Jump to content


Welcome to the eG Forums!

These forums are a service of the Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, a 501c3 nonprofit organization dedicated to advancement of the culinary arts. Anyone can read the forums, however if you would like to participate in active discussions please join the society.

Photo

Sugar cookie frosting


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 mckayinutah

mckayinutah
  • participating member
  • 322 posts

Posted 08 September 2005 - 01:18 PM

Hello all,

Every year the place that I work does this event for Halloween where kids can come in and decorate sugar cookies ( pumpkins and ghosts ). I make and bake the sugar cookies and give them frosting to decorate the cookies as they wish.

The frosting I have used in the past is good, but it looks somewhat broken. The recipe consists of milk, powdered sugar, AP shortening, and vanilla. I always have to add 2 to 3 times as much milk as the recipe calls for to get it to spreadable consistency, where may be my problem with the broken look.

Does anyone have a good recipe for sugar cookie frosting that will stay spreadable and soft for several hours at room temperature? The kids are usually 5 to 6 years old, so the softer the frosting the better.

Also, I need to make alot ( For the month of October, the event takes place on every Saturday and Monday, and I will be making 1,000 cookies every Saturday and 500 cookies every Monday, so a large amount of frosting is needed for all those cookies - although I do not need to make frosting for all 8,000 cookies at once )

Any help is greatly appreciated.


Jason

#2 chefpeon

chefpeon
  • participating member
  • 1,796 posts
  • Location:Tinytown, WA, USA

Posted 08 September 2005 - 03:05 PM

The recipe consists of milk, powdered sugar, AP shortening, and vanilla. I always have to add 2 to 3 times as much milk as the recipe calls for to get it to spreadable consistency, where may be my problem with the broken look.


Questions: Are you looking for an icing that will eventually set? For instance, after the kids decorate them, is the icing supposed to crust over so they can take them home without ruining them?

By looking at your rough recipe, I am guessing this is a fluffy whipped icing? Or are you adding milk to water it down so it's somewhat runny? I'm fairly certain that the addition of the extra milk is what is giving you that "broken" look.

From looking at your list of ingredients (you didn't list the amounts), I would assume that that recipe is for an icing that is whipped......ie. combine milk, powdered sugar, vanilla, mix til smooth, then add shortening and whip. You end up with a fluffy icing.

Are you familiar with emulsions? An emulsion will break if there is too much liquid added, and I'm sure the percentage of milk to shortening you are using is the cause of your breakage.

Icings I use to decorate cookies are generally in the royal icing family. Sometimes I use melted chocolate, and sometimes a fondant type of icing (powdered sugar, corn syrup, heavy cream).
I understand that these are little kids that are using the frosting......how are they applying it?
With hands? Little pre-made piping bags? Are they dipping them?

More info please! I can help better that way..... :smile:

#3 jgm

jgm
  • participating member
  • 1,698 posts
  • Location:Wichita, KS

Posted 08 September 2005 - 03:19 PM

While we're on the subject... I have fantasies of doing sugar cookies, and frosting them, and of course, in my fantasies, they look as good as the ones Martha does, and the ones in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.

Could we also discuss some tips for using these frostings? I know that there are different kinds of recipes, and I think the ones I'm thinking about, are not the same as the ones needed in the original question. But with either type... some instructions for dealing with them would be very helpful.

#4 Char

Char
  • participating member
  • 27 posts

Posted 08 September 2005 - 04:12 PM

While we're on the subject... I have fantasies of doing sugar cookies, and frosting them, and of course, in my fantasies, they look as good as the ones Martha does, and the ones in the Williams-Sonoma catalog.

Could we also discuss some tips for using these frostings?  I know that there are different kinds of recipes, and I think the ones I'm thinking about, are not the same as the ones needed in the original question.  But with either type... some instructions for dealing with them would be very helpful.

View Post


I use royal icing (thinned to different consistencies) for fancy decorated cookies and refer frequently to "Creative Cookies" by Toba Garrett for inspiration and instruction.

Give me an idea of what you want to accomplish and I'll try to help.

