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.