Monday, May 6, 2013

making | thoughts on a signature dessert

I love those people who have signature desserts.  You know, that ONE thing that they are know for, they can make it in their sleep, its amazing every time, and you know who made it at a potluck.  Its a signature.

I'm fascinated with the idea of creating a signature dessert. I grew up in the kitchen and have always been a baker and have experimented with just about everything.  Pies; not a fan of crust, but I've made a few good ones. Cake; love it but the layers can get tricky.  Cinnamon Rolls; you've got it, but only on holidays!  Pavlova, creme brulee, millions of cookies, gluten free breads, everything.  If its got sugar and butter, I'm a fan! 

So I started to hone in on this about two weeks ago, getting stuck at the mechanics for a while waiting for an oil change gave me some unexpected free time, and I began to brainstorm on what would be the best "me dessert".  I knew a little of what I wanted, relatively uncomplicated (no layer cakes), easy to find ingredients (no homemade passion fruit curd filled tarts, please), no cheesecakes, and no breads. I wanted something that I could literally whip up at a moments notice and then had the option to play with if I had the extra time.  I also needed to be able to make a gluten free option.  And then it hit me.  Sugar Cookies!

How perfect could that be?!?  Then I started to breakdown what made the perfect sugar cookie, moist & cakey, lots of vanilla, perfectly shaped and of course, a really good frosting on top!  They really can be made quickly, or chilled overnight and baked in the morning.  I wanted them to taste great with or without frosting and if I have lots of extra time they can be decorated with royal frosting (the flood-and-fill method for extra special events!). 

My first try was based off of an recipe from iambaker, which I followed very closely and took painstaking notes of any changes throughout the process.  It was a bit tedious, but, my goal is to have a foolproof finished product.  A girl can't be too careful!  I'm also keeping track of my prep & baking times, so that I know exactly how much time it will take me to prepare an entire batch.  I should also note that these were even gluten free!  I use Cup4Cup gluten free flour for all of my GF baking and have the best results. 


They were good, really good.  But not perfect.  Y'all didn't expect me to nail it the first time did you?  It was a great recipe though, moist and yummy, and delicious even the next day. I eyeballed the frosting recipe (right now I'm all about the cookie, the frosting will have to wait) and added some preppy with the green & pink.  I'm going to attempt these next time with vanilla bean caviar and lemon extract and see if I can't get the flavor to pop just a little more. 

Expect to see some serious sugar cookie action in the near future!

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