Archive | April, 2012

Sugar cookie medals for post-run aches & pains

27 Apr

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Cake Doctor

I’ve just run the marathon and can barely walk up the stairs let alone slide into a hot bath to soothe these aches and pains. Is there something to take my mind off my tired legs and relive the glory of making it to the finish line?

Love,

Achey

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Hi Achey

Congratulations! Running a marathon’s no mean feat. It sounds as though you’ve run out of steam and deserve something lovely and sugary to raise energy levels and put a smile back on your tired face. And don’t worry if your friends have done their time cheering and left you alone in a post-run lull, these are quick and simple to put together all by yourself. Not only will these sugary mouthfuls give you a much-needed energy boost, they’re shaped as medals – because you definitely deserve more than just the one placed around your neck at the end of the marathon.

I think you’ll find pleasure in putting them together too – imagine you’re kneading those exhausted legs as you handle the dough and roll it out on the bench, pop some dough in your mouth while you’re cutting the cookies for a quick energy fix (it’s delicious), and make your ‘medals’ as large and flashy as you feel.  They’ll cool quickly once out of the oven, and you can decorate them with all the bling you can find. Then, devour, and bask in the glory of having run so very far.

Love,

The Cake Doctor x

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COMPLAINT: achey post-marathon legs

PRESCRIPTION: sugar cookie medals (inspired by The Hummingbird Bakery’s sugar cookies, in ‘the hummingbird bakery recipe book‘)

Ingredients

200g unsalted butter, at room temperature (or, fridge cold, softened in the microwave for 30 seconds)

280g caster sugar

¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

1 egg, at room temperature if possible

400g plain flour

a pinch of salt

½ teaspoon cream of tartar

200g icing sugar, sifted

75ml hot water

food colouring & extra decorations (glitter, sprinkles, smarties) of your choice

thin coloured ribbon, cut into 20cm lengths

Method

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celcius and line a large baking tray with baking paper.

Put the butter, sugar and vanilla extract in a large bowl, and cream until light and fluffy. You can use a freestanding electric mixer (use the ‘paddle’ attachment), a handheld electric whisk, or just a wooden spoon. ‘Creaming’ creates air bubbles in the mixture, which will make your cookies lighter and chewier on the inside. The mix will increase in volume a little and the butter should pale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then add the egg and continue to mix well.

Remove the bowl from the electric mixer, or change to a spatula if you were using a wooden spoon.

Sift the flour, salt, and cream of tartar over the butter, sugar and egg mixture and incorporate thoroughly, but gently, using a spatula so as not to ‘overmix’. Overmixing after the dry ingredients have been put in toughens the proteins in the flour and results in a denser, heavier end result.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

You might need to finish off the incorporation of the dry ingredients by turning out the mixture on to your benchtop – but lightly dust your work surface first so the dough’s less likely to stick.  Now, massage the dough gently until it’s light and soft.

Dust your rolling pin with flour too and use it to roll out your dough until it’s about half a centimetre thick. Don’t flatten it too much or your medals will turn out crunchy biscuits, not chewy cookies!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Use a small circular cookie cutter, a shot glass, or the lid of a cocktail shaker to cut out medal-shaped rounds of dough.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Place your uncooked medals on the baking tray, leaving about 2 centimetres between each one to allow room for them to spread.

Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, but keep an eye on the cookies as thinner rounds will cook faster than thicker ones. The cookies are ready when they’re still lightly coloured on the inside, but golden on the outer edges.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Remove from the oven and leave to cool for 3 minutes, then pierce a hole at the top of each cookie for the all-important ribbon. A knife sharpening steel will do, or else a drinking straw or skewer. Leave the cookies to cool a little longer, then once they feel firmer, turn them out on to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While the cookies are cooling, prepare your icing. No need for fancy royal icing (using egg whites and lemon juice) here – all you need is icing sugar and hot water. Place the icing sugar in a medium bowl, and slowly drizzle in the water while mixing with a fork to avoid lumps. You won’t need to use all of the water – so stop when your icing runs off your fork in thick ribbons. Make sure it’s spreadable, but not too runny or it will never set.

Now, divide the icing into smaller bowls and add your choice of food colouring to each, then paint a thin layer of icing over each of your cookies, taking care to leave the ribbon hole unpainted.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Once the icing has set, the time for which will depend on how thickly you’ve coated your cookies in icing, pull a length of ribbon through the hole of each cookie and tie at the top.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Congratulations! More medals than you can poke a stick at, all edible, and all very well-deserved by you.

Love,

The Cake Doctor x