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THE DARING BAKERS GET CREATIVE IN SEPTEMBER!

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THE DARING BAKERS SEPTEMBER 2010 CHALLENGE: DECORATED SUGAR COOKIES

The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.

There is nothing better than making edible decoration for your celebrations. This was my philosophy when I made the birthday parties for my family. It was a shame to see all the effort spent on non edible decoration going to the trash can after the party. These cookies are perfect for any themed occasion. For this challenge, we had to represent the month of September using decorated cookies, whatever September means to each participant.

For my September theme I decided to celebrate the seasons, as they are being so special to me. Brazil is a tropical country and the changing of seasons is not as obvious as in non tropical countries. September is the beginning of Spring in Brazil, while here in Korea it is the beginning of Autumn. So I decided to represent both!





  

Korea is not very traditional in baking, so finding baking supplies is not so easy, but still, I found quite a reasonable selection of cookie cutters. Guess what! I couldn't find the Autumn themed cutters that I wanted anywhere, except for some imported ones that cost a fortune! 

On my extensive search for cookie cutters here in Korea, I found things that I wasn't exactly looking for. I couldn't resist on buying a cookie cutter that is VERY CUTE!!! A 3D Hello Kitty!

Isn't she cute?

I searched the Internet and found some great people sharing their abilities of making their own cookie cutters out of aluminum disposable pans. 




Thanks guys! I tried my hand on them, and ended up making a small collection of cutters. Love that!
Check them out here:


For the Spring cookies, I used the recipe provided by our hostess, Mandy, as well as the icing with artificial food coloring. For the Autumn cookies, I made "healthier" cookies, coloring the dough with natural colorings such as green tea, pumpkin and cactus powders (easily found here in Korea). The colored cookies only needed a few details using the royal icing.



Basic Sugar Cookies:
Makes approximately 36 x 10cm / 4 inch cookies

200g / 7oz / ½ cup + 6 Tbsp Unsalted Butter, at room temperature
400g / 14oz / 3 cups + 3 Tbsp All Purpose / Plain Flour
200g / 7oz / 1 cup Caster Sugar / Superfine Sugar
1 Large Egg, lightly beaten
5ml / 1 tsp Vanilla Extract / Or seeds from 1 vanilla bean


Directions:

Cream together the butter, sugar and any flavourings you’re using. Beat until just becoming creamy in texture. Tip: Don’t over mix otherwise you’ll incorporate too much air and the cookies will spread during baking, losing their shape. 
Beat in the egg until well combined, make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the sifted flour and mix on low until a non sticky dough forms. 
Tip: I don’t have a stand mixer so I find it easier to switch to dough hooks at this stage to avoid flour flying everywhere. 
Knead into a ball and divide into 2 or 3 pieces. Roll out each portion between parchment paper to a thickness of about 5mm/1/5 inch (0.2 inch) Refrigerate for a minimum of 30mins. 
Tip: Recipes commonly just wrap the whole ball of dough in clingwrap and then refrigerate it for an hour or overnight, but by rolling the dough between parchment, this shortens the chilling time and then it’s also been rolled out while still soft making it easier and quicker. 
Once chilled, peel off parchment and place dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut out shapes with cookie cutters or a sharp knife. 
Arrange shapes on parchment lined baking sheets and refrigerate for another 30mins to an hour. 


Tip: It’s very important you chill them again otherwise they’ll spread while baking. 


Re-roll scraps and follow the above process until all scraps are used up. 
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C Fan Assisted) / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Bake until golden around the edges, about 8-15mins depending on the size of the cookies. 
Tip: Bake same sized cookies together otherwise mixing smaller with larger cookies could result in some cookies being baked before others are done.
Tip: Rotate baking sheets half way through baking if your oven bakes unevenly. Leave to cool on cooling racks. Once completely cooled, decorate as desired. 


Tip: If wrapped in tinfoil/cling wrap or kept in airtight containers in a cool place, un-decorated cookies can last up to a month.



Royal Icing:

315g – 375g / 11oz – 13oz / 2½ - 3 cups Icing / Confectioner’s / Powdered Sugar, unsifted
2 Large Egg Whites
10ml / 2 tsp Lemon Juice
5ml / 1 tsp Almond Extract, optional

Directions:

Beat egg whites with lemon juice until combined. 
Tip: It’s important that the bowls/spoons/spatulas and beaters you use are thoroughly cleaned and grease free.
Sift the icing sugar to remove lumps and add it to the egg whites. 
Tip: I’ve listed 2 amounts of icing sugar, the lesser amount is good for a flooding consistency, and the larger amount is for outlining, but you can add even more for a much thicker consistency good for writing. If you add too much icing sugar or would like to make a thinner consistency, add very small amounts of water, a few drops at a time, until you reach the consistency you need. Beat on low until combined and smooth. Use immediately or keep in an airtight container. 
Tip: Royal Icing starts to harden as soon as it’s in contact with air so make sure to cover containers with plastic wrap while not in use.




Now, you only have to use your creativity!


If you would like to see the other Daring Baker's wonderful creations, visit "THE DARING KITCHEN". You will also find the original and complete recipe for this challenge, including lots of tips on decorating with royal  icing.

