Friday, October 30, 2009

pumpkins, cats, bats and ghosties

This is not a food blog, and yet...another recipe.

Perfect Sugar Cookies
a la Martha Stewart

2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons brandy, or milk
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream butter and sugar; add dry ingredients, and mix until incorporated. With mixer running, add egg, brandy (use the brandy, people, don't wimp out and use the milk), and vanilla; mix until incorporated.

Transfer dough to a work surface. Shape into 2 discs, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line baking sheets with nonstick baking mats or parchment paper; set aside.

On a lightly floured work surface, roll out dough to 1/8-inch thickness. Cut into desired shapes, and transfer to prepared baking sheets, leaving an inch in between. Leftover dough can be rolled and cut once more. Bake until lightly golden, about 10 minutes; do not allow to brown. Transfer to wire racks to cool.

Makes 2 dozen.

White Chocolate Ganache Glaze
a la Kim

2/3 cup cream
1 tablespoon Karo syrup
6 ounces white chocolate
powdered sugar, for thickening

Coarsely chop white chocolate, place in a small bowl and set aside. Combine cream (don't wimp out; this is not the time to watch your diet) and Karo syrup in a small pan. Heat over low heat until steaming. Pour over chocolate and let sit until melted. Stir to combine. Let cool. If the glaze is still a bit thin, add powdered sugar one heaping tablespoon at a time until you reach the desired consistency. I think I used about four tablespoons. I colored the glaze orange with yellow and red gel food coloring, the kind used for cake decorating.
Makes more than you'll need.


To ice the cookies, place a wire rack on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or silpat. Place cookies on rack. Spoon ganache over the cookies, allowing excess to drain onto cookie sheet. Let the cookies sit until the glaze is firm, dry and no longer sticky.

The glaze is much easier to use than traditional icing. I got the idea to use glaze on the cookies from the Magpie's lovely black forest cupcakes. I adapted the chocolate ganache recipe for white chocolate. The boys loved these. The husband, not so much, but he's not big on sweets. I adore them. Hence the blog post. Make them. They're worth it.
Happy Halloween!


Pamela said...

hey! I got on to comment.

I love cookies. Especially if other people bake them.

laurie said...

those look soooo good. but i will never make anything that has the word "perfect" in the title. too intimidating.

Beth said...

Same cut-out sugar cookie recipe I use, and yes the brandy is essential! Happy Halloween!

Faye said...

White chocolate ganache? New one on me and such a lovely idea. this year I got candy corn shaped like a Hershey's kiss. Think it started as white chocolate. BTW, love your counters, Kim.

Stephanie, Mama Dramatist said...

Oh, YUM!!

Hey, do these freeze? I'd love to adapt them for Christmas!

Kim said...

Pamela, I love cookies, too. I wish I didn't.

Laurie, they aren't hard. Really.

Beth! Great minds...

Thanks, Faye. I can't really take credit for those counters. They were here when we moved in.

Stephanie, I've never frozen them. They never last long, and I am not one to bake ahead. Honestly, I can't see why they wouldn't, though.