Hi, I have been lurking around this forum for awhile, learning all sorts of things from you wonder and talented bakers. I have dabbled a little in cakes and now I want to try iced cookies. I did a batch yesterday, which left me with a few questions ....
1. How do you keep the shape of your cookie dough when moving it from counter to the cookie sheet? I used a spatuala to move the shaped dough and the spatual would cause it to smoosh a little and i would have to try to reshape it on the pan.
2. Is the royal icing suppose to completely harden on the cookie? If so, how long should this take? (I tested a cookie this morning and I could still press into the icing and leave a finger mark)
3. What is the shelf life of a decorated cookie?
That is all I can think of right now. Thank in in advance for your expert advice and tips!
welcome to the world of cookies!
There is a whole lot of information in the cookie forum, I encourage you to look there, but I'll see if I can answer some of your questions first...
I use the "no-fail sugar cookie" (NFSC) dough recipe in the recipe section. It holds it's shape well, especially after refrigerating it. Some people like Penny's recipe better (I think also in the recipe section here). I don't tend to have a problem with the dough losing it's shape, because I like to use a well refrigerated dough, but you could always roll the dough out on parchment paper and then remove the "scraps" around the cookie you cut out, instead of moving the cut out shape itself.
I use Antonia74's royal icing recipe - it's wonderful (also on CC in teh recipe section)! I dries hard enough to stack, but not too hard that you break your teeth eating it. I add a little vanilla extract or other flavoring to it (the original recipe calls for meringue poweder and in Canada, where the author is from, there is vanilla added in the meringue powder). It does need a while to dry. I typically let it dry 12-24 hours before packaging.
I use a 5-7 day rule of thumb for cookies, from making the dough to delivering them to be eaten. I know that a lot of people go longer than that, and have no problems and they still taste fine, but I'm a food safety freak, so I don't go more than that. They can be frozen after decorated, though, if needed.
Hope that helps!
Oh - here are some links for you...
Thank you bonniebakes.
The icing I used was the one you mentioned. I did not add the vanilla - thank you for that tip! The dough I used was store bought (i just wanted to start practicing) and was really soft once it hit room temp. So I guess homemade dough will be stiffer? And I should keep dough refridgerated until ready to roll and cut? I guess that makes sense! LOL
Can't wait to try again! But this time with homemade dough.
yes, a homemade dough will be better at holding it's shape (for practice, if you want to use store-bought dough, add some flour to it to make it stiffer).