Decorated Sugar Cookies

I recently made some decorated cookies for Peppino Capuano Jewellery in occasion of ‘La Vendemmia 2017’.  “The excellence of the best international wines encounters the exclusivity of the luxury boutiques in the fascinating setting of Via Condotti and Piazza di Spagna”.  La Vendemmia is an exclusive event that has been celebrated in Milan since 2009 but this was the first year that it was also celebrated in the Eternal City. 

Peppino Capuano Jewellery invited me to attend the event on the 19th October.  I visited their Atelier to meet the family a few days before the event, and left feeling like we’d been friends for years.  I offered to make cookies for them to offer their guests, something small but elegant and edible! 

Decorated cookies can take a lot of time, but if you do have time on your hands, it can be fun and therapeutic.  Plunger cutters facilitate the fondant decoration, although there are some amazing cookie decorators that use small piping bags filled with coloured royal icing. Hours are spent sometimes just on one cookie.  Mine are not at all that complicated! 

I thought I’d share the cookie recipe I use.  I’ve tried many, and the one thing that is important when making decorated sugar cookies, is that you want the cookie to maintain it’s shape while it’s cooking.  My recipe is quite simple, and after trying many over the years, I get the best results from the basic recipe I use to make my sweet pastry for tarts!

Decorated Sugar Cookies

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 1 egg + 1 egg yolk
  • 125g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • pinch salt
  • lemon zest (optional)
  1. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color. Add egg and yolk and beat to combine.  Put mixer on low speed, gradually add sifted flour and salt, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl. Turn cookie dough out onto a floured board and knead gently until smooth. Divide in half.
  2. Use a rolling pin to roll one half of dough in between two sheets of baking paper, until it is 5mm thick.  Repeat with the second half of dough and refrigerate both cookie dough sheets for 30minutes.  (You can also put them in the freezer).
  3. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  4. Use cookie cutters and cut cookie dough into desired shape.  Do this quickly and put cookies into the pre-heated oven before they get to room temperature. Place them at least 1.5cm apart on baking paper, and bake for 10 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges.  Let cookies sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on a wire rack.
  5. Knead remaining dough, roll out again between two sheets of baking paper, and refrigerate again.  Repeat process until all cookies have been baked.

*Below the recipe written in Italian, are some examples of my decorated sugar cookies. 

RICETTA IN ITALIANO

Dopo avere provato tante ricette per i biscotti decorati, la ricetta che trovo migliore (i biscotti non si deformano durante la cottura) è semplicemente quella per la pasta frolla che uso per tutte le mie crostate!

  • 250g di farina
  • 1 uovo + 1 tuorlo d’uovo
  • 125g burro
  • 100g di zucchero
  • pizzico di sale
  • scorza di limone (facoltativo)
  1. Mettere il burro e lo zucchero nella ciotola di una planetaria e sbattere fino a quando la miscela e omogeneo.
  2. Aggiungere l’uovo e tuorlo e sbattere.  Mettere il mixer a bassa velocità, aggiungere gradualmente la farina setacciata e il sale, e sbattere fino a quando l’impasto sarà unito.  Trasferire l’impasto su una tavola infarinata e impastare delicatamente con farina ’00’.  Dividere a metà.
  3. Utilizzare un mattarello per stendere una metà della pasta tra due fogli di carta da forno, fino a quando sarà 5mm di spessore.  Ripetere con la seconda metà di pasta e refrigerare entrambi per 30 minuti.  (potete anche metterli nel freezer).
  4. Preriscaldare il forno a 180 °C.
  5. Usare ‘cookie cutters’ e tagliare la pasta nella forma desiderata.  Fate questo rapidamente e mettere i biscotti nel forno pre-riscaldato prima che i biscotti arrivino a temperatura ambiente. Disponeteli ad almeno 1,5 cm di distanza a parte sulla carta da forno e cuocere per 10 minuti o fino a che i biscotti non sono troppo bruniti intorno ai bordi.  Lasciate che i biscotti riposino sulla teglia per 2 minuti dopo la rimozione dal forno e poi passare al raffreddamento completo su una griglia.
  6. Impastare la pasta rimanente, stendere di nuovo tra due fogli di carta da forno, e refrigerare di nuovo.  Ripetere il processo fino a quando tutti i biscotti sono stati cotti.

 


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