Friday, December 3, 2010

You're Baking Me Crazy! Guest Bakers In the Kitchen

It's official. I have finally figured it out. How to have way too much fun, that is. Get a couple friends into the kitchen with you, add sugar and alcohol, then wait for the magic. And giggles. Smiles all around, all night long.

This week I invited two lovely, adorable ladies into the Panda le Chef kitchen for some holiday inspired baking.

As I recently picked up a pack of forest friends cookie cutters from Ikea, I opted to try out Martha Stewart's Sugar Cookies while my dear friend C opted for the Polar Opposites Cupcakes from What's New, Cupcake?

Ok, I may have pushed C a bit to do these ones. We thought they were easy. If you look closely you can see what time the clock in the picture reads...too late to be baking!

My dear friend H also came along and inspired these beautiful little piggies.

The Polar Opposites Cupcakes involved a glorified yellow cake mix batter (made with buttermilk) baked in typical cupcake liners. The frosting involved store-bought vanilla frosting with marshmallow fluff. Sweet as can be!

We used doughnut holes, sweetened coconut, frosted oat cereal, and mini marshmallows to decorate the bears. Next we used piped chocolate store-bought frosting to make the hands, feet, and face. C is amazing with decorating baked goods.

As for my Sugar Cookies, they were pretty straight forward. Some of the comments on Martha's page call for adding more sugar or making the cookies sweeter. I see no need in this if you are going to frost them. Actually, they needed little altering other than adding both vanilla and almond extracts. Very tasty. They make great lunch (as they have been mine for two days running).

Now go find a friend or two and start baking! Make sure to include some mimosas or hot cocoa with whiskey. Enjoy!

Sugar Cookies
From: Martha Stewart
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for rolling
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • Assorted candies, sprinkles, or colored sugars, for decorating (optional)
In large bowl, whisk flour, baking powder, and salt. With an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg, almond and vanilla extracts. With mixer on low, gradually add flour mixture; beat until combined. Divide dough in half; flatten into disks. Wrap each in plastic; freeze until firm, at least 20 minutes, or place in a resealable plastic bag, and freeze up to 3 months (thaw in refrigerator overnight).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line baking sheets with parchment. Remove one dough disk; let stand 5 to 10 minutes. Roll out 1/8 inch thick between two sheets of floured parchment, dusting dough with flour as needed.

Cut shapes with cookie cutters. Using a spatula, transfer to prepared baking sheets. (If dough gets soft, chill 10 minutes.) Reroll scraps; cut shapes. Repeat with remaining dough.

Bake, rotating halfway through, until edges are golden, 10 to 18 minutes (depending on size). Cool completely on wire racks. To ice cookies, spread with the back of a spoon. Let the icing harden, about 20 minutes. Decorate as desired.

1 comment:

  1. I have to say, I really enjoyed molesting the bear with my mouth. It was even better than I imagined it would be! So cute and delicious!