Monday, November 12, 2012

Step Aside Icing- There's a NEW Frosting in Town!

Alright, people.
It's true that I *love* royal icing. It's delicious and beautiful... and my bff's mom makes *the best* sugar cookies in the world with it. Literally the best.
But this year has been busy and not as cheery as others and something about the current climate made me long for a simpler Christmas cookie.
I was dreaming of very flavorful and earth-inspired Christmas cookies. Gingerbread men that were actually brown. Speckled snowflakes and stars... cookies much different than the typical bright red + green iced cookies of years gone by.
Well... that's half the story.
The other half is this: I had my charges over this weekend (less prep time + a need for something easy for young children to spread and use) and also... my sweet cream butter was freezer burned. Hm. That highly recognizable and specific flavor was in need of being covered up. In a big way. Plus, I'm not very good at icing with royal icing. I can do it, but it takes a lot of work for me to get it right. This weekend, I needed something effortless, but still delicious.
Thus these three flavors were born! I wouldn't like to color the peppermint red next time, but John very much dislikes peppermint so I wanted to be sure he steered clear of it.
I've worked with buttercream for *years* and posted about flavored buttercreams before (I included a link to a bonus flavor below), so it was easy just to toss these together in the kitchen. Flavoring buttercream is fantastic because there really aren't many ways to mess it up (just add more sugar or cream depending on the consistency) and the combinations are limitless. Plus, as much as icing and sugar cookies go together... buttercream is just as awesome on the taste buds. So let's start with the basic buttercream recipe and then we'll flavor it up! (Some people spell it butter cream... but let's go with one word, shall we?)
STANDARD BUTTERCREAM:
3 c. Confectioners sugar
1 c. Sweet cream, unsalted butter (slightly softened)
1 tsp. Vanilla extract*
1-2 tbs. Whipping cream
*if you aren't flavoring the buttercream further, add another tsp of almond extract

1) Whisk sugar and butter with an electric mixer or in a stand mixer
2)  Mix on low til well blended
3) Increase speed to medium and beat for 3 minutes
4) Add extracts + cream. Beat one minute longer on medium.
Next, I portioned the frosting out into 4 bowls, flavoring three and coloring the fourth. For each variation, simply add in the ingredients and stir very well with a spoon or preferably a small whisk.
Chocolate:
1 cup of frosting
2 tbs of cocoa powder
1 tbs of whipping cream (add 1/4 tbs at a time til the consistency is right)
Cinnamon:
1 cup of frosting
1 tsp of cinnamon
CINNAMON BROWN SUGAR FROSTING HERE:
Peppermint:
1 cup of frosting
1/2 tsp peppermint extract
3 crushed starlight mints
Unfortunately my (well documented) love for peppermint was just too great and the star cookie didn't last long enough for a proper picture. I'm not sure why I made that last snowflake half and half except that I *really* wanted another cookie with both flavorings.
Definitely didn't get the supplies I wanted this weekend- thanks so much for being patient during this time of oddness! Things will calm down soon and we'll be back to our normal routine. Well... anyway, all the best and as always- thanks for reading!

4 comments:

  1. Yummm.. and thanks for the burst of laughter over that bitten off star cookie. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. hahah! it was either that or the demented snowman ;)

      Delete
  2. Love your blog! And the recipes are now part of my "need to do" list... ;)

    lg, lici

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. That's fantastic!! Buttercream is irresistible. Enjoy and thanks for reading!

      Delete

I love reading + responding to comments! Keep in mind that comments are moderated and spam will never be approved :)