I really love cooking at the beginning of Fall! To me it means, our house benefits from having warm things around like...soup...sweaters...cups of green tea...oatmeal...braises....and cookies, of course. growing up the oven only came on during cooler weather because nebraska summers are insanely hot + humid and it's hard enough to keep the house cool.
i've also had some thoughts lately. if you are stopping by my blog...please write to me! nothing makes me more stoked then to talk to other people, share stories, advice etc. i shared my cookies at work the other day and met a new person who happened to eat these giraffe cookies. she said, "what kind of frosting did you use? it tastes just like the frosting on the cookies from a bakery where i grew up." -gasp!- i got really excited at that point and wanted to tell her everything about it! "and there is nutmeg in here too!" she said. it made me beyond stoked because there is nothing i enjoy more than to make a connection and share food with someone. i may never meet you, but i can share a recipe with you!
ANYWAYS, these cookies are made with my Great Grandma's Sugar Cookie Recipe (and I placed that in all proper caps because in my family it's always like...-gasp!- did you use Great Grandma's recipe?? Yes. Yes, I did.) So you are getting the real deal. Only I added PSL spices to the dough and decorated the giraffes with sweaters, poofy vests and v-necks because it's freakin' Fall!!!
Blog posts I am in love with lately:
copper eyeshadow (gotta try this)
brown butter pumpkin rolls with a vanilla bean crème fraîche glaze (this encourages my current cinnamon roll obsession)
general tso's cauliflower (say whaaaaaat? everything the woks of life family cooks makes me want to eat my computer screen)
prosciutto and dates mooncakes (mandy at lady and pups also makes me want to eat my computer screen. that's my favorite kind of mooncake dough too, swoon.)
pumpkin spiced giraffe sugar cookies with sweaters
makes ~2 dozen
1) cream room temperature butter and sugar together in a stand mixer for 5-7 mins, scraping down the sides of the bowl occasionally. If you are in a hurry and your butter is still cold..pop it in the microwave for 5 secs, flip it and nuke it for another 5 secs.
2) add the eggs, one at a time, until they are completely emulsified in.
3) add the milk and vanilla.
4) mix the all-purpose flour with the spices and baking powder and add this to the stand mixer and mix on low speed until just incorporated.
5) separate the sugar cookie dough into two batches, placing the dough in plastic wrap and forming them into flat disks. place both disks of dough in the freezer for 30 mins or until dough is firm. if dough gets too cold, let it thaw for a couple minutes before trying to roll it out.
6) flour a work surface and a rolling pin and begin to work the dough flat. roll dough to 1/4" thickness. cut out giraffes (or use any animal cutter for that matter).
7) place giraffes on an air bake sheet tray (the cookies can be spaced 1/4" apart, they don't spread much). bake at 350 F for 10-12 mins or until cookies are baked completely and puffy, but bottoms are not brown.
8) let cookies cool on sheet tray for 1-2 mins before removing to a cooling rack.
9) in the meantime, make the royal icing. combine the powdered sugar, meringue powder, water, vanilla and corn syrup in a stand mixer. mix on medium-low speed for 5 mins or until the frosting stands up in stiff peaks. this blog called craft, bake, sew, create has a great explanation of how to mix royal icing for piping and for flooding.
10) this icing is ready to be colored and used directly for piping the outside lines. once you're all finished with outlining the sweaters and details you can thin out the frosting with water to flood the inner part of the piped lines with thinner frosting.
11) using a spray bottle (or carefully add water) spray water into each colored frosting and mix. repeat this until a line drawn by a knife ran through the frosting disappears within 10-12 secs (again look at blog link above for a great tutorial on how to fill piping bags with the different colors!). i used the piping bag method described in the blog above, but for the flooding icing, i bought these squeeze bottles from the craft store to fill in the cookies.
12) fill in colors onto sweaters as desired, pipe dots onto wet royal icing to create polka dots or run a toothpick through dots to create hearts! have fun! i mean, messed up cookies can be eaten! :P
1 1/2 c. unsalted butter, room temp
1 1/2 c. sugar
2 t. vanilla
8 t. milk
4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t. cinnamon
1/4 t. nutmeg
1/4 t. ginger
1/8 t. cloves
1 t baking powder
2# powdered sugar
1/3 c. meringue powder
3/4 c. H2O
1/2 t. vanilla
2 t. corn syrup