Friday, August 16, 2019

Embracing Fall and the Decorated Cookie Challenge with Maple Shortbread

After making my friend's birthday cupcakes, I realized I needed some practice in the decorating department.  I have decided to challenge myself to decorate cookies at least once a month for the next twelve months and to learn some different techniques.  I cruised Pinterest, I watched a couple videos on You Tube, I shopped at JoAnns in the food decorating aisles and I went to work. I figured for the first month, I should make it something easy, I don't want to rush into anything.

Well, Fall is creeping into the corners of Fairbanks, the leaves have a slight yellow haze to them, trees are starting to lose their leaves, and the brush is turning yellow and red, blueberries are ripe and the days are cool and rainy.  I always say "Embrace the cold." as winter starts, so I decided to embrace Fall.  I made some fall leaf cookies flavored with maple.

In my defense, these are my first attempt and I did figure out some things I will change the next time I make them.  And while they don't look at good as I would like, they did taste good.  The crumbly texture of the maple shortbread with the sweet maple glaze was a good combination (however the crumbly nature of the shortbread cookies made it harder to dip in the glaze with the edges breaking and crumbs getting into the glaze).

A basket of Fall cheer for a friend.

So, here is my first month's attempt at decorated cookies.  I'm sure I'll practice this technique again so if you leave your car unlocked and find some marbled cookies inside, they just might be from me.
The "seconds" made it to work with me.

Maple shortbread:

1 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. maple extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

Cream butter and sugar, add cornstarch and mix.  Add maple flavoring, mix.  Add flour slowly and mix until just combined.  Shape dough into two disks, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour or until ready to use.

Once chilled, roll dough to 1/4 inch thickness and cut into desired shapes.  Place on cookie sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes, remove to wire rack to cool completely.

For Glaze:
1 cup confectioner's sugar
1/4-13 cup maple syrup

Mix syrup into sugar until desired consistency is achieved.  Glaze cookies.

For marbled effect:
Separate glaze into three bowls, color glaze with color concentrate to make desired colors (I used yellow, red and orange).  On a plate or bowl add some of each color, swirl with a knife to make a marbled effect.  Holding cookie carefully by the edges, dip cookie into glaze, making sure to get all the edges (yes, your fingers will get glaze on them).  Hold cookie over plate and let excess drip off.  Turn and place on drying rack with paper underneath to catch drips.  Using a toothpick, pop any air bubbles that rise to the surface before the glaze begins to harden.  Add more glaze to plate as needed.

1 year ago:    Rhubarb Crumble and the Windfall
5 years ago   Peach Cobbler and the Newlyweds
7 years ago:  Zucchini Cheese Tart

August 16, 2019  Sunrise 5:40 am  Sunset 10:07 pm  Temp. H 57/ L 45°F

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