Sunday, 7 December 2014

Mickey and Minnie Mouse Shortbread Cookies (with minimal icing)

I have a request for some Mickey, Minnie and rainbow with clouds cookies so I thought it would be easier to use shortbread as the cookie base for all of them. So here's the couple but with Minnie dressed in pink :).

I made this pair using another butter-based recipe a couple of months ago, so this is my first attempt using shortbread dough to create Mickey and Minnie. Only the dots are made from royal icing. The rest of the cookie is shortbread so you don't end up eating too much sugar. Most decorated cookies you see have the whole cookie surface covered in icing.

I added cornflour to the recipe to give the cookies a softer bite but they are still nice and crunchy. Recipe is adapted from my rainbow with clouds shortbread cookies which makes use of a simple ratio of sugar:butter:flour that Guaishushu publicized in his blog. I try to use natural food colouring whenever I can.

Ingredients (makes 54 cookies, 27 pairs of Mickey and Minnie):
Black dough
104g icing sugar
208g unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
270g minus 2 tsp plain flour
42g corn flour (you may replace with plain flour)
3 tsp charcoal powder
1.5 tsp vanilla extract
Pinches of salt

Red/pink dough
26g icing sugar
52g unsalted butter
68g plain flour
10g corn flour
1/2 tsp strawberry paste
Red and pink gel food colouring

Royal icing
28g icing sugar
2g meringue powder
Warm water (added till flooding consistency is reached)

1. Make the black dough. Sift together sugar, flours, charcoal powder and salt. Add unsalted butter into the flour mixture and rub in using finger tips until it resembles breadcrumbs. Knead to form a dough as you gradually add vanilla extract to the