30 gennaio 2013

Easy Cherry Decorated Cookie How-To

It seems that I'm partial to making decorated fruit cookies lately, with these citrus slice cookies from last week, and now these cherry fellas. (Yes, I think I just did call my cookies fellas). Besides being fitting for this time of the year (sweet, tart, tasty cherries have always been a happy reminder of summer for me), there's a beautiful reason behind why I made these. 
And it has to do with cherries (in my case), KitchenAid and this beautiful plate:

Jacques Pepin. Villeroy & Broch and Pepin have teamed up to produce 5,000 of these limited edition plates.

Here are the links to help you get started:
Another way to help out the cause too is to purchase pink KitchenAid products (don't have to convince me to buy anything pink!). A donation is made for each Cook for the Cure product sold.

Cherry Cookie How-To

A special thank you goes out to Jamie and Eric Border of ecrandal copper cookie cutters for donating the beautiful, handmade cherry cookie cutters used to make these cookies. Every one of their copper cutters are hand-crafted by Eric, without the use of any automated machinery. You can tell that meticulous attention to detail is given to desiging each unique one, and I'm so thrilled to be able to add these to my collection. You can find another example of cookies I've made using their cutters here, and if you'd like to find their cherry cutters, click here.
Before we get into the cookie decorating, a little about the cookies themselves:
  • I used my gingerbread recipe as I wasn't quite ready with my cherry cookie recipe at the time of the party, but have finished it now. You can find it below.
  • These cookies are fragile due to their long (but beautiful) stem. Best served on a platter or as a favor in a cute, clear box supported with sizzle, rather than in a cellophane bag.
  • I used this ball tool (below) to help me gently remove the cookies from the cutter. You can see the indentations in the cookie, but it was the best solution I could think of to help remove the cookie without breaking it. Dipping the cutter in a bit of flour first helps a bit too. Happy to hear more suggestions if you have them!
The small indentations could be covered with icing if you like. I did that for some of my cookies, but ended up liking a slim line of icing for the cherry stem instead (which doesn't cover the indents up).

How to Make Cherry Decorated Cookies

Click on the item below to find it online:


How to Ice the Cherry Cookies

Here's a pictorial summary for you:
Step 1. - Outlining - Using a #3 piping tip, outline the cherry with red royal icing. I like using a larger piping tip to outline and fill in larger areas, as the 'flooding' goes faster.
Step 2. - Flooding - Fill in the center of your cookie with the same piping bag and icing, either right away to help the icing melt into each other, or 10 minutes later if you'd like to see a distinct outline. I use the same icing to outline and fill in, as it saves time. Here's a video if you'd like to see how.
Step 3. - Shaking - Shake gently to help smooth icing over. A couple of tips – You need to be gentle with the cookie while you're shaking it, so that it doesn't break, and working quickly is important so that the base doesn't start to dry.
Step 4:  - Wet on Wet Technique - Using a #3 piping tip and white icing, pipe a small semi-circle close to one edge of the cherry, to try and simulate the look of a reflection. Shake gently.
Step 5:  - Piping the Stem – Using a #2 tip, pipe either a single line for the stem or a thicker line (covering the whole surface of the cookie stem). Outline the leaf and flood immediately. 
Step 7. - Drying -  Let your icing dry for 12-24 hours. If you'd like to see a video on drying decorated cookies click here
A few notes about the cherry cookies:
  • Adapted from my shortbread recipe.
  • You could leave the maraschino cherries out (or chop them finer than I did!)
  • Add maraschino juice and cherries to this sugar cookie recipe for a sturdier cookie. I'm enjoying the melt-in-your mouth flavour of the shortbread right now, so really wanted to adapt that one. If you try the sugar cookie version, if your dough is too sticky once you add the cherry juice, slowly add more flour until you're happy wth the texture
  • The recipe isn't sweet… The icing on the top of the cookie is meant to add sweetness, while the cookie is meant to have a melt-in-your-mouth texture/base.

Cherry Shortbread Recipe

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