|Handmade cookies with fondant for this year birthday's goodies bags|
It was a busy weekend rolling out cookies dough, baking trays of cookies and decorating them with fondant and royal icing. These cookies will be going into the goodies packs for little girl's birthday celebration in school.
This bear cookie cutter is one of my favorite designs. I have used this same cutter for my Valentine's Day cookies. You can use the same cookie recipe as given in my post on Valentine's Day Cookies, or another recipe which I will share at the end of this post.
|Little bear says "Hug Me"!|
Flower cookies that look like the lovely sunshine ......
|You are my sunshine!|
Happy Birthday to you, my little girl!
|Come and celebrate my birthday!|
The fondant is prepared from melted marshmallow and icing sugar. Making marshmallow fondant (MMF) is not difficult, just make sure you gather all the necessary ingredients before starting, as you are handling some really sticky stuff! I used a pair of wooden chopsticks to mix the melted marshmallow and icing sugar at the beginning stage till almost a dough is formed, before kneading it with my hands. The whole process takes around 10 to 15 minutes. The recipe and complete steps for making MMF is here.
|Making marshmallow fondant|
After spending so much time to decorate the cookies, the last thing I want is to crush them accidentally. So, I bought these clear plastic boxes from a baking supplies store, washed and dried them thoroughly, before decorating them to store the cookies.
|Preparing these clear plastic boxes to store the cookies.|
The final step is to wrap each cookie individually in small plastic bags and place them in the plastic box with thin cushioning in between the cookies.
|The final packaging!|
Now, recipes for the cookie dough and royal icing ....
Before I bake these birthday cookies, I experimented on a small batch of cookies using 2 recipes - one using egg yolk and another using egg white. Both recipes use almost the same ingredients and quantity. The Bear Valentine's cookies is based on the egg yolk recipe. While the egg yolk recipe yields good results (crispy and fragrance), my cookies also brown very quickly. Then, I saw this Y3K recipe from Peng's Kitchen that uses egg whites, I decided to try out this recipe.
The egg whites recipe yields a finer texture and a nicer cookie colour (i.e. not too brown). In terms of ease of handling, I find them the same - you basically need to roll out the cookie dough between baking papers, chill to harden the dough sheet slightly, before stamping with cookie cutters. If this is the first time you are making cookies, go for simple designs and you will have a higher chance of success. For instance, for the three cookie designs that I made above, the easiest to handle is the gift tag cookie. The flower cookie is the most tricky as the dough tends to stick at the joints between petals.
Recipe for Cookie Dough (Y3K)
(makes approximately 36 cookies)
30g egg whites (or 2 tbsp)
80g icing sugar
180g plain flour
80g rice flour
80g corn flour
1) Cream butter, icing sugar and egg whites till fluffy.
2) Combine all the flours together. Using a spatula, fold the combined flour into the butter mixture till a soft dough is formed.
3) Divide into 2 or 3 portions. Roll out each portion between a sheet of baking paper and cling wrap (about 3mm thick). Chill the cookie sheet in the fridge till semi-hard, then remove and stamp out cookies using your cookie cutters.
4) Arrange cookies on lined baking trays and bake in preheated oven of 160C for 20 to 25 minutes.
5) Transfer cookies on rack to cool completely before storing in air-tight containers.
If you are decorating the cookies with fondant, place the stamp-out fondant over the baked cookie once it is out from oven. The heat from the cookie will slightly melt the fondant and allow the fondant to stick onto the cookie. Transfer to rack to cool before storage.
Recipe for Royal Icing
Egg whites are usually used for preparing royal icing. As these cookies are meant for little children, I used meringue powder (available from baking supplies store) to prepare my royal icing instead of using raw egg whites. Meringue powder is a substitute for egg white for making icing. For each egg white, you need about 2 tsp meringue powder + 2 tbsp water. Taste-wise, royal icing prepared from egg whites taste better while meringue powder gives an artificial taste.
4 tsp meringue powder
4 tbsp water
300g icing sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1) Whisk meringue powder and water till foamy.
2) Add icing sugar gradually and continue to whisk till stiff and fluffy.
3) Add lemon juice and whisk for another 2 minutes.
4) Divide into portions and mix in desired coloured gel(s)
Transfer the royal icing to piping bag(s) and use immediately. Else, cover the royal icing with cling wrap to prevent it from drying out.
Coming Up Next .....
A Princess Barbie Doll Cake