Pinterest is like that kid in high school your mom warned you not to hang out with, because it’s a bad influence.
It puts all these ideas in your head that you probably wouldn’t have come up with on your own. “Yeah man, wouldn’t be awesome if you tried to staple gun a table together made out of garbage? Do it… it’d be cool,” it whispsers to you through beautifully photographed pins overlain with kitschy text.
I will admit that I’m better than most at being creative. Heck, in eighth grade I was voted “Most Creative,” so obviously I’m destined for great things.
Anyway, so I love Valentine’s Day. Single or not, I just appreciate a day where you make people feel loved. Plus pink. And Flowers and chocolate! I mean if you can’t get behind chocolate there is something seriously wrong with you.
So as a treat for my colleagues I thought I’d make something for Valentine’s Day. Turning to the mentally lazy girl’s well of creative ideas, I turned to good ‘ole bad-influencer Pinterest. (Side note: for what seems like years I tried to get my friend Fiona to use Pinterest, and in my mind my constant nagging of her to use it I labeled myself a Pin-terrorist. A bit dramatic, but I think it’s funny.)
Chocolate chip cookies are kind of the best thing I make so I veered into the direction of the sugar cookie, new cookie country for me.
In any new endeavor I attempt to be as prepared as possible. This is always my number one tip for cooks and bakers, read the recipe thoroughly before trying to make anything. You’ll be far less frustrated if you know what you need, have what you need in both ingredients and equipment.
Anyway, so I had to purchase a few things to make these sugar cookies happen. First, I got a new large cookie sheet because the ones I have are all dinky. Plus, I read somewhere that having a rimmed cookie sheet versus a flat cookie sheet will make the difference in the browning on the sides of the cookies. For sugar cookies I would definitely say use the rimmed cookie sheet if browning on the edges is something you’re concerned about. (i.e., you’ve got uneven heating in your oven). But that just might be my shitty apartment oven.
I also needed a more functional rolling pin. I have an absolutely gorgeous one my friend Natalie purchased for me from the cute kitchen accessory Mecca that is Anthropologie.
I love my ceramic rolling pin, which is also good for keep dough chilled. But I was making like 100 cookies and I didn’t want to mess up my pretty pretty present. So I got a simple wooden French rolling pin. Voila.
Lastly I had to get some cookie cutters. I spent an embarrassing amount of time picking out cookie cutter shapes to purchase. I didn’t want to get something boring like a bunch of circles. I also didn’t want to just get a heart shape because I mean, how often am I going to make heart shaped cookies for work? Probably only once a year, right? I actually came to buy a poker themed collection of cookie cutters, because the heart, the diamond and the clover could all be used for other holidays. Plus I like having game nights and playing poker, so… whatever it made sense at the time.
I decided starting with Alton Brown’s sugar cookie recipe, because he is my food god and I will follow him in all things.
And then I used Wilton’s royal icing because it seemed easier (sorry Alton, you’re still my everything). Royal icing is like regular icing but when it dries its got adhesive properties, think edible mortar.
A few other things I got.. meringue powder to make the royal icing. After all those Macarons I’m fed up with trying to get egg whites to do what I want.Meringue powder is hella easy to work with, I highly recommend it.
I also bought the fancy butter at the store, which at the commissary was about .50 cents more than the normal butter I purchase. I’m a bit of a butter nerd, if that’s a thing, and European style butter has a higher fat content and therefore more luxuriant and richer taste than American butter.
I also used a gluten-free flour mixture in the cookies, which I believe gives a better more crumbly texture. I could not care less about gluten, something I happen to love. Gluten is what makes bread chewy and delicious. But since I sought my cookies to be tender, like perfect love, fuck that gluten yo.
I made all the sugar cookie doughs, about four batches in all to make about 4 dozen huge sugar cookies. As with anything dough-y I let them rest for about two hours in the fridge while I cleaned up.
Key to cookie success in this scenario: totally Huckleberry Finning my friends into helping me. Because if there’s anything I love more than sugar and baking, it’s getting other people to do the work whilst I bask in the Instagram insta-glory. #donthatedelegate
While I whipped up the royal icing, my little baking helpers put it into piping bags, sealed them up, and proceeded to begin the heavy decorating work.
After some tinkering we got the cookies flooded, written on (albeit pastry bags are not recommended for more delicate work, like lettering) and sprinkled up.
After the first two dozen I started getting bored, as I usually do. My attention span is only really good for about two hours. Hence, pun cookies were born.
Also, I would definitely steer away from flesh colored icing. It looks… inappropriate to me. But maybe that’s just my dirty mind.
So, here’s the finished product. Cookies on every flat surface of my apartment. It took a while for them to be dry enough to pack in containers for transport from the hell that is North Parking. I’d say, about two hours they are dry enough without having the change to go stale.
Bringing cookies to work always makes me feel somewhat silly and self-conscious. Again, I feel like I’m a baked good terrorist; forcing people to eat something I made. “You will eat this… and you’ll like it gersh dangit!”
Plus I don’t know, maybe people won’t think I’m tough or professional, or Chiefly, if I’m passing out pink sugar cookies. But hey, what other people think of you is none of your business. And if some one likes me less for giving them a cookie, then to hell with them. My cookies will just stay in the jar.
Anyway, I’ll post the exact recipes I created for these tomorrow. The chocolate sugar cookie variation was my favorite- a colleague likening them to dunkin donut’s chocolate glazed cake donut. That’s high praise in my book.
Let’s end this rambling post with a nice loosely related song, Sugar by Maroon Five.