PPQ: “Pretty in Pink” Shortbread Cookies

by Shawnda on November 6, 2011

in Cookies and Bars,Holiday Favorites,Project Pastry Queen,Tips

Shortbread Snowflake Cookies Decorated with Royal Icing

Danmy selected this week’s Project Pastry Queen challenge: Pretty in Pink Shortbread Cookies. At the Rather Sweet Bakery in Fredericksburg, the cut-out cookies are sold in the shape of a pig and glazed with a pink icing in memory of the baker’s pet pig.

Aside from the occasional nervous twitch and flashbacks to a work top covered with 1000+ icing-less maple leaf cookies (I swear I couldn’t open my hand for a week after that order) and washing decorating bags and piping tips in the large stainless sink at my parents’ bakery, I actually did have a ton of fun with this week’s challenge. Who doesn’t love decorating snowflake sugar cookies when it’s 75 degrees and humid as heck in November :)

The recipe yields a good, solid sugar-shortbread cookie – a deliciously buttery hybrid between a soft sugar cookie and a sandy shortbread cookie. Most definitely one of the top “not from our bakery” recipes that I’ve tried. A couple of changes:
– I made half the recipe and added 1/2 tsp almond extract and a pinch of salt to the recipe.
– I also rolled the cookies a bit thicker than the suggested 1/4 inch and still got 18 large snowflake cookies. The recipe instructs against rolling the dough scraps out more than twice because it creates a “tough cookie.” I rolled the scraps 5 or 6 times and the cookies from the last batch were just as buttery and tender as the first batch.
– I decorated the cookies with royal icing instead of the recommended powdered sugar glaze. And I decorated them with the “I still don’t know if I’m supposed to eat them or not” dragees.

And I learned a new trick to get out of washing decorating bags! Nearly all of my bags are reusable (read: have to be washed) since I inherited them from the bakery. The “plastic wrap trick” worked fabulously - the inside of the bag was completely clean. All I did was pull out the plastic wrap and wash the tip and coupler.

I’m totally ready to go Christmas shopping now :) And ready to tackle my parents’ recipe (12 lbs of flour, anyone?) for a more manageable at-home version to compare them to these cookies. Check out the other Project Pastry Queen members’ take on the cookies and Danmy will have the full recipe on her site.

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{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 amanda @ fake ginger November 6, 2011 at 10:58 am

SO CUTE! Snowflake shaped cookies always taste better.

I made these a few weeks back and I guess I should’ve let them chill longer after cutting because they spread horribly and you couldn’t even tell which cookie cutter I used. I’ll have to try them again after reading your rave review!

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2 Lauren November 6, 2011 at 11:36 am

Oh my goodness, those are BEAUTIFUL! I’ve never worked with royal icing before, but this might get me in the kitchen.

And LOL about the dragees- I never know if I’m supposed to eat them either!

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3 Danmy November 6, 2011 at 2:52 pm

These snowflake cookies are beautiful! Thanks for baking with me this week!

Question – are you eating those silver dragees?

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4 foodiebride November 7, 2011 at 4:15 pm

Thanks, Danmy! No eating of the dragees… and not for my lack of trying. The bottle says, “For Decoration Only” and they mean it – there’s a plastic pellet in the center of each ball :(

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5 Ann P. November 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Those are absolutely gorgeous! They’re getting me in the mood for Christmas and winter, even though Thanksgiving hasn’t even come around yet :)

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6 Annie @ Annie's Cooking Lab November 6, 2011 at 5:13 pm

Those are beautiful! They sound delicious too!

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7 rachel @ sweettarte November 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm

wow these are so pretty! and what a great tip for cleaning pastry bags–thanks!

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8 Joanne November 6, 2011 at 11:49 pm

The only Christmas baked good my brother likes are vanilla cookies with frosting. Little does he know…he’s getting pink snowflakes this year.

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9 Nikki (Pennies on a Platter) November 7, 2011 at 3:19 pm

Beautiful cookies! I’ve been doing the plastic wrap trick, too, ever since seeing it on Sugarbelle. LOVE that I can reuse even the disposable bags!

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10 Cara November 7, 2011 at 3:54 pm

These are so gorgeous- nicely done!

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11 Katrina November 7, 2011 at 5:16 pm

These are beautiful!

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12 Jessica@LovesAvocado November 7, 2011 at 5:52 pm

These cookies are beautiful. I absolutely love the tip on cleaning the pastry bag! I am definitely going to share.

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13 Jen M O November 7, 2011 at 6:37 pm

What beautiful cookies! I love snowflakes.

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14 Salad in a Jar November 7, 2011 at 7:00 pm

Your stars are gorgeous!! I’m so impressed. I’ve made these many times myself although none so fancy as yours. I roll them out inside a ziplock bag. Makes the whole cutting out process so much easier.

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15 Sarah from 20somethingcupcakes November 8, 2011 at 11:20 am

Gorgeous!!!

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16 ruhama November 9, 2011 at 8:25 am

Thanks so much for sharing that decorator bag tip–that’s incredible! I’ll have to share that with a friend who decorates lots of cookies.

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17 Lindsey November 10, 2011 at 7:12 am

SO glad you posted these! I’m hosting a pink and gray baby shower with a snowflake theme and these are 100% perfect for it! So beautiful!

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