The following took place during Halloween and the first week of November.
The Birds! Take cover!
Soooo... I decided that sugar cookies shaped in the theme of fall should be made. My recipe of choice is Once Upon a Tart's recipe for Crispy Sugar Cookies. The texture is between crispy and chewy, which to me is just right.
I assembled the ingredients, started beating the butter and sugar, which produced a fluffy and somewhat grainy texture, then I beat in the eggs and vanilla.
The resulting texture was somewhat smoother, but still quite fluffy.
After that, I added the flour mixture in four additions. By the third addition, I had to switch from a sturdy-ish plastic spatula to a wooden spoon.
By the fourth addition, it required a bit of upper body strength to stir and it had the potential to be a little panic-inducing, as the mixture resembles that of the sand near the water at the beach with large curd-like pieces. Will it ever come together to look like a cookie dough?
Worry not, my dear readers. I'm living proof that, yes, it does come together. The texture of the dough thus far is actually very soft but not sticky and quite firm.
To refrigerate, I separated the dough into three squares (I can't remember if I weighed each portion out or not, but I'm thinking I didn't because it wasn't really necessary). Why three instead of two? Ease of rolling out and it requires less time to roll to the proper size, meaning it won't totally lose it's chill. (** Losing it's chill: 1. Subject has lost the coolness factor it once possessed. Can be used either temperature-wise or as in trendy, hip, something/someone who was "popular". **) Even if it gets too warm, slip the dough (I rolled it between two sheets of plastic wrap, wax paper can be used as well, for ease of clean-up) on a baking sheet and pop it in the fridge for 15 minutes or so, the freezer for about 5-10 minutes.
The day that turned into bake-the-cookies day, I made the royal icing and separated portions into different bowls to color. This time, I used liquid colorings and at first the colors weren't very strong, but after sitting a bit the colors intensified. Keep the bowls covered so it won't dry out.
From a flat sheet of dough to...
A cooling rack full of sugar cookie cut-outs!
The top photo says, "Look, I haven't been out in the sun much and I'm all washed out.", while the bottom photo says, "I have been kissed by the sun!" (**There is NOTHING wrong with being pale. In fact, I am quite pale myself**) If the bottom is pale, stick it back in for 2-3 minutes or until it's just golden underneath and the edges on top are barely golden. Too much (read: the bottom and/or top is completely golden-brown) and it gets very hard, as these will crisp up while cooling.
On another note, the still-warm cookies are very greasy.
So I outlined the large pumpkin shape with some of the orange frosting that I thickened (a little too much), then I filled it in with the thinner orange frosting (a tad too thick), dusted with orange-colored sugar, then spread a dab of brown frosting for the stem. The frosting is very glossy when not set, but when it firms up it turns sparkly. And that's not because of the colored sugar. It looks like a mound of fresh snow sparkling under the sunshine.
This is Emo Billy and his popular sister Kitty Carry-All.
I should elaborate: Ever since I explained to my parents what it means to be Emo (I'm not, by the way) it's been a bit of a joke to say, "That's so Emo of you!" One of our cats has been dubbed "Emo". So I made Emo cookies.
So ends a fascinating session of sugar cookie-ing. I hope you enjoyed!