I am in the midst of Halloween madness – finishing the girls' costumes for school parties, packaging favors to hand out at school parties, making pumpkin sugar cookies for aforementioned school parties... why do I always forget how crazy the week of Halloween can be?
To assist with your Halloween baking needs, I thought I would elaborate on my frosting techniques for my mom's now-famous cream cheese sugar cookies. I have 2 different frostings that I use, depending on the situation:
1. Frosting that can stand up to anything (i.e. distribution of cookies at school, packaging for party favors, etc.). For this method, I use Royal Icing which is comprised of 2 whipped egg whites, the juice of 1 lemon, and 4 cups powdered sugar. Mix well, adding a bit more lemon juice if needed. The trick is getting the frosting thin enough so it glides on.
I take my frozen cookies out of the freezer (I made them a couple of weeks ago) and lay them out on my clean countertop By the time the frosting is made and properly colored, the cookies are ready to frost (I like them to dethaw a little).
It does take me a bit of time to get the color just right – I usually add yellow to whatever color I'm trying to achieve – in my opinion, there's nothing less appetizing than frosting that is too cool or too blue (think of the difference between a cool pink and a warm pink).
I use a regular table knife, frosting to within about 1/4" from the edge of the cookie. I don't bother piping frosting around the edges and flooding inside – way too time consuming. I doubt Martha would be impressed with my technique but she doesn't have 3 small children tugging at her apron.
I let the cookies dry overnight and then they are ready for packaging in the morning.
2. Frosting that is softer and a bit more delicate (i.e. good for parties that you can set the cookies out in a single layer on platters). Mix 2 T. soft butter,
4 c. powdered sugar, 1/2 t. vanilla and milk to thin. I use the same frosting technique as above but this frosting does not get hard. It's a buttercream frosting of sorts and tastes absolutely divine. Happy frosting!