Lunchbreak: Cakes and cookies decorated for spring

Give Me Some Sugar
2205 W. Belmont
Chicago
(773) 281-3154
http://givesugar.com

Classes:
Cake
March 30 and 31
10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Chef Jerry’s Spring Cookie Workshop
Marc 31
2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Basic Rolled Sugar Cookie Dough

Ingredients:
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:
Cream the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy. Whisk together the flour and the salt. Add the egg and the extract and beat until combined, scraping down sides. Add the flour with the mixer on low and mix until just combined. Separate into 2 discs and roll between two pieces of parchment paper to ¼ inch and refrigerate for about 25-30 minutes before cutting into shapes. Bake cookies at 325 for 10-15 minutes until lightly browned around the edges

Corn Syrup Icing
2 lb powdered sugar
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons milk
1/2 cup plus 2 Tablespoons corn syrup
1 Tablespoon of flavoring or combination of flavorings

Directions:
Mix all ingredients together until smooth.
May have to add more powdered sugar to get proper consistency for outlining
Will have to thin out with more milk to get flooding consistency

Vanilla Buttercream
(recipe from epicurious.com)
Yield: about 6 cups

Ingredients
4 large egg whites at room temperature for 30 minutes
rounded 1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup water
1 1/3 cups plus 2 Tablespoons sugar
4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, cut into Tablespoon pieces and softened
2 teaspoons vanilla
special equipment: a candy thermometer

Directions:
Combine whites and salt in a very large bowl. Stir together water and 1 1/3 cups sugar in a 3- to 4-quart heavy saucepan until sugar is dissolved, then bring to a boil over moderate heat, without stirring, brushing any sugar crystals down side of pan with a pastry brush dipped in water.
When syrup reaches a boil, start beating egg whites with an electric mixer at medium-high speed until frothy, then gradually add remaining 2 tablespoons sugar and beat at medium speed until whites just hold soft peaks. (Do not beat again until sugar syrup is ready.)
Meanwhile, put thermometer into sugar syrup and continue boiling until syrup registers 238 to 242°F. Immediately remove from heat and, with mixer at high speed, slowly pour hot syrup in a thin stream down side of bowl into whites, beating constantly. Beat, scraping down side of bowl with a rubber spatula, until meringue is cool to the touch, about 10 minutes in a standing mixer or 15 with a handheld. (It is important that meringue is properly cooled before proceeding.)
With mixer at medium speed, gradually add butter 1 piece at a time, beating well after each addition until incorporated. (Buttercream will look soupy after some butter is added if meringue is still warm. If so, briefly chill bottom of bowl in a large bowl filled with ice water for a few seconds before continuing to beat in remaining butter.) Continue beating until buttercream is smooth. (Mixture may look curdled before all of butter is added but will come back together by the time beating is finished.) Add vanilla and beat 1 minute more.

Cooks’ notes:
•Buttercream can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered, or frozen 1 month. Bring to room temperature (this may take up to 3 hours; do not use a microwave) and beat with an electric mixer before using.
•The egg whites in this recipe are not cooked. If salmonella is a problem in your area, you can use reconstituted powdered egg whites such as Just Whites.

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