Thursday, March 17, 2011

From the Kitchen: St. Paddy’s on Ice

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!!

Today is all about testing out the freezability of sugar cookies iced with royal icing. I wanted to make cookie favors for the upcoming baby shower of my sister-in-law, but since my own baby’s birth will happen shortly and I don’t expect to be able to do anything for at least a month, I’ll need to make some cookies NOW so they will be ready LATER. St. Patrick’s Day was the perfect reason to make cookies ahead of time, freeze them for a couple days, and thaw them out to see what happens.

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It’s generally accepted that naked sugar cookies and sugar cookies iced with a buttercream-type frosting will freeze very well, but royal icing could easily be marred by the effects of condensation since the icing will not hesitate to dissolve and migrate a little in the presence of adequate moisture. My research, therefore, would indicate that cookies iced with royal icing should be allowed to dry completely, then stored in a completely airtight container (with parchment paper in between layers) before being placed in the freezer for up to a month. To thaw without damage, the container should be removed from the freezer the day before the cookies are to be eaten and allowed to come fully to room temperature before opening it, so that moisture in the form of condensation will not collect on or near the cookies. Makes sense, right? To fulfill my due diligence, I am testing the theory…

I made shamrock sugar cookies with my standby sugar cookie recipe, sloppily dipped them in greenish royal icing using meringue powder, then sprinkled some with colored sugar, some with round white sprinkles, and left some simply iced. I wanted to see what would happen to each of those conditions upon thawing.

I pulled them out yesterday to thaw overnight, and here they are today…

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They came out perfect. They tasted fresh-baked… not dry or soggy, no color bleed, no running of the colored sugar even (there was a tiny bit from when I first sprinkled them, but it did not worsen over time)! I’m glad I tried this. So, after careful baking, decorating, drying, packing and plastic-wrapping… into the freezer go my baby shower cookies…

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St. Patrick, patron saint of engineers (and Ireland, of course), pray for the people working on the nuclear disaster in Japan!

1 comment:

Andrea said...

Love the baby carriages. Fabulous. And yes, we're praying like crazy for everyone involved on all disaster relief levels.