Cardamom Spiced Sugar Cookies

A quick post just to peek at what I’ve been up to. Also, to document a delicious and super easy spiced sugar cookie recipe, perfect for the holidays. I usually find rolling and cutting out cookies quite a tedious chore, but this one proved to be of minimal hassle. Note that I did not say hassle-free…I still really only make these for the fun of decorating them (which then makes it well worth it!)

“We’re free” is in reference to the end of classes. Rest assured, I am not being held captive in some cookie dungeon.
Why yes, that is a poop emoji. Only for my classiest of friends.

Cardamom Spiced Sugar Cookies
This recipe makes about 5 dozen, depending on size, and can easily be halved or otherwise scaled.

6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp cardamom
2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice
1/4 tsp cloves
2 cups butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla bean paste, or extract

Sift the flour, salt, and spices, and set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until light and pale, about 5 minutes in a stand mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the sides of the bowl, until well incorporated. Mix in the vanilla. Add the dry ingredients and mix just to combine. Form into 2 discs and chill in the fridge at least 45 minutes, or chuck it in the freezer to save for future use.

Take out one disc and roll it out to about a 1/4 inch thick, then slide it on a board and place it back in the fridge for 15 minutes. Take out the sheet, and cut out your desired shapes. Place the cut out cookies in the freezer for 15 minutes before baking.

Bake at 325 F for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges start to see some colour and the undersides turn golden brown. If you like particularly crispy or soft cookies, go by colour and adjust baking times accordingly.

Note: Leave cookies to cool to room temperature before storing or decorating. Some suggest waiting a day before decorating, but I haven’t run into any problems doing them on the same day. Also, these were so delicious with the pretzels on top, so if you can incorporate some salty crunch into your decorations, I would highly recommend it. That said, I have also eaten many of these cookies naked and they taste fantastic as is.


Canadian Themed Maple Cookies

I’m working with international students this summer in Montreal, and made a batch of “Canadian” cookies for a farewell ceremony. Though I’m not crazy for sugar cookies, I do looove decorating them, so I’ll gladly jump on any opportunity that comes along. I used maple syrup in place for agave in these for that extra-Canadian kick.

I drew out an outline of a loon shape and piped a whole bunch of birds onto sheets of waxed paper the day before baking. I always make LOTS of extras since they are quite prone to breakage. Especially with small protruding bits like the beaks and tails on these.

loons - steps

I flipped through a whole bunch of sugar cookie recipes to frankenstein one I liked and went on a late-night baking spree. Without air conditioning in the apartment, I like to avoid turning on the oven during the day. With the loons dry and ready to go, the rest of the decorating was a breeze: I just flooded the cookies with a 10-second icing (#3 tip), and drew the maple leaf outline with a #1 tip wet-on-wet, then placed the loon right on top. (Click here to read about royal icing consistencies.Once everything was dried, I personalized the cookies with all the students’ names.

Continue reading Canadian Themed Maple Cookies

Brush Embroidery – Take Two

Just a quick post to update on my second attempt at brush embroidery. Mixing the colours was lots of fun, and moving from the kitchen counter to the dining table was certainly appreciated by my back. I still can’t manage to get the cookies to taste all that great though, with all that icing. But, I guess that’s just what you get when you work with royal icing. These designs were my best attempt at replicating the beauties created by SweetAmbs (head over there to bask in her glory). I think I’ve gotten the brush embroidery technique down so it is time to come up with some of my own designs!

I also put the owls from the last post onto this batch of cookies. I think it worked out well! I’m personally a fan of the big fat one in the bottom corner ;)

Brush Embroidery

So I decided to try out some brush embroidery. I had bookmarked several beautiful cakes and cookies that all used the technique, and finally got around to trying it myself. It took me a while to figure it out and I’ll definitely need to keep practicing, but this technique is super fun, so I recommend giving it a shot if you’ve never done it before. A great tutorial from SweetAmbs can be found here. 

I’m quite impatient, so of course I started decorating the cookies when the base layer of icing wasn’t completely dry yet. Anyone could tell you that’s a dreadful idea, but of course I went ahead anyway. This created some problems, but seeing as this was my first practice round, I can deal with some smudged and holey icing.

Continue reading Brush Embroidery