Using This recipe, my friend Jennifer and I made Anise Scented Sugar Cookies on Friday night! Then we had great fun frosting them with an improvised buttercream in three colors, plus sprinkles. We made them Anise-scented by adding about 1 teaspoon of Anise extract to the dough, the regular kind from the grocery store.
The buttercream was improvised in that there wasn’t any milk at her house, but there was sour cream! So I threw it in there, and it worked fabulous, made the frosting even better. We added a great deal of vanilla to the frosting. We used this frosting recipe. The changes we made were to add 1/2c of butter instead of 1/3, and we used approximately 1/4c of sour cream instead of the milk. It was perfect piping and spreading consistency. The AirBake style cookie sheets we used were a life-saver, as she had a bit of an older oven that threatened to burn the bottoms of the cookies before the tops were set, as we quickly found with the one non-airbake (but heavy!) cookie sheet we used, see the edges of the christmas tree cookie in the middle. Also, I turned the oven down from 350 to 325, and that enlongated cooking time, but sharply decreased the chances of us burning them, even a little. The rest of the cookies came out perfect. I cut them thick, more than 1/4 inch as dough.
Taste: These cookies tasted very good! The flavorings worked well together. Personally, I think next time I’ll try to cut the sugar in the dough, because the frosting was of course very sweet. The cookie was not the sweetest sugar cookie I’ve ever had, but it could use even less sweetness, if it is to be so frosted. Also very much looking forward to trying them with bakery flavoring* in them.
Spreading: On a 1 to 5 scale, one being no spreading, 5 being watch out, I’d give these a 2.5. I am still looking for the cookie that won’t spread at ALL, like Cookie Bouquet cookies (Which are very dense) but these ones spread what I’d call an ‘acceptable’ amount. Any more and I would have been disappointed, any less and I would have been elated.
Texture: Very soft, delicate, melt-in-your-mouth! The frosting was sweet, smooth and silky, didn’t feel too chalky or too greasy: perfect! Frosting did set up enough to avoid getting completely smashed when lightly layering the cookies onto one another on the serving tray. I didn’t want to try to actually stack the cookies for storage, however. These cookies weren’t the sturdiest.
I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond right before transporting these cookies, and found a fantastic 36-cupcake carry tote. It was cheap (for a carry tote) at only $19. I was so pleased. It worked fine for the cookies, since they were so large. Smaller cookies could nestle in the cupcake holes quite nicely. The plastic has no smell, a very big selling point with me. I look forward to using my caddy for years to come!
We got sick of rolling out the scraps at the very end, so I made three or four cookies that were just oddly shaped large scrap blobs. This one survived to be frosted; I decided it was a train. XD I did my best to make it look like one. Heh.
More cookie close-ups are located on my Flickr Photostream, here!
Tomorrow, I will be getting a shipment from King Arthur Flour company, I’ve ordered two of their “Bakery Flavor” flavorings. What does that mean? Well, fine bakeries often make sugar cookies, and said cookies often have a flavor that you cannot put your finger on, but you know for sure that no sugar cookie you’ve ever made at home has tasted like that, but you’re not sure why. The answer, most times, is bakery flavorings! (I think….) King Arthur Flour sells 3 or 4 of them, and the two I ordered are called Fiori de Sicilia and Princess Cake Flavor. Another two that are on my list to get sometime are Sweet Dough Flavor and Vanilla Bean Crush.
A snippet of the product description for the Sweet Dough Flavor, (which I believe also applies to the Princess Cake Flavor):
“Give your pastry that special ”fancy bakery” taste
There’s a particular flavor to the Danish, sweet rolls and coffeecakes you get at the store. Is it a hint of vanilla, or butter, or…? Our Buttery Sweet Dough Flavor is extra-buttery, with hints of vanilla and citrus; add a few drops of this flavoring to your favorite sweet bread recipe, and your family and friends will be clamoring for the name of the bakery you visited.”
Neat! I can’t wait to try these out. I think they’ll give that “je ne sais quoi” to cookies and cupcakes from scratch. Woo hoo!