter but of course it is not at room temperature! So I hit the fast forward button on the butter getting to room temperature (microwave style).

If you have a Thermomix or chef  here is the recipe if you don't, I imagine there will be 100 similar but this what I used.
Place Thermoserver on top of Tm and weigh in flour. Put aside
Place butter and sugar in Tm and beat 8sec/sp5. Do not beat longer as it will cause your cookies to spread.
Add egg and vanilla and beat 3sec/sp4. While beating at sp4, gradually add flour through hole in the lid. Once all the flour has been poured in, mix for a further 3sec to combine properly. Scrape down. Knead 1minClosed lid/dough mode
Tip out onto lightly floured Thermomat and work into a smooth ball. Wrap in gladwrap and refrigerate for 30mins-1hr. Preheat oven to 180degrees and line 2 baking trays with baking paper.

I used gluten free flour, always a risk but it means his lordship can try them and its the least I can do after getting me my fresh lemon and as this point I was calming down, it wasnt so hard.

Roll dough between 2 sheets of baking paper using thickness guides of approx 8mm. Cut Shapes out using cookie cutters and place on prepared trays 2-3cm apart. If time allows, or dough is too soft to handle, refridgerate whole tray for another 30mins.

My little shapes going into the oven, the stars where easy the dough was getting a little to warm when I started to cut the crowns and they where harder, the little tips kept falling off, I found a little extra flour on my board helped. Having a screaming 1 year old ready to get out of bed and Madam almost 4 asking copious amounts of questions was not helping. Finally they went in the oven and I breathed normally again.

Bake for 10-12mins or until very lightly golden 

12 minutes latter and they havent turned out too bad YIPPY! It turns out that was not the hard part. 

Decorate with EDC Royal Icing.

Place 250grams sugar in TM bowl and mill 30sec/sp9.
Place remainder 250grams sugar in TM bowl and mill again 30sec/sp9. (If it is still not super fine enough, let TM rest for a few minutes and re-mill 30sec/sp9)
Add egg whites and lemon juice and mix 5sec/sp7.
Pipe or spread onto cooled cookies.

The very nice people at Sweet Bakes advised me patience is key and they were not wrong! I had Madam almost 4 helping me decorate and Miss 1 clinging to my legs and wanting to be picked up and the icing is hard hard work, it doesn't come out of the piping tube all nice and evenly and it certainly does not come out sharp when you get to the edges but here it is, my best shot! It's not awful and it is certainly not any were near professional and next time I will do them when the kids are in bed!
This has not cured my fear of baking but it has given me a little more confidence.
Now off to cook dinner with my slap happy way of cooking and enjoy the relaxing feeling it gives me.

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