Christmas cookie extravaganza – Sugar Cookies

The next cookie on the extravaganza list was Ryan’s request – sugar cookies.  Since the other cookies that I was going to make were going to take quite some time, I decided to cheat a little bit.  My sugar cookies were going to come from the tube.  I can already hear people saying out loud “But, sugar cookies are easy to make!  They hardly take any time at all!!” I think that this stems from the fact that for me, the whole point of sugar cookies is getting to the decorating of the cookies.  That’s where all of the time should go.  So, we have frosting that I will dye in lots of different colors.  The grocery store was out of many of the normal types of sprinkles, so Ryan bought me a big jar of Winnie-the-Pooh sprinkles!

So, I encountered a problem fairly early with these cookies.  There is just something weird about the dough I used.  It was sticking to everything!  I had flour everywhere.  The rolling pin?  Covered in flour.  The table?  Covered in flour.  The dough?  Covered in flour.  Me?  Covered in flour.  And yet the dough just kept sticking.  So, I had a difficult time getting all of the dough to hit the same width.  Some cookies are just going to end up being fatter than others.

The second problem happened involved my cookie cutters.  I don’t know if the cookie cutters weren’t defined enough or if the dough just wasn’t cooperating but everything came out looking like a blob.  So, we have Christmas tree blobs, snowmen blobs, and little people blobs.

Once the cookies had cooled, it was time for the really fun part.  I have never thought of myself as a decorator and most of the cookies that I decorate are actually just a pile of frosting on top of a cookie.  (Although who can really complain about a pile of frosting on top of a cookie?  Mmmmmmm.  Frosting.)  So it should come as no surprise that some of the blob cookies look like blob cookies with a blob of frosting on top.Some of the cookies do, actually look kind of cute.  The Winnie-the-Pooh sprinkles look pretty great on the Christmas tree blob cookies. In fact, the Winnie-the-Pooh sprinkles don’t really look like Winnie-the-Pooh characters.  They really do look more like different colored blobs.  So, it’s actually very fitting.


Frosting: the ultimate accessory

I made a couple dozen cupcakes for Ryan’s birthday.  I had guessed that he would want creamcheese frosting (because he loves creamcheese frosting) so I assumed that he would want red velvet cake.  I automatically think of red velvet cake when I think of creamcheese frosting.  But, no, he wanted a basic yellow cake.  And he wanted chocolate creamcheese frosting not regular creamcheese frosting.  That’s when the thought hit me.  Frosting really is the ultimate accessory.  Without frosting, cake in a cupcake liner is really just a sweet muffin.  It’s the frosting that sets cake apart from other baked goods.  And yes, I know that there are plenty of cakes out there that aren’t typically frosted.  But even these generally have some sort of accessory to decorate the top like powdered sugar in delicate lace patterns.  (But come on, frosting is far superior to a sprinkling of powdered sugar.)

Thinking of frosting as the ultimate accessory also made me ponder how frosting can change the taste of an entire cake.  A plain yellow cake is going to taste very different if it has been covered with a rich dark chocolate frosting than if it has been covered with a light vanilla buttercream.

I feel that there is a cupcake marathon in my near future.  Mixing-and-matching cupcakes and frosting flavors?  That sounds like a perfect way to spend a Saturday.