One of my besties Jess (a very talented lady in many ways) has a special kind of magic when it comes to baking. I can bake, and bake well, but I’ve got nothing on her. She is the one in our friend circle who is relied upon for birthday cakes/brownies/scones/general-deliciousness, and every time manages to produce drool inducing treats.
A little while ago while trawling the internet, she came across Miss Anna Garforth. More specifically, Garforth’s Edible Poster project which you can see below. Baked letters! Baked words! She got very over-excited and sent me the link. I in turn got very over-excited and we have been planning on trying it ever since.
With our powers combined (Earth! Fire! Wind! Water! Heart! Sorry, couldn’t help the Captain Planet interlude) we attacked the project with gusto. Jess made the dough, I created the graphics and away we went.
Jess decided that we should make sugar cookie letters because a) sugar cookies are delicious, and b) the dough wouldn’t spread as it baked. Below is the recipe we used, but there are alternatives all over the internet.
Sugar Cookie Recipe
3 cups plain flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
225g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon milk
Icing sugar, for rolling out dough
1. Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
2. Place butter and sugar in large bowl of electric stand mixer and beat until light in color.
3. Add egg and milk and beat to combine.
4. Put mixer on low speed, gradually add flour, and beat until mixture pulls away from the side of the bowl.
5. Divide the dough in half, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for 2 hours.
6. Preheat oven to 190 degrees celsius.
7. Sprinkle surface where you will roll out dough with icing sugar. Remove 1 wrapped pack of dough from refrigerator at a time, sprinkle rolling pin with icing sugar, and roll out dough to 1/4-inch thick. Move the dough around and check underneath frequently to make sure it is not sticking. If dough has warmed during rolling, place cold cookie sheet on top for 10 minutes to chill. Once the dough is malleable, roll it out on a sheet of baking paper.
8. Cut into desired shape, place at least 1-inch apart on greased baking sheet, parchment, or silicone baking mat, and bake for 7 to 9 minutes or until cookies are just beginning to turn brown around the edges, rotating cookie sheet halfway through baking time.
9. Let sit on baking sheet for 2 minutes after removal from oven and then move to complete cooling on wire rack.
The two hours while the dough is in the fridge are the perfect time to create your graphic. Because we had never made these cookies before, I didn’t know how delicate I could be. I created two forms, one big bold one spelling out ‘SUGAR’, and one more delicate in cursive spelling ‘eat me’.
I created both arrangements by hand, scanned them and then enlarged them using photoshop. When I thought they were big enough, I printed them and cut each individual letter out with a scalpel. With the rolled out dough (on it’s sheet of baking paper) on top of a cutting board to protect the kitchen bench, I placed the paper letter forms on top of the dough, and cut around them with the scalpel. I had to work quite fast because the dough softens quickly, becoming harder and harder to work. When the dough became too soft to work, we chucked the whole lot back in the fridge for 10 minutes to harden and then continued. Taking away the excess dough as I went, I neatened up the edges and popped our creations in the oven.
10 minutes later and voila! Edible words! I’m really happy with how they turned out, particularly the ‘eat me’. Now that we know the material, we want to push it next time and do a big elaborate piece with flourishes and fancy bits.
For more random and amazing internet finds from Jess, check out her tumblr. For some lifestyle yumminess by Jess (and our other best friend Ness) check out We Are… (incidentally, all of the We Are… graphics are my creations). And for some more drool-worthy treats, take a gander at Jess and her sister’s baking blog, Get Stuffed with Miss Muffins.
And simply because it’s been stuck in my head since I made the joke and it’s flipping legendary, here is the Captain Planet song.