Since joining Wilton's Sweet Treat Team last February, I've had the opportunity to try out all kinds of new products and explore new ideas in confectionery. It's been a sugar-filled fun year to say the least!
To end the year on a sweet note, the members of the Treat Team decided to have a cookie exchange. I was paired to swap cookies with Marilyn of Pink Martinis and Pearls. She makes some of the most beautiful sugar cookies I've ever seen, so I knew I had to up my cookie game. Plus, something pink with pearls had to happen!
Below you'll find my favorite sugar cookie recipe for decorating, except this time they're infused with double vanilla goodness! You can use this recipe for any shape cookie you like, but if you're interested in making your own pink pearled stocking cookies, scroll down a little furthe rfor the quilting technique instructions.
Double Vanilla Sugar Cookies
[click for printable version]
Yields 2 dozen
Source: SprinkleBakes book
Vanilla Sugar Cookies
1/2 lb. (two US sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons/225 g granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Seeds of 1 vanilla bean
3 cups/380g all-purpose flour
Pinch of salt
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the butter and sugar together until just incorporated. Do not over-mix at this stage, or the cookies may spread while baking.
Add the egg and vanilla and vanilla seeds. Mix again on low speed, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl intermittently as needed.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour and salt. Add to the butter and egg mixture. Mix on low speed until a dough is formed and there are no longer any streaks of butter in the mixing bowl. The dough will often clump around the paddle attachment while being mixed. This is normal and a good sign that your dough is the right consistency. If your mixture does not come together and is crumbly, add ice cold water 1 tbsp. at a time until the dough clumps.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Turn the dough out onto a sheet of wax paper and top with a second sheet. Roll dough into an oblong disc between the paper with a rolling pin. Transfer dough - wax paper and all - to a large cookie sheet. Wrap the dough tightly onto the cookie sheet with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Remove top sheet of wax paper and roll dough a little thinner. It should not be sticky. You may dust the surface lightly with flour if it is sticky, but not too much! You don’t want streaks of white flour baked onto your pretty sugar cookies.
Roll dough to a ¼-inch to ½ -inch thickness.
Cut out desired shapes from the dough and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. (Use a 3-inch stocking-shaped cookie cutter for the cookies featured.) Be careful not to stretch the cutout shapes or they will be distorted after baking.
Refrigerate the cutouts for 30 minutes. This will help the cookies maintain a crisp shape during baking.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Bake the cookies for 15 to 20 minutes, more or less depending on size.
Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack. Decorate the cookies when completely cooled.
Pink Quilted Stockings
Stocking cookie cutter
Wilton Quilt Pattern Roller 1907-1354
1/2 lb pink ready made fondant
1/8 lb white, red and green ready made fondant
Small artists' brush
No.3 decorator piping tip
9 inch fondant rolling pin
Knead all fondant well before using.
Roll the pink fondant out to 1/4 inch thickness; use the quilt pattern roller to emboss the fondant.
Use the stocking cookie cutter to make stocking-shaped pieces of fondant. Dot the backs of the pieces with corn syrup and lay them on top of a sugar cookie. Place a pearl nonpareil at each intersecting line and press it into the fondant.
To make the fuzzy white tops of the stockings, roll a piece of white fondant out and cut a straight edge. Use the top of the stocking cutter to cut 1/2-inch pieces of the white fondant. Lightly brush the pieces with water and sprinkle with sanding sugar. Use corn syrup to adhere the stocking tops to pink fondant.
For the buttons, roll the red and green fondant flat. Cut circles using the #3 round decorator tip (it measures approximately 3/4-inch). I used a 1/2-inch magic marker cap to make a button-like impression in the fondant, but you could use any pen cap or even a chapstick lid. Use the #3 piping tip to punch four button holes. Allow the buttons to dry until firm, about 3 hours. Attach them to the stockings with a dot of corn syrup.
Allow the cookie to stand until the fondant pieces are set and well-adhered, about 2 hours. Package the cookies in airtight containers or zip-top bags.