I have something of an obsession with iced biscuits. Kind of like I have a mild obsession with hats, nail polish and cupcakes. I've never denied having an obsessive personality and I like to convince myself that one of my obsessive manifestations, hand washing, has somehow helped me stave off a bout of the Swine Flu so it's perfectly fine to have an obsession or 3. Anyway back to obsession #26: iced cookies. I was afraid of Royal Icing for the longest time ever. It just sounded so... _Royal _and people used to say "Oooh" as if they were in fear of it made me somewhat fearful. Until I tried making it and realised how easy and fantastic it was an icing to decorate it.
I first saw the idea for these cookies in New Zealand. I went shopping in Christchurch and picked up these adorable poodle cookies always thinking that I wanted to recreate them at home. I searched everywhere for a poodle cutter and friends can attest to my fruitless search for them. Finally I did what I should have done in the first place and googled it I got a hold of the poodle cutter online and I was set.
I used the recipe from the Daring Bakers cookies as it wasn't too sweet a recipe as the royal icing itself is very sweet. I made these in homage to The Second Wife's poodle Dash who just happens to be the cutest poodle I've ever met in my life. He is a little ball of curly black fur and twinkling black eyes and I love him to pieces. So Dash here are some fancy pink girlfriends for you.
So tell me Dear Reader, do you have an obsessive personality? If so, what is your obsession?
Makes 24 cookies
1.5 cups (187grams/6.6oz) all purpose flour
1/4 cup (57grams/2oz) caster or superfine sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
6 tablespoons (85grams/ 3 oz) unsalted butter at room temperature
2 eggs, whisked together
Poodle shaped cutter (I bought mine online)
For Royal Icing
1 egg white (30grams/1 oz)
1-2 teaspoons lemon juice
150grams sifted icing sugar
Pink food colouring
Black icing pen
Step 1 - In a mixer with the paddle attachment, blend the dry ingredients.
Step 2 - On low speed, add the butter and mix until sandy.
Step 3 - Add the eggs and mix until combine.
Step 4 - Form the dough into a disk, wrap with clingfilm and refrigerate at least 1 hour and up to 3 days.
Step 5 - When ready to bake, grease a cookie sheet or line it with parchment paper or a silicon mat.
Step 6 - Preheat the oven to 180C/350 degrees F.
Step 7 - Roll out the dough to 1/8-inch thickness, on a lightly floured surface. Use a poodle cutter to cut out and transfer to the prepared baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool to room temperature.
For Royal Icing
Step 1 - Beat egg whites with lemon juice until foamy on low speed increasing to medium speed.
Step 2 - Add sifted sugar by the spoonful while beating until desired consistency is reached. You want it a little stiff in order to pipe the outline however, if it is too stiff, add a little warm water.
Step 3 - Divide mixture and set aside 1/4 of the icing as white and tint the remaining 3/4 pink. Use immediately and cover any royal icing not being used with clingfilm.
Step 1 - Take cooled cookie and using the pink Royal Icing, pipe the outline around the poodle cutter. I found the best way was to do a "blob" for the tail and paws and then join the three blobs together with a single line. Allow to set completely (about 45 minutes). I find it easier to use ziplock bags with a tiny snip at one corner to pipe such small amounts but by all means use a proper piping bag if you want.
Step 2 - Then add a little water to the pink Royal royal icing to make it spoonable and not too stiff (but we don't want it watery by any means). Using a small spoon, fill in the outline using the back of the spoon and tilting it to spread the icing. Set completely (about 1 hour).
Step 3 - Then pipe tiny little dots using the white Royal Icing on the paws, tail and around the face as pictured. Affix a nose using a cachou dipped in icing and draw an eye using a black icing pen. Allow to set completely. Once set, store in an airtight container.