Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Baked! Pink cookies.
This is really shameful, you guys, but I didn't take a single picture at the bridal shower on Sunday. Others did, I'm sure, but I was so busy setting up and then talking to people and doing other things that by the time I noticed this sad fact, it was too late. Ah, well.
Anyway, it all went fantastic—at least, I think so—and the decorations and the desserts turned out just as I'd hoped. So today, in lieu of photos, I thought I'd share with you the recipe for the pink cookies I made, because they're not only pretty, they're delicious. They key is to add just a little cherry extract or maraschino cherry juice to the frosting—not enough to make you think that you're eating cherry-frosted cookies, just enough so that the cookies taste pink.
(Oh, and full disclosure: Thanks to the butter and sugar I consumed over the weekend and the fact that I have a major work event and four days of wedding festivities this week, I'm on as much of a detox as I can be for the rest of the week. So I will not be eating any more of these pink cookies, although they really are a delicious treat and they are perfect for a party—especially a bridal shower, because you can cut them into heart shapes. Happy baking, friends.)
Adapted slightly from A Homemade Life, by Molly Wizenberg
For the cookies:
3 sticks butter, at room temperature
1 cup powdered sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
For the frosting:
8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar, sifted
2 tsp. maraschino cherry juice (alternatively, 1 1/4 tsp. cherry extract, kirsch or rosewater. I ended up using 2 full teaspoons of maraschino cherry juice because the flavor wasn't "pink" enough with just one and a quarter)
A few drops of red food coloring
Make the cookies: Combine the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat, first on low speed, then slowly increasing the speed to medium, until light and fluffy.
In a separate, medium-sized bowl, combine flour and salt and whisk well. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the butter mixture, beating until the flour is just absorbed (don't overbeat!). Add the vanilla and beat to incorporate. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap on a large, flat, clean service and turn the dough out onto it. Gather the dough into a ball, then press into a thick disk, wrap well, and refrigerate for one hour.
Once the dough is chilled, place it on a clean, floured, flat surface and roll it out until it's about 3/8 of an inch thick. Using a heart-shaped cookie cutter—although of course you can use whatever shape you like—cut the dough into shapes and place cookies onto two prepared baking sheets, about 1 1/2 inches apart. Place the second baking sheet in the fridge until you're ready to use it. Bake one sheet at a time for 16-20 minutes or until the cookies start to turn golden around the edges (do not let them brown). Transfer baking sheet to a wire rack and allow cookies to cool completely. Repeat with second baking sheet.
Make the frosting: Combine the cream cheese and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until smooth. Add the powdered sugar and beat on low speed to incorporate, then increase the speed to medium/medium-high and beat until there are no lumps, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula as needed. Add your maraschino cherry juice and a few drops of red food coloring and beat until combined (the frosting should be a pretty shade of pink). Generously spread onto the cooled cookies (don't be afraid to use a good amount of icing; this recipe makes a lot).
Store cookies in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze indefinitely.
P.S. More Baked! posts right here.