Some drafts:





66 comments:

  1. Renata, your decotared cookies are just awesome. Especially since you made your own cutters.
    I was planning to make my own too but couldn't find the time to do so. :(

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  2. I'm so in love with your cookies and your cookiescapes. So beautiful and inspired! I love the homemade cutters!

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  3. You were so clever in making your cookie cutter so precisely! They resulted in very well cut cookies! I love the way you made murals out of them! Also I have never seen 3D cutters - Hello Kitty is cute!!

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  4. Wow, you made your own cookie cutters! All of your cookies look very pretty and the 3D hello kitty is very cute. Great job on this challenge!

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  5. I love your season scenes!!! We don't really have much of a fall here in MS either, so I couldn't really do a season theme. Such a great variety of cookies.

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  6. These cookies are the coolest!! It's so amazing that you made your own custom cookie cutters. You did such a great job on this challenge!

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  7. Hello dear,
    thank you very much for your encouraging words, I was so affraid about the results being my first time as a cookie decorator!
    But my cookies are nothing compared to your brazilian spring and korean fall. I don't know which one I prefer, each and every cookie is soooooo beautiful and cute! And your handmade cookie cutters are amazing, I think I absolutely have to give it a shot and try at home. Congratulations on a great performance, dear! Have a nice week, big hug from Madrid-Spain!

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  8. I said this on the DB forum and I'll say it again... you've done an amazing job! Love it all!

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  9. Fantastic cookies, Renata. I love the 3D hello kitty, but I am most impressed with your hand made cutters. Marbling the coloured doughs was an effective idea too.

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  10. Renata so lovely to discover your blog via the Daring Bakers and I just LOVE your cookies especially the coloured dough cookies what a fab idea. I will look forward to visiting you again and in the meantime i start Portuguese classes this evening! We spend lots of time in Madeira so thought it was about time I had some language lessons :-) x

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  11. Renata, this is a fabulous challenge from you (as always!). I am inspired! :)

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  12. Great job for making your own cookie cutter...
    Bravo.your coloured cookies are awesome and spring ones are fabulous...very very very well done.....

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  13. Bom dia, wow, you really went all the way with the challange, very creative and beautifully made ;)

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  14. Renata, your cookies are absolutely amazing! Bravo!!

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  15. Wow, the seasons theme is beautiful! I love that you crafted your own cookie cutters. That's so clever. Must remember for when I need a unique shape.

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  16. Renata I adored your cookies and your idea to spell out words. Your healthier cookies were lovely as well. Oh and thanks so much for the links to the make your own cutter tutorials I need a cutter I can't find and now I know exactly what to do.

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  17. Wow! Making your own cookie cutters - that is super creative! Love all the colours in your cookies and the amount of detail. Would like to know how your Korean cookies were healthier - can you share the recipe? GREAT JOB! - Jen =)

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  18. Renata, you never fail to impress! your sugar cookies are absolutely jaw dropping! great job.. and your cookie cutters look store bought, you're so creative!

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  19. Renata - you have worked so hard on this challenge - wonderful baking
    Heather
    http://apronaddict.blogspot.com

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  20. What a beautiful selection of cookies! Your cookie cutters are amazing, and very professional looking. Mine ended up looking like a kindergarten project.
    :)
    Love the colour of the cookie dough too-great idea!

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  21. Wow renata as everytime u have done so well..I love the themed arrangement and gorgeous ideas of adding colors to the dough.. what can i say..simply tremendous....

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  22. Seriously beautiful photos! And the cookie dough coloring is such a great idea.

    Where did you get that cute 3-d hello kitty?!

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  23. WOW - your cookies are so amazingly impressive on SO many levels. That you made your own cookie cutters? That is just amazing. I love that you were able to find natural food colorings, and I especially love the look of the cookies made from rolling the different colored scraps together. :) I am continually amazed by your creativity and talent.

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  24. These are such beautiful and creative cookies! I love how you colored the cookie dough with fall colors. And your hello kitty is just adorable!

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  25. I had SUCH a great time decorating mine! It was so fun, I can't wait to do it again!

    I might take a few tips from your book though, ha. Your cookies look amazing! I love that you made your own cutters and mixed in the things like green tea and pumpkin. Yum! Very pretty!

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  26. wow...gorgeous colorful autumn cookies! =)

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  27. You represented the seasons so beautifully! I love how you used the cookies to create an artistic landscape! So creative!

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  28. Incredibly amazing job! I love all of the different cookies and colors. Just beautiful!

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  29. Wow, amazing! You've really outdone yourself! Those sceneries/cookies are splendid and I love the cute Hello Kitty.

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  30. You are amazing. Home made cookie cutters, colored dough, amazingly detailed icing decorations... and a 3-D Hello Kitty! You are my hero! You do amazing work, and I love to see what you come up with! Thank you, also, for being so friendly, supportive and helpful!

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  31. Qué preciosidad de galletas!!!!!
    I love your cutters, Incredible, self-made...
    The colours leaves are very, very beautiful!!!
    Un saludo desde España, Begoña

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  32. I love your cookies, especially the ones made with the colored dough! Gorgeous!

