This is the first Daring Bakers Challenge of 2009. This recipe was a very lovely, there is not other way to put it. I didn't use a stencil, rather I opted to pipe different patterns and shape them after baking. At the end, I had a variety of interesting shaped cookies.
from The Chocolate Book by Angelique Schmeink
- 65 grams / ¼ cup / 2.3 ounces softened butter (not melted but soft)
- 60 grams / ½ cup / 2.1 ounces sifted confectioner’s sugar
- 1 sachet vanilla sugar (7 grams or substitute with a dash of vanilla extract)
- 2 large egg whites (slightly whisked with a fork)
- 65 grams / 1/2 cup / 2.3 ounces sifted all purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon cocoa powder/or food coloring of choice
- Butter/spray to grease baking sheet
- Preheat Oven: 180C / 350F
- Using a hand whisk or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle (low speed) and cream butter, sugar and vanilla to a paste. Keep stirring while you gradually add the egg whites.
- Continue to add the flour in small batches and stir to achieve a homogeneous and smooth batter/paste. Be careful to not overmix.
- Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 30 minutes to firm up.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease with either butter/spray and chill in the fridge for at least 15 minutes. This will help spread the batter more easily if using a stencil/cardboard template such as the butterfly. Press the stencil on the baking sheet and use an off sided spatula to spread batter. Leave some room in between your shapes.
- Mix a small part of the batter with the cocoa and a few drops of warm water until evenly colored. Use this colored batter in a paper piping bag and proceed to pipe decorations on the wings and body of the butterfly.
- Bake butterflies in a preheated oven (180C/350F) for about 5-10 minutes or until the edges turn golden brown.
- Immediately release from baking sheet and proceed to shape/bend the cookies in the desired shape. These cookies have to be shaped when still warm, you might want to bake a small amount at a time or maybe put them in the oven to warm them up again. (Haven’t tried that). Or: place a baking sheet toward the front of the warm oven, leaving the door half open. The warmth will keep the cookies malleable. If you don’t want to do stencil shapes, you might want to transfer the batter into a piping bag fitted with a small plain tip. Pipe the desired shapes and bake.