#5 Wendy DeBord

Wendy DeBord
  • legacy participant
  • 3,653 posts

Posted 08 September 2005 - 06:55 PM

I've done similar Jason where I've baked off cookies and let the kids decorate their own. I use almost the same frosting as you but I don't add any shortening or butter. I use xxxsugar thinned with heavy cream or half and half (milk makes the frosting thinner) and flavoring (usually vanilla but sometimes lemon or almond). I don't follow a recipe for this I just slowly add my cream until I've reached a thick spreadable consistancy.

I also like this frosting for this application because it's cheap and easy/fast to put together and kids like really sweet frosting.

If you dipped the baked cookies in a base color like white, purple or scarie green and let them dry completely. Then all the kids do is add the drawing/artistic touches to this.....it keeps the mess down and gives them a better looking finished product. This way you supply a smaller amount of frosting in disposible pastry bags (less waste) and they draw with them like crayons. If you give them open bowls of frosting where they can dip a spatula back into the frosting as they work, they'll get tons of crumbs in the frosting ruining it fairly quickly.

I've done gingerbread houses for them to decorate too, for those I do give them royal icing because they try to save them.

#6 jgm

jgm
  • participating member
  • 1,698 posts
  • Location:Wichita, KS

Posted 08 September 2005 - 07:45 PM

Give me an idea of what you want to accomplish and I'll try to help.

View Post

Oh, how about perfection? :biggrin: I see those wonderful, artistic cookies in the Williams-Sonoma catalogs, and I wonder if realistically, they are something I could do. The icing they use is obviously pretty thin, because it makes such a wonderful, smooth coating on the cookies. I've taken a couple of cake decorating classes, so I know a couple of minor tricks. Their cookies are miniature works of art, and I just don't have a feel for whether I could even hope to come close to reproducing something like that.

I want them to look good enough so that people won't say, "Oh well. At least they taste good." :blink:

I'm going to look into that "Creative Cookies" book. Thanks for the recommendation.

#7 mckayinutah

mckayinutah
  • participating member
  • 322 posts

Posted 09 September 2005 - 08:09 AM

Thank you all for your comments.

The recipe I use is:

160 cups Powdered sugar
20 cup Ap shortening
12 1/2 cups Milk
6 ounces Vanilla

I cream sugar and shortening till smooth. Gradually add milk and vanilla and mix till smooth. ( I don't remember where I got this recipe so I can't look back and see if I am doing the mixing wrong or not )

The amount of milk makes this a great spackle, but not a great frosting, so I usually need to add 3 to 4 times the amount of milk just to make it spreadable, which is why it looks broke.

This is the 5th recipe for frosting I have tried and the best so far, although nowhere near where I would like the frosting to look.

I like your suggestion Wendy about dipping the cookies in a simple powdwered sugar/cream mix, but there are two problems with that:

1. All 8,000 cookies are rolled out by hand ( I have no sheeter ) , so rolling out, cutting, baking, and then dipping that many is out of the question.

2. The dept. on property that these cookies are for is very CHEAP, and complained last year when I charged $.15/ per cookie with frosting. $.15/cookie with frosting doesn't even cover my ingredient cost never mind labor, so that is a big problem with dipping in a homemade fondant as well.

The powdered sugar/cream mixture is what I use for the sugar cookies I make for the bakery that we have in property, but that thickens up 20 minutes after dipping, so 4 or 5 hours of sitting around won't work as well.

The icing doesn't need to set firm and I believe the kids use spatulas to decorate them.


Thanks again,

Jason
jason

#8 alanamoana

alanamoana
  • participating member
  • 2,738 posts
  • Location:California

Posted 11 September 2005 - 09:11 AM

if the frosting doesn't have to set up, can't you just use buttercream or some equivalent?

(since it has to be cheap, you can make shortening-cream)

#9 chefpeon

chefpeon
  • participating member
  • 1,796 posts
  • Location:Tinytown, WA, USA

Posted 11 September 2005 - 09:58 AM

if the frosting doesn't have to set up, can't you just use buttercream or some equivalent?

(since it has to be cheap, you can make shortening-cream)


I would ask the same thing also.......is there some reason you can't use a "buttercream-ish" type icing?