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  33. I can't believe how much effort you put into this challenge and how it paid off stunningly. My hat is off to you!

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  34. These are exquisite cookies, something for me to aim for being able to do. I love the way you included both Autumn and Spring cookies.

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  35. What a wonderful celebration of the seasons AND you made your own cookie cutters? Definitely a DB challenge well done!

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  36. Absolutely adorable Renata. Saw them at the forum some time back and fell in love with them. They are so inspired and you've had a field day here! Well done!

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  37. Wow, now that is what I call a Daring Baker! You went all out and even done your own cutters - amazing! I love love the 3D Kitty, she's my daughter's favourite too! Really well done, Renata! x

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  38. You did great on this challenge Renata, loved your cookies!

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  39. WOW!!! Gorgeous leaves but I can't resist the Hello Kitty cookie cutter! CUTE!!!

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  40. Amazing! You certainly went all out on this challenge, making your own cookie cutters! Brilliant! Keep up the amazing bakes.

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  41. WOW, your natural colours are really impressive, especially the green one. I couldn't obtain such a vivid green with my kukicha tea. Beautiful!

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  42. I hardly know where to start - what do I love most about your beautiful cookies? The colours? The squirrels? The mixed-coloured leaves? Wonderful! I wish I had known how to make my own cutters - I might have joined in instead of skipping the challenge this month! xxx

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  43. Very very cute cookies, lots of hardwork and very thoughtful.

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  44. My, Renata, so much work and such beautiful art work (as always) :-)

    I loved your hello kitty cookie, my daughter would go crazy about it. Will I find something like that in Spain??

    Love / Patri

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  45. Your 3 dimensional story board is so impressive.... and love the hello kitty cookie too..

    Sawadee from bangkok,
    Kris

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  46. Parabéns Renata! Quanta criatividade!!! :D
    Que legal fazer a massa colorida!
    Mas a minha preferida mesmo foi a Kello Kitty! Linda!!!!
    Beijos!

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  47. I saw these on the Daring Bakers forum and was amazed. They are really pretty and very cleverly done.

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  48. Renata, these are fabulous! So McGyver to make your own cookie cutters, and I love the coloured ones. Wish I'd thought of that. Awesome job:)

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  49. Very creative! Beautiful! Thanks for visiting.

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  50. Hi Renata,
    Wow, what can I say, these cookies are work of arts..... I love the spring picture with all the flower cookies, and the hello kity ( how creative). I love how you colored the dough, what a great idea !!!!! Thanks for coming to my site and checking it out. This being my first time, I was really nervous...
    Renuka
    www.cuminandcardamom.blogspot.com

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  51. Wow! You made those cutters yourself? They look amazing. Love the squirrel! And the acorn! and the 3D-Kitty...
    Congratulations!

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  52. Olá, Renata,

    Que coisinhas mais lindas, estes biscoitos!
    Os de folha conseguiram passar direitinho a idéia de folhas de outono, por causa da matização das cores, rsrs. E as flores da primavera (do Brasil!!) ficaram muito delicadas! Parabéns pelo belo trabalho!

    Um beijo!

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  53. I love Hello Kitty! and the coloured dough! Now I have to make another new batch :))))

    sandra
    justonemorefoodie.com

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  54. Renata, WOW..what an amazing array of beautiful cookies! Love how you colored the dough for the leaves, and your Hello Kitty is just phenomenal!! You truly went all out and rocked this challenge!

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  55. Dear Renata, you really amazed me with all the tips for making the cookie cutters and the wonderful results you had ! I love all your cookies but my Anita fell in love with Hello Kitty ! I'm curious about the natural food colorings you used never heard of cactus powder !! Bravissima !!

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  56. wow, u have baked so many. everything is so beautiful

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  57. I totally love that Hello Kitty cookie, that is soooo cute! thanks for the tutorials on the cookie cutters, I'm not brave enough to try one on my own, but its good knowledge to have!

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  58. Renata, wow! You really outdid yourself doing all those different cookies and making your own cookie cutters.

    I love your coloured dough, I've also done that and just drizzled a bit of white chocolate on the coloured cookies.

    Your cookies look fantastic, thank you so much for your enthusiasm with the September challenge :)

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  59. Great job on this challenge. Once again, I was delinquent! I will be making these for Christmas decorations. I promise that I will be making the October challenge!

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  60. Lovely post and blog. I read your post on my blog and would be honored if you used my picture. They are one of my favorite things to make! Look forward to going through the rest of your blog!
    http://www.alagraham.com/2010/01/chocolate-bowls-with-chambord-whipped.html

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  61. So creative! I love the idea of making your own cookie cutters and also the coloured dough. Well done!

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  62. Wow making your own cutters.... love the squirrel and acorns

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  63. SIMPLY AMAZING- Amazing cookies, amazing design, amazing cookie cutters, amazing decorating, and amazing post! I am inspired. Job very well done!

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  64. Thanks everyone for your lovely comments! I really get inspired with all your support! Looking forward to the next challenge!

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