Monday, April 13, 2009

Crazy Cookies

Well, really it was the frosting that was crazy. Devin's mom sent us some cookie cutters for Easter, a church, an egg, a bunny, and a duck. We thought it would be fun to make some cookies and frosting and eat them. That's what we do, right? But since it's Easter, and not just any ordinary day, we had to make them a little special. So we found a recipe for lemon butter cookies, and changed that to orange because we didn't have any lemons, just oranges. So we made orange butter cookies (delicious). And then tried to find a frosting. This part turned into a bit more of a challenge than we had been anticipating because we were almost out of vanilla, and had used the rest of the orange peel and juice to rub a steak... we couldn't help ourselves, the orange rub we invented is so fabulous. So we were looking for a delicious frosting that didn't need vanilla or orange. Hmm. We found a traditional buttercream frosting in Joy of Cooking. Joy's always there when you need her. Have you ever made a traditional buttercream frosting? Don't.

First, it's a cooked frosting. Yes that's right, I didn't even know that some frostings were cooked! Maybe you know more about this stuff than I do, but I was in for a shock. It seemed so simple when we were reading the three paragraph long instructions. All the ingredients must be at room temperature. First you boil the sugar, water, and cream of tartar until it reaches 238 degrees. That's right. 238. While that is boiling, put a skillet full of water on and get it simmering. While you're doing that you also have to crack an egg into a metal heatproof bowl and beat it for a long long time until it is bubbly and frothy. Then you go back to your boiling sugar water and hope it didn't go over 238 while you were doing those other things. You take it over to the eggs and while beating the eggs pour it slowly slowly slowly into the egg. Then you haul it over to the simmering water and put the metal bowl into the skillet and pray you didn't fill it so full of water that it overflows. Then you whisk that and wait for it to go back up to 160 degrees. Whisk whisk whisk. When it reaches this new slightly lower temperature, you take the bowl out of the skillet and go back to beating the mixture, this time until it returns to room temperature. This will take about two hours and you might have an arm or two fall off. Ok, I made that part up. But it does take forever, and your arm will ache. Ok, so you finally get desperate and pretend that it's close enough to room temperature (some rooms are hot, right?) and you start putting the butter in, one tablespoon at a time, still beating all the while. This better be some heck of a good frosting.

Then for kicks and giggles we colored the frosting orange (inspired by the orange flavored cookies) and frosted em right up. Well, you'll never have to worry about your kids snitching the frosting when you're not looking if this is what you have, because it literally tastes like butter. Butter. Just butter. But somehow, magically, on top of the cookie, it tastes really delicious, and slightly orangey. So it was worth it in the end. I'd better take pictures though, cuz I'm never doing that again.


  1. Wow. Holy cow wow. That is a lot of effort for frosting. The cookies sound delicious though. Did you take pictures?

  2. i have cooked icing before but never anything that intense. i might have given up. yep, yep i would have given up for sure.