Monday, December 29, 2014

New Year's Eve Cookie Centerpiece & Favors


Courtesy of Hani Bacova, Haniela's Food & Photography

Hi Friends,

These countdown cookies are just as fun for a New Year's party centerpiece as they are for your guests to take home as favors.

Materials Needed:
  • sugar cookie dough (recipe below)
  • cookie cutters in number shapes
  • cookie cutter in round shape, approximately 3-4 inches across
  • royal icing, white (recipe below)
  • food-grade glitter or silver spray paint
  • pastry bag and fine tip
  • cake stand
  • cellophane bags and ribbon

Bake Sugar Cookie Numbers
You’ll need 10 cookies, numbered 10 to 1 and 10 round cookies (2 1/2 inches across) for the bases.

Basic sugar cookie recipe:
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 sticks butter, unsalted, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Sift together the flour and baking powder. In a mixing bowl, beat the room temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the bowl at least once while mixing. Add in the egg and mix until fluffy and pale in color. Add salt and vanilla extract. Slowly add flour mixture (1 cup at a time) and stir until incorporated. Don't be afraid to use your hands a little to form a uniform cookie dough. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. If the dough gets too hard to roll let soften a bit before rolling the dough. Preheat oven to 360 degrees F.

Roll the dough between 2 pieces of parchment paper to 5/16 inch (about 7 mm) thick.

Using number cookie cutters cut out numbers from 1 to 10, as well as small 2.5 inch rounds. Place the cut cookie shapes on a parchment-lined cookie sheet. Place cookies in the fridge to harden for about 5 minutes and then put them in the oven.

Bake the cookies for approximately 8-10 minutes. Rotate sheets halfway through for even baking. Remove cookies from the oven and allow to cool on the sheet for 5 minutes. Do not attempt to move the cookies at this stage as they are too soft and will break. Slowly remove cookies from the sheet using a wide spatula, place them on the cooling rack and let cool completely.



Apply Icing
Start by piping thick royal icing all the way around the numbers. Then flood each cookie with a thinner icing. Let them dry completely.

Basic royal icing recipe:
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 2 tablespoons plus 1/4 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla or lemon extract

In a clean stainless steel bowl whisk together water and meringue powder, add powdered sugar and using your stand mixer (or you can use hand-held mixer, too), beat until stiff and glossy peaks are formed, about 5 minutes with stand mixer and 7 minutes with hand-held mixer. Add vanilla extract and beat for an additional minute. Scrape icing into an airtight bowl and cover tightly with a lid to prevent drying.



Add Glitter
Use a food-grade spray paint and stencil or food glitter to embellish cookies. If using a stencil, position it directly on top of the cookie and simply spray over with a food-grade spray paint. Gently lift the stencil to reveal the stenciled pattern. Continue with remaining cookies until you are done with all the numbers. If you prefer, simply spray the whole cookie or use food glitter to create a clean look. Let cookies dry before handling.



Attach Bases
Using a stiff royal icing, attach numbers onto the round cookies. Add support with a piece of paper towel or plastic wrap propped up against them while drying.



Set Up Display
Display on the table for a pretty edible decoration, or wrap cookies for individual favors.

Bon App├ętit...

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Happy New Year's Eve!

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Live well,
Yvonne

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