Monthly Archives: October 2016

Sugar Cookie Recipe

I was asked today by online friend Althiem (shout out to you!) who I met while playing Final Fantasy XIV Online, if I could share the sugar cookie recipe that I use.

Well, of course I can!

I actually use Peggy Porschen’s recipe but I’ve added my alterations and tips. If you’d like to see some of her work, you can visit www.peggyporschen.com.

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Makes about 25 medium-size or 12 large cookies.

Baking temperature: 180 degrees C, or 355 degrees F. (Reduce slightly if you have a fan forced oven, I usually bake these at 160 in mine.)

Baking time: 6-10 minutes, depending on size (Again, due to my absolutely shitty oven, I cook 5 minutes and then turn the tray as the back left corner is hotter than the rest and that poor cookie will burn)

Ingredients (sorry my dear American friends, you’ll have to convert this stuff)

200 grams unsalted butter, softened (Personally I use salted butter as I think the cookie has more flavour, but it’s up to you)

200 grams caster sugar (this is fine granulated sugar)

1 egg, lightly beaten

400 grams plain flour (all-purpose non-rising flour)

Optional flavours:

Vanilla: add seeds from 1 vanilla pod, or 1 tablespoon of vanilla essence.

Lemon: add finely grated zest from 1 lemon

Orange: add finely grated zest from one orange

Method

  1. Using an electric mixer with paddle attachment, cream the butter, sugar and chosen flavouring until well mixed and just becoming creamy in texture. Don’t overwork or the cookies will spread during baking.
  2. Beat in the egg until well combined. Add the flour and mix on low speed until a dough forms. Gather it into a ball, wrap in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least an hour. (This really depends on your climate, if it’s freezing, you probably won’t need to refrigerate.)
  3. Place the dough on a floured surface and knead briefly. Roll out to an even thickness.
  4. Use cookie cutters to cut out your desired shapes and lay these on a baking tray. (This should be non-stick, or use greaseproof paper if not.) If the dough has softened too much, pop the tray into the fridge for 30 minutes before cooking.
  5. Bake for 6-10 minutes depending on size, until golden brown at the edges. Leave for a few minutes on the tray, then move onto a wire rack to cool completely.

Tip: Always cook similar sized cookies together so you don’t have problems with over- or under-cooking.

Tip: Refrigeration of the dough makes it firm enough to reduce spreading while baking.

I hope you’ll give it a go and let me know how they turn out!

Until next time, have fun!

Stash Add 25/10/16

Today, the first line of the song “Criminal” by Fiona Apple comes to mind. It goes like this:

“I’ve been a bad, bad girl.”

I may have gotten some more much-needed (hah, not at all) fabric to add to my stash!

Spotlight had a sale that was actually extremely good. I couldn’t say no when I saw their Aida cloth (special cloth for cross-stitch with holes in it) was reduced from $35 a metre to $14 a metre.

While you can’t see the detail of the Aida cloth in the picture below, it’s the white stuff at the top. It’s 16 count, meaning there are 16 little squares per inch. I normally go for 18 count if I can, but this is only slightly larger. The online information didn’t state how wide it was, so I grabbed two metres, and OH. My. GAWD. It’s HUGE! I’m set for white Aida cloth for at least the next ten years!

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You may notice two foxy fabrics above. Bargain plus adorableness and I just must buy! I’ve wanted some fox fabric for forever and now I have two. From left to right, I got 3 metres of the flannelette to make pretty pajamas for next winter, a metre of that sweet cherry cotton, 2 metres of calico, and 3 metres of foxy cotton poplin that just looks and feels divine, in hopes of sewing up a summer dress.

I still have another metre of a cotton with flamingos on the way but it’s stuck in the postal system somewhere. For some reason, I got 6 materials sent in 3 different parcels. Oh well, I only pay the one postage!

Until next time, have fun!

Halloween 2016 Pumpkins

Today I have some little Jack o’lantern pumpkins for you. I whipped them up pretty quick, which in hindsight, is a bad thing for me. I do my best work when I relax, take my time and have fun.

It’s also really important to get the right consistency of icing and make sure you have enough, or you end up with uneven icing. Oh well, they are still cute, and tasty.

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Until next time, have fun.

Halloween 2016 Vampire

Halloween isn’t very big in Australia, but damn it is a great reason to make fun cookies.

Our Halloween usually entails one of following three types.

1. Where we buy a little bit of candy, but no one comes to the door
2. Where we buy no candy and suddenly there are kids knocking so we pretend we aren’t here, or
3. We hibernate and watch horror movies

Granted, in the last five years, I think we’ve had two kid visits, so….like I said, it ain’t that big here. But we need no excuses to watch horror movies or eat cookies.

FYI – We watched Tucker and Dale Vs. Evil last night, and it’s just hilarious. Totally a comedy/horror you should check out.

I asked Jason what I should make that was Halloween themed and he told me chibi vampires. Basically chibi is Japanese slang for a short person or small person in a cute way. I think these little guys fit the bill.

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I’ve been reading a little about photo composition and fancy camera terms over the last day. I know my photos are generally terrible, so hopefully you’ll notice them getting better from here on out. Leave a comment and let me know what you think?

I realised, I am also terrible at making purple icing. Vamps’ cloak is meant to be purple, but all I ended up making out of two tries was maroon, and aubergine. Yes, technically aubergine is a purple but not what I was going for. It developed the colour as it dried, and looks almost black now.

Stay tuned for more Halloween cookies over the next week.

Until next time, have fun!

UnBEARably Cute Cookies

There was just a little leftover dough in the fridge after the ladybug/leaf cookies, and after rifling through my cookie cutter stash, I found a bear head cutter that I had never used. Some earnest Pinterest browsing and I had some inspiration.

I suppose my Cookie/Cake board being called Inspiration and having 2500 pins might tell you I absolutely love the Pinterest.

Anyways….here’s some beary cookies for you.

I wanted to try to make these grey teddies look furry. The bear on the left has a bit of brush embroidery, where I’ve piped a line around the edge, and then dragged the icing in using a paintbrush. The bear on the right has its fur done by piping tiny lines quickly around the outside, and then going around it again. I wanted that rough, I guess, imperfectness which lends a more realistic look?

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Stepping away from your traditional bear, we have some utterly cute polar bears. Their cheeks and ears have been brushed with pink petal dust. Oh I just want to squish their little faces!

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Last, but certainly not least, more bears. I found it quite difficult to make a tan colour. The brown gel dyes I have are VERY brown, so I realised I needed to add yellow. When it didn’t work, I totally googled how to make tan icing and I was on the right track, just needed even more yellow! And then some more white icing to make it lighter again.

I sort of dropped a bag of icing on the chin of one of them, so he has a bit of patch job going on.

Jason thinks these guys look a little smug. Like they did something naughty and got away with it.

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Oh, and I got these lovelies in the mail today, some more Stellar in Tourmaline for the blankie. Perfect timing as I will run out of the first ball today.

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Until next time, have fun!