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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

candy corn cookies and nails!

Hey, hey!  Happy Wednesday!  I'm excited to share a guest post from my friend Luci.  We first met in graduate school and had lots of great conversations while sharing an office with one another.  Now that I've moved to Texas, Luci and I continue to chat constantly, sharing paragraphs from our dissertation for the other to edit and (more fun) encouraging each other with our blogs.  Luci has a great blog called Luci's Morsels, where she talks about all things food, fashion, and fun.  I encourage you to go check it out!

Hi Delightful Country Cookin’ readers! I’m so excited to be guest posting here today. Kristin has been so sweet and generous with her time over the last few months, helping me learn to be a better blogger, I thought: what better way to show a bit of thanks than a fun, Halloween-themed cookie post?


I found a candy corn cookie cutter last month and was so excited to try it out. I’m an experienced sugar cookie maker, but I’ve never decorated with royal icing before. It was a learning process – one that I’ll be sharing with you today. For directions on how to do candy corn nail art (along with some other fall ideas for your fingers), head on over to the post on my blog today (here).



When you make royal icing, the key is adding enough warm water. Your icing should have the consistency and shine of toothpaste. You can see the difference in adding enough water from the picture below. The icing won’t spread evenly until you have enough water.

Once you’ve made your batch of icing (recipe below), separate it into three bowls. If you’re only decorating candy corn cookies, then divide the icing according to how much you’ll use of each color (most for yellow, less for orange, and even less for white). To get this yellow hue, I used 15 drops of yellow per ½ cup icing. For the orange, I used 10 drops yellow and 5 drops red (a 2:1 ratio). Remember the key to food coloring – you can always add more color, you can’t take it away. And, it can get messy so wear an old comfy t-shirt and pants!

When you’ve got your colors mixed up, pour them each into a frosting bag with a small round tip. Starting with the yellow, outline the first section. Then squiggle some frosting in the middle. It should fill in most of the outlined area by itself. Use a toothpick to fill in the areas it missed. Repeat for the orange and white areas.

Tip: If you have a problem snacking on cookies and icing while decorating cookies (like I do), chew a piece of gum to help you save room for the finished morsel!


When I serve decorated cookies at a party or take them to a potluck, I leave some of the cookies plain to leave options and provide variety in the display.

Sugar Cookies
**Makes about 3 dozen cookies**
1 Cup butter, softened
1 Cup sugar
3 Cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 egg
1 Tablespoon milk (nonfat is fine)
Powdered sugar

Beat butter and sugar together. Mix in egg and milk. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Slowly add flour to butter mixture. Beat until most of it pulls away from side of the bowl. Divide the dough in half, wrap in parchment paper, and refrigerate for at least 2 hours. I like to make mine the night before baking to break up the process.

When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 375°. Take out one of the dough packages. Unwrap it and let sit out for five minutes. Sprinkle powdered sugar on your rolling surface and the rolling pin. Roll out the dough until it’s 1/3 inch thick. Cover baking sheet with parchment paper or cooking spray. Cut your candy corn cookies out and place them on the baking sheet at least 1 inch apart. Bake until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, about 8 or 9 minutes. After removing them from the oven, let the cookies sit for a few minutes before transferring them to a wire rack or plate to cool. You can store the cookies in a bag or airtight container for up to 1 day before decorating to have fresh cookies.

Royal Icing
4 Cups powdered sugar
4 Tablespoons of meringue powder (available at Michaels)
½ Cup warm water (have more available)
yellow and red food coloring

Beat all ingredients except food coloring together until you get a toothpaste consistency and shine. Divide icing into three bowls. For each ½ cup of yellow, add 15 drops of yellow food coloring. For each ½ cup of orange, add 10 drops of yellow and 5 drops of red food coloring (2:1 ratio).

Place each frosting batch into a frosting bag with a small round tip attached.* Starting with the yellow, outline the top third of the cookie. Then squiggle frosting in the middle of the outlined area. The icing should fill in the outlined area by itself. Use a toothpick to fill in the areas it missed. With orange frosting, outline and squiggle the middle third of the cookie. Ice the bottom third (or the tip of the cookie) with white frosting. Let sit 20-30 minutes to set.

*If you don’t have a frosting bag (like me), then use a small baggie. Cut off a small (start with ½ inch) corner of the bag. Insert a frosting tip. I think the most useful for this method are the tips made for the prepackaged tubes of icing at the grocery store – they have a nice thick rim that is easier to hold on to. With one hand, wrap your pointer finger and thumb around the rim to avoid having the icing gush out of the bag. Gently squeeze the icing out with the other hand.

I hope you all enjoyed my decorating adventures. And thank you so much to Kristin for letting me visit today. This was so much fun!




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