Much has happened to me last year which is why I haven’t been posting much on my blog and to a lesser extent podcasting. You may or may not know, I have worked as a Librarian for the past several years; emphasis on have worked. Last October, the county I live in has had to resort to laying off county employees due to a budget shortfall. This scare had occurred several times over the years but the hammer finally came down and came down hard in October 2011. My library system lost about 100+ staffers. As such, I have been unemployed, unhappy and unscifi (yes, it is now a word!) for the past several months. For 2012, we all know our time is limited according to the Mayan calendar, the zombie apocalypse and if we survive this, don’t forget the Skynet was activated last year so you know the Robots will be coming to finish the job and eat all our medicines. I want to look at 2012 as a new chapter in my life and do things I’ve not done in a long time and continue to do this things I used to love as well.
For starters, I have cooked more than ever. From the annual savory squash soup for Thanksgiving, rum cake for my wife’s birthday to a homemade rugelach for Hanukkah, I forgot how much I’ve missed cooking from scratch. For Christmas, I baked cookies with the Star Wars Cookie Cutters from Williams-Sonoma which was a present from my friend, Mr. Gene’s sister, Nancy. I baked them cookies for them as a present for them. Here are some pics of the process.
This is my first attempt at making Star Wars cookies. Now, notice some of the cookies are a bit misshapen. The reason for this is because I used the sugar cookie mix I bought from the market and not used the recipe that came with the cutter kit. The reason for this is that the packaged cookie mix was very sticky even though I added lots of flour for the cutter and in the rolling out of the dough. Heed my warning, use the recipe that come the kit. Look below at the new and improved cookie which I did this new year.
Unlike the Trooper cookies, I had no problems punching out the Yoda, Vader and Fett cookies with little fuss or muss. There was less need for flouring the cutter as well. Now, with the proper recipe in place, the rolling out of the dough to the right thickness can be a bit tricky. Since the baking time ranges from 10-15 minutes, if the cookie is not thicker, it will get burn or brown more than the thicker ones. I tried to rotate the cookie tray 1/2 way through the baking time to help offset this problem. For my oven, 10 minutes was more than enough to cook the cookie but I may have to bump it down to 8 minutes to prevent future cooking problems. I must say though the browner cookies still tastes great as it is more of a crisper bite. As time passes, I will get a better feel of the dough and have the right thickness.
So, you must be asking yourself, what about frosting the cookies? Before I show the last set of pics, I wanted to tell you my experience with the frosting was a success but it wasn’t easy. I had only decorated the stormtroopers which was the easiest to do since the frosting was just black and white. Since I had used the sugar cookie mix from the market, the imprint of the stormtrooper cutter was impractically baked out. There was still a traceable outline to work with but the newer batches will make the job much easier in the future.
Laying down the black icing was the easy part and did this quick batch under ten minutes. Again, had the cookies has a deeper imprint, the process would have been much quicker. Having said this, adding the white frosting was a killer on my hand. I used the smallest nozzle of the icing since I wanted to be precise in filling the remaining spaces. Aside from the cramping, the results weren’t bad for a first time but I wonder if it would be easier to decorate with the white icing first and then add the black.
Now that I have the better batch of cookies, I have no plans to frost them as I don’t have the proper colors. I’m hoping in the future, I will try to use food dyes to change the color of the cookies and minimize the need for frosting. Yoda would be easy to make green. I have to research on make a black dough or come close to a darker color dough for Vader and a darker green for Fett. As for the stormtrooper, I don’t think there is a white food coloring out there and yellow would not work. Still, there is always room to experiment such as using a fruit puree between two cookies. Yum.
There you have it. My first blog entry of the new year. I hope you find it useful or at the very least entertaining to read. I plan to be more creative in my future endeavors and, of course, share them with you.