Saturday, October 10, 2009
Baby Shower Ducktacular!
A dear friend of mine is having a baby. Actually, a lot of friends of mine are having babies, but the friend in question has been telling me for years that she wants a ducky theme to her shower. And of course, when the time came for the actual shower, there were no ducky themed paper products to be had within a 40 mile radius. Rather than go duckless, I hatched (get it? hatched? I'm so hilarious...) a plan. I hunted down (hunted...down...I can't stop!) a duck cookie cutter. I engaged the services of a plucky friend (plucky!!) and baked up a flock (flock!!!) of ducky sugar cookies. I dipped them in pale yellow royal icing while my friend dabbed on their adorable blue eyes. Aside from a few duck-capitations, it all went swimmingly. The ducks were a huge hit at the shower, my friend was thrilled and my baking partner and I spent the evening high on sugar and cracking each other up. It was just ducky!
courtesy of Martha. Who else?
2 C flour
1/4 t salt
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 C butter (this is one stick)
1 C sugar
1 egg lightly beaten
2 T milk
1/2 t vanilla extract
1 recipe Royal Icing - Please feel free to use Martha's. I used meringue powder, and so followed the directions on the package. Real Royal Icing requires raw egg whites and raw egg whites and pregnant women are not a good combination.
In a mixer, cream together the butter and sugar. Add the lightly beaten egg, the milk and the vanilla and mix until thoroughly incorporated. In a bowl, whisk together your flour, baking powder and salt. Add this to the butter/sugar/egg mixture.
Form into two disks, wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill for at least an hour. I chilled mine overnight to make less work for the night before the shower.
Roll out on a floured surface until 1/8" thick. Cut into whatever shapes your heart desires. Place on a baking sheet - I highly recommend using a silpat mat or parchment paper. Leave about an inch between items on the baking sheet. Bake at 350 F for about 10 minutes. My oven runs hot and 8-9 was more like it, so watch carefully, especially if you're icing them, you don't want them to brown, just be barely golden.
When they're done, leave on the pan for a minute or so then transfer to a cooling rack. A woman much wiser than me just pours her royal icing over the cookies once they're cool. She leaves them on the rack and places a pan lined with wax paper or foil underneath to catch the excess. Then once the icing has hardened (leave hours for this, seriously), you can trim off extra with a knife. I applied my royal icing by knife until I decide to dip them. Dipping works reasonably well. The blue eyes were applied after the yellow icing had set a bit. You can use the tip of a toothpick, a skewer or if you're like me and own neither of those, the pointy part of a corn holder.