Thursday, October 20, 2011

Awana & Halloween Sugar Cookies

So some of you are probably wondering what is Awana? Awana helps churches and parents work together to develop spiritually strong children and youth who faithfully follow Jesus Christ.

The Awana name comes from the first letters of "Approved workmen are not ashamed" as taken from 2 Timothy 2:15 of the Bible. The kids in Awana love it and can not wait until next week to come again. I am a Helper in my little group of girls. I can see that Awana is very important to them and they soak up all the information. It is wonderful!

Last week, I volunteered to make some treats for our group, so I made Halloween Sugar Cookies! I have been woking on perfecting my sugar cookie recipe. I think I have got it, maybe just a few more tweaks here and there. 
Sugar Cookies for Awana
Oh! A little fun side note! When my husband came home from work and I gave him one of my sugar cookies, he accused me of buy store bought cookies!! I about died from laughter. Now he can not get enough of them which is great because he has always disliked most sugar cookies. So far everyone that has had one of my cookies, they have loved it. So pleased and grateful that the recipe has so far been yummy. Just a few kinks to work out, like spreading out when baking.

I made the dough, which is a little sticky, so I let it chill out for a while in the fridge.Even though the dough was cooled, my cookies still spread out when baking. So I put the dough in the freezer for a while and that seemed to help for the most part. Can't have bats shaped cookies turning into puffy triangles! 
I had a few air bubbles pop out when piping the lines inside. Ugh.

For some of the other cookies I have made, I just made an alternative royal icing from the lovely and wonderful Amanda from i am baker

1 cup Confectioners Sugar (sifted...ALWAYS sifted)
1 tablespoon Milk
1 tablespoon Corn Syrup 
2-3 drops of Lemon Juice

Works great for outlining and flooding. Just thin the icing down a little bit more for better flow for flooding.

Now for the cookies I made for my Awana girls, I tried regular royal icing recipe, I got from the talented Bridget of Bake at 350 & University of Cookie.

4 TBSP meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 - 1 tsp light corn syrup *
few drops clear extract (optional)

* Corn syrup makes icing glossy!

Combine the meringue powder and water. With the paddle attachment of an electric mixer, beat until combined and foamy. With a regular hand mixer, just mix on low until foamy. Then sift in the powdered sugar and mix on low until it is combined. Add in the corn syrup and extract, if desired. Increase speed to med-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. You should be able to put the paddle or hand mixer out of the icing and the peak left behind will hold.

This "stiff" icing is perfect for outlining and even for building gingerbread houses and monogramming. To fill in your cookies, add water to your icing a teaspoon at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until it is the consistency of syrup. This technique of filling a cookie with thinned icing is called "flooding."

I looove meringue powder! Works wonderfully for royal icing! Although, I do enjoy the taste of the alternative royal icing better.

Cookies baked, decorated, and eaten! I am so happy they were such a hit with the girl and the leaders! Even my niece devoured three of the cookies. 

 Thanks for reading and happy baking!

A bunch of cookies!

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