12 Days of Baking – Day 2: Peppermint Candy Sugar Cookies
I love baking and cooking, it relaxes me. I really love it! That’s my mantra…..cooking relaxes me. What have I gotten myself into? I’m only into my second day of baking and I’m already regretting this challenge. The challenge here is that I work full-time and I do my best cooking and baking in the morning. Getting up at the crack of down like a run a bakery, is getting on my last nerve. The upside, I’m 100% positive that I don’t want to work or own a bakery. No.
- 2 3/4 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste
- 1/2 salt
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- 1.5 inch round cutter
- 8 tablespoons of cup meringue powder
- 3 tablespoons of warm water
- 4 cups of powdered sugar
- gel food coloring
For the cookies
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line baking sheets with parchment paper.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour and baking powder and set aside.
- Cream butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg and extracts mixing until combined. Add the flour mixture one cup at a time, mixing on low until just combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed. After the last addition, the mixture will look thick and crumbly.
- Now you’re ready to roll. Line rolling surface with wax paper. Dust surface and coat your rolling pin with flour. Roll a portion of the dough on the flour-coated surface and knead it together until smooth. Roll dough 1/4 inch thick. Dip the round cutter in flour and cut as many circles out of the dough as you can. Remove scraps, re-knead and repeat. Make sure to reflour the work surface too.
- Place cookies on prepared cookie sheet. (You can easily lift them as the dough is sturdy.) You can also roll directly on to parchment paper, remove scraps and transfer the parchment paper to the cookie sheet.
- Place cookies in freezer for about 10 minutes. Then bake for 9-12 minutes. Remove from oven when done and let cool for a couple of minutes on the baking tray. Use the cookie cutter again to trim cookies to size if desired. Then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
For the icing
- When cool, mix royal icing in the large bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment. Mix together meringue powder, peppermint extract (optional) and water until foamy and combined.
- Sift in the powdered sugar, add the corn syrup and mix on low until incorporated. Scrape down sides of bowl and beat for 5 minutes on medium-low. Increase to medium-high and continue beating just until icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. Tint a small portion of the royal icing pink. If you like add a few drops of white gel color to the remaining white icing.
- With a squeeze bottle, pipe and outline the cookies in white. Then thin the icing to create a flood consistency. Add a few drops of water at a time to the white icing until it is the consistency of thick syrup. Repeat with the pink icing. Use the squeeze bottle to fill the center of the outlined cookie with white flood icing. Pipe dots of pink around the perimeter and use a toothpick to pull the pink toward the center of the cookie to create the peppermint design. (See photos above). Repeat with the remaining cookies and let dry for 24 hours. (Note: If the pink icing sits on the surface of the white without sinking in, then thin the icings a bit more.
adapted from Read more at http://www.bakerella.com/peppermint-candy-sugar-cookies/#2RyXpcC7kGGH1Hmr.99