People pleasers…frosted pumpkin cookies
Where are all the frosted cookies? Oh sure, a chocolate chip or peanut butter cookie is often delicious–but there is something about frosted cookies that is more gratifying. The color orange is a longtime personal penchant, and my devotion for frosting is well-journaled in my baby book as well as on my current anatomy. I was emboldened by the idea that the color orange and the sweetness of frosting could come together with such conviction. The spirit of enterprise overtakes as pumpkin cookies are topped with delightful frosting. To aid you in your baking, here are some tried and true baking recommendations.
Over the years I have discovered when making cookies of any kind–drop, rolled, pressed– it is best to never beat the dough after the flour has been added. This will make your cookies tough. Now this is not to say that you should not blend your flour well upon adding it to the cream mixture. Personally I often use a wooden spoon when adding and blending the flour as it gives me more control. I am also not a fan of drop cookies that are shapeless and uneven. It is for this very reason I use a deep measuring spoon when dropping the dough on the cookie sheet. It allows for a very uniform shape and often dome shaped. Now some will find this to be clumsy and inefficient. For these folks I recommend placing cookie dough in pastry bag fitted with a large, plain and round tube. You do this by filling the bag about 2/3 full of the batter. Holding the bag vertical, the end of the tube should be about inch away from your cookie sheet. This is the perfect opportunity to have your photo taken as you truly look the part of a fine baker! It will also put an end to Aunt Clara’s quibbling that most of your cookies are purchased.
Many folks look at pastry bags as strangers–certainly not a good thing. Trusting someone or something you hardly know is part of most exciting and most learning adventures. The first rule of learning to use a pastry bag is to be smart. Start out simply or ask someone who has experience. I am sure that you can recall when your egg separator or citrus peelers were not in your inner circle kitchen friends group. So remember that at one time all kitchen gadgets were strangers to you. I recommend going with your social instinct by first inviting a pastry bag into your kitchen. Give it a bit of room, and then get to know it over a cup of coffee. I can assure you will become good buds! Who knows– your heart may even skip a beat. This is telling you that only more fabulous ideas are waiting around the corner for you and your pastry bag.
I have received several questions about creaming. This is an important factor when baking. Realize that creaming is the combining of two or more ingredients by beating them together with a wooden spoon, or an electric mixer or at times with your bare hand.
When creaming together butter and sugar for the following recipe, you can stave off conflict by using butter that is at room temperature. You will know when the creaming is correct as the appearance will be light, fluffy, and they will have both lost their individual characteristics. It should not look at all sugary or greasy when they have joined forces.
A tip on baking your cookies is to watch, watch, and watch them in the oven. I never bake with the rack on the very bottom of the oven. I prefer to move the racks to the second and third positions. It is also important to remove cookies before they have completely baked. Realizing that cookies will continue to bake even after they have been removed from the oven is a real help in persuading them to be perfect. As with most baking, this takes time to learn and each cookie recipe often requires its own set of rules. Over time, you will hone in on this technique and learn to trust your instinct. It is also very important when baking to allow your oven to preheat. A complete 20 minutes at the desired baking temperature is standard for me before placing cookie sheets on the racks.