I tried to do icing two weeks ago, just to take on a new task in the kitchen and try something unfamiliar for Dec’s cooking column Test Kitchen.
I chose to do icing because I generally avoid frostings on cake because they are just too sweet for me. God gave me sour tooth, not a sweet one. I have always love how pretty icing is though, and I do love beautifully iced cupcakes.
My experiment was not a roaring success. I was struggling because I had never made icing, and the instructions in the cookery books I referred to were not of that much help.
Still, I was desperate…I had as usual left it to the very last minute to deadline.
So, this week, I decided to give icing another go. I had loads of icing sugar left, and my curiosity has been piqued. I don’t like icing, but I noticed that the little girl aka BOSS finished the icing first before she even bite into the cake.
For a change, I decided to ice cookies instead.
As for the icing, I didn’t refer to the recipe. I just added enough water to the sieved icing sugar till I got the consistency I wanted. I have not used colouring much, so I think I put too much – ended up with a batch of garishly-iced cookies.
I, of course, was clumsy with the piping; partly because I don’t own a proper piping bag and the one I made with ziplock bag and baking paper didn’t hold. So, in the end, I just used a spoon and kinda dribble the icing on the cookies.
So, yeah, my iced cookies are wonky!
I think it’s time to go for icing lessons, and maybe some baking classes too.
I was just happy that my cut-out cookies actually held their shape, thanks to Nigella Lawson’s recipe – and from her Domestic Goddess book, no less.
Butter Cut-Out Biscuits
(From Nigella Lawson’s How To Be A Domestic Goddess)
175g soft unsalted butter
200g castor sugar
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
400g plain flour, plus more if needed
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
300g icing sugar, sieved, and food colouring
Preheat the oven to 180C
Cream the butter and sugar until pale, and moving towards mousiness, then beat in the eggas and vanilla extract.
In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients, and add them to the butter and eggs, and mix gently.
Halve the dough, warp in clingfilm and rest in the fridge for an hour.
Sprinkle a suitable surface with flour, place a disc of dough on it, and sprinkle a little more flour on top of that. Then, roll it out to the thickness of about 1/2 cm. Cut into shapes, dipping the cutter into flour as you go, and place the cookies a little apart on the baking sheets.
Bake for between 8 and 10 minutes. Cool on the rack.
Put a couple of tablespoon of just-not-boiling water into a large bowl, add the sieved icing sugar and mixed together, adding more water as you need to form a thick paste. Colour as desired: let the artistic spirit within you speak, remembering with gratitude that children have very bad taste.