Monday, 17 December 2012

Stampin' Up! Cookie Stamps - A foolproof tutorial!

The fabulous Cookie Stamps in the Annual Catalogue and the Holiday Mini are lots of fun to use, and with a few little tips and tricks, anyone can create a perfect batch, first time!

Firstly - the recipe:
It's important to have a recipe that won't puff up too much during baking, as this spoils the imprint.
The cookie set comes with two recipes, and with a little tweaking I'm sure they are great.  However, who needs to be mucking around with conversion from sticks of butter to grams at this frazzled time of year?
Luckily, the recipe I tried first was a real winner, and here it is (with a few modifications from the recipe I found at Lovely Living)

Sugar Cookie Recipe - Australian Metric Measurements

250g of soft butter
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
3 1/4 cups  plain flour
1/2 teaspoon  baking powder
1/2 teaspoon  baking soda

 Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy using an electric mixer.

Add vanilla extract

Add eggs one at a time, mix well after each egg is added.

Sift flour, baking powder and baking soda in a separate bowl

Add sifted flour mix to the butter/sugar mix about half a cup at a time 

Continue mixing until the mixture forms a dough

Turn out of bowl and knead until smooth.

 Bag the ball of dough and refrigerate  - the fresh soft dough is too sticky and soft to work with

(amount of time varies with how rushed you are...  30 min at least, you can speed the process up a bit by flattening the ball and popping in the freezer a few minutes... )  Now is a good time to preheat the oven to 200degC, a little less for a Fan Forced oven.

 Pinch off balls of dough about the size of a 50c piece, place on tray covered with baking paper

Prepare a saucer of about half icing mixture and half cornflour

With the handle attached, grind the chosen stamp into the saucer, then flick the rim of the stamp to remove excess.  A bit messy, but saves lots of frustration!

Holding the stamp directly above the ball, centred as well as you can, smoosh it down firmly until the edges of the dough appear at the sides of the stamp

Use a finger to help separate the stamp and flattened cookie if needed.

Re-dust, repeat! 

The cookies do spread a little during baking, so be sure to allow some room.

Bake at 200degC for about 5 minutes, or slightly longer - you are aiming for golden on the edges without too much browning.

Cool on tray a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool

Package up in gorgeous little bags like those in the Holiday Mini, and watch tummies rumble as you hand out these delicious gifts.

In a real hurry?? (like your daughter tells you she needs a plate to take for party day at 9pm the night before...)

Here's the quickest way to whip up a batch:  ALDI Christmas Gingerbread Cookie Mix (a whopping $1.99 if I recall correctly)

I got some of this to try for quick gingerbread men, but thought it was worth a try given the short time frame.  I decided to be scientific in my approach and just leave the recipe completely unchanged - all that needed to be added was an egg and a tablespoon of water, mix, then knead into a dough, ball up, and repeat as above with the cornflour/icing mixture.  Perfecto!  Good to know!

I hope that helps solve some of the kitchen dramas I've heard about, these stamps are so much fun they are worth a second try.  Let me know if you've got any other suggestions we can add to this tutorial.  Happy baking!

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