Sunday, January 27, 2008

Pretty in Pink
--Big, Soft Sugar Cookies with Strawberry Icing

Big, Soft Sugar Cookies with Strawberry Icing
The All-American Dessert Book Copyright 2005

3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon baking powder
1 ¼ cups granulated sugar
2/3 cup unsalted butter, slightly softened
2/3 cup solid white shortening at room temperature
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
¼ teaspoon lemon extract
¼ cup sour cream

Strawberry Icing
1 cup strawberries, at room temperature
½ teaspoon grated lemon zest
About 4 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, very soft but not melted
1 ½ tablespoons light corn syrup
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Water, if needed

In a medium bowl, thoroughly stir together the flour, salt and baking powder; set aside. In a large bowl, combine the sugar, butter and shortening. With an electric mixture on medium speed, beat until well-blended and fluffy, about 1 ½ minutes, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Beat in the eggs, corn syrup, vanilla, lemon zest and lemon extract until smoothly incorporated. Beat in half the dry ingredients, stopping and scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. On low speed, beat in the sour cream. Then beat or stir in the remaining dry ingredients just until the mixture is well-blended and smooth. Cover tightly and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 2 days.

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Generously grease several large baking sheets or generously coat with nonstick spray.

On a sheet of plastic wrap or wax paper, shape the chilled dough into a 6-inch disk. Cut the disk into quarters. Wrap 3 of the quarters in plastic wrap or wax paper and return to the refrigerator. Cut the remaining quarter into 6 equal pieces. With greased hands, shape each piece into a ball. Arrange the balls on baking sheets, spacing them about 3 inches apart; don’t crowd as the cookies will spread. Lightly dust your palm with flour then press down each ball until it is a scant ½-inch thick and about 2 ½ inches in diameter. Continue shaping the cookies, leaving each dough portion refrigerated until needed.

Bake for 10 to 14 minutes, or until the edges are lightly browned and the tops just spring back when lightly pressed in the center. Transfer the sheets to wire racks. Let the cookies stand for 1 to 2 minutes to firm up. Using a wide spatula, transfer to the racks. Let cool completely. Set the racks with the cookies over baking parchment or wax paper.

To make the icing: Coarsely chop the strawberries. In a food processor, combine the berries, lemon zest and ¼ cup of the powdered sugar. Process until the strawberries are completely pureed, about 1 ½ minutes. Using a wooden spoon, press as much of the strawberry juice and pulp as possible through a fine sieve into a large bowl; discard the seeds. Stir the butter, corn syrup and vanilla into the strawberries. Stir in 3 ¾ cups more powdered sugar until well blended and smooth. If the icing is too stiff, stir in a little water to think it to a slightly runny consistency. If it’s too runny, stir in more powdered sugar until slightly thickened.

Using a small wide-bladed spatula, spreader or table knife, immediately ice the cookies. For best appearance, swirl the icing in the center of each cookie, leaving ¼ inch all around un-iced; the icing will then flow out towards the edges. Let the cookies stand until the icing sets, at least 2 hours.

This will be quick today as I have a busy day ahead of me. Yesterday I made these cute pink cookies. They weren't anything unique but they were a very good version of a big, soft frosted sugar cookie and if you were looking for a way to make pink cookies for Valentine's Day without using any food dye, this is it.

Sorry this is so short but this blog doesn't pay the bills!


Unknown said...

So cute! I think I read more into the title than meant! :-)

Kathy said...

I made the strawberry icing with my usual sugar cookie recipe and it is GREAT! Thanks for sharing!