Welcome back to the work week! How was everyone's long weekend? Hope you all did something wonderful whether it was brunching in or out, treating yourself to something sweet, or just lounging around in your pjs all day long. We met up with Brandiego of Kitchen Konfidence and his man for brunch, took our spoon making class, and met up with friends for a couple drinks. Regarding the spoon making, Windy Chien is a phenomenal teacher and her spoons are insanely gorgeous. While we walked out with two lovely walnut spoons, we also left with the knowledge that woodworking is no joke--it's def hard work. Here's a photo of us with our spoons :D. Did anybody catch the Grammy's last night? Was it just me or did T-Swift throw a little shade Kanye's way? Highlights for me were Gaga's epic tribute to Bowie, Kendrick Lamar, and the cast of Hamilton crushing it (gahhh, I need to get to Broadway, stat).
Anyway, onto the here and now and these iced brownie cloud cookies!! I teased these a few weeks ago and am so pumped to share them now. I'm so excited to see that I'm not the only one crushing on iced cutout cookies right now. There were so many cuties floating around on the interwebs for Valentine's Day: conversation cookies, more conversation cookies, and chocolate heartbreak cookies!! And don't worry, even though v-day has come and gone, it doesn't mean you've missed your chance to make all the iced cutout cookies. I promise you that iced chocolately clouds (or whatever you want to make) are good for any day.
These cookies were inspired by my dear friend, Steph, aka i am food blog. If you follow her blog, you'll immediately understand why these were inspired by her. Not only do they match her fabulous mermaid hair, they also resemble the adorable cloud candles she sent me for my birthday (see below). While they may be iced blue, they're anything but that. They make me so stinken happy and I hope they brighten up your day as much as they do mine.
- 2 c. all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 2/3 c. cocoa powder (dutch process or natural both work)
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1 c. (8 oz.) unsalted butter, softened
- 1/2 c. granulated sugar
- 1/2 c. dark brown sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 20 oz. powdered sugar
- 3 Tbsp. meringue powder
- 1/2 c. warm water (plus more if necessary)
- 1 Tbsp. light corn syrup
- 1 tsp. almond extract
- Silpat mats (or parchment paper)
- Rimmed baking sheet
- Stand mixer
- Mixing bowls
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Plastic wrap
- Rolling pin
- Cloud cookie cutter (I used this one)
- Offset spatula
- Wire cooling rack
- Piping bags fitted with 1/8" tip
- Small bowls (for icing)
- Preheat the oven to 350 ºF. Line baking sheets with Silpat mats or parchment paper and set aside.
- In a medium bowl, whisk flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, and salt together. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars together on medium speed until pale and fluffy, around 2 to 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl with a spatula. Add egg and vanilla extract and mix on medium to combine. Scrape down sides then reduce speed to low and add the dry ingredients in four parts, mixing until combined before adding each increment.
- Turn out the dough onto a clean work surface and divide in half and shape each half into a disc. Wrap both discs in plastic wrap and refrigerate for an hour.
- Working with one half at time, let warm at room temperature for 5 to 10 minutes before dusting work surface and rolling pin with flour. Roll out the dough to 1/4-inch or 1/8-inch thickness, depending on preference. Cut out clouds and use an offset spatula to transfer cutouts to a baking sheet, placing 1-inch apart. Re-roll scraps and repeat with the remaining half of the dough. Bake for 8 to 11 minutes, or until the edges are firm and the centers are lightly puffed. Let the cookies cool on the pans for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
ROYAL ICING & ASSEMBLY
- In the bowl of your stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, mix powdered sugar and meringue powder together on low for a minute or two until all the lumps have been broken up. Stream in a 1/2 cup of warm water and beat on low until combined. Then add corn syrup and almond extract and increase speed to medium-high speed. Beat for two or three minutes until glossy, almost soft peaks form. Add more warm water to achieve desired consistency if it is necessary. The icing should have a honey-like consistency.
- Divide icing evenly into bowls (this will determine how many colors you make). Add a few drops of gel color to a bowl and mix in with a spatula. Repeat with remaining bowls. Spoon icing into piping bag, fitted with a small, round writing tip. Pipe a border around each cookie then "flood cookie" by filling in the border. Repeat with other colors. Let dry for 2-3 hours before serving.
- Serve and enjoy!