Friday, 7 February 2014

Stamped Cookie Experiment

 Making stamped cookies has been on my to do list long before I started this blog.  I have absolutely no idea why it has taken me so long to try them, but now I have started, there is no going back.  I’ve called this post an experiment as I didn’t use exactly the correct tools to make them – they are on order - so once they arrive, I can’t wait to use them and show the difference.  However; if, like me, you are tempted to have a try sooner rather than later and have a stamp set, here is a quick run down of what I did.

What I Used (makes at least 25 4cm cookies):

225g Caster Sugar
225g Butter
375g Plain Flour
1 Medium egg
1 tsp Vanilla Essence

To start, you need to make yourself some sugar cookie dough.  As a life-long shortbread addict, I am always tempted to turn to shortbread for any biscuit making, but for stamping, you need a denser and less buttery dough.  To make your dough, cream together the caster sugar, vanilla essence and butter before adding your egg, beating into the dough mixture until fully combined:
Finally, add your sifted plain flour in gradual stages to bring the dough together with your hands:
Once all fully combined begin to roll your dough to around 1cm thickness on a sheet of baking paper.  To help prevent the dough sticking to your rolling pin, cover the top with an extra sheet of baking paper:
With cookie cutters, make your shapes and remove the excess dough:
Continue to roll the excess dough and cut your shapes until you have used all the dough.  You should be able to make around 24 cookies of 4cm in size.

Next, impression time.  I don’t currently have any cookie stamps [being rectified as I type as they are on order, from eBay] but I do have some rubber paper stamps [clean & unused], so I gave them a go and as it’s Valentines soon, the theme was a little obvious…
I also made some impressions with a skewer around the edges of some for extra decoration:
...and if your valentine can't be around any time soon, put their name on a cookie - good as:
Once completed, the dough needs to be left to chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes to cool it down and help the cookies and impressions keep their shape when baked.  I started with a couple of cookies at a time to see how they worked out, 15 minutes at 150 degrees C:
…so far, so good.  As I added a tray full, the results were a little more hit and miss:

So I tried a cutting a few more and leaving to chill in the fridge during the day whilst I was out [around 8 hours] to see if it made any difference:
…not really, but again, a large bake, so I this is mainly down to the shallow rubber stamps.  
Anyway, here are the results of my first experiment:

...the impressions made with other cookie cutters worked really well - so if you have some pretty shapes, they are definitely worth the try:
But; it didn't really work out in the end for me and Ryan..... 

...or Buble....

....or Harry....

But you can't win them all.

I can’t wait to receive my cookie stamps [rock'n'roll!].  These will allow me to make impressions that go almost through the dough, making much more defined designs - so look out for an updated post soon.
Pop these in an air tight tin and you have cookies that will stay for a good 3-4 days, so if you are making for an event or celebration, you can make them a day or so ahead.
Have a great weekend
see you next time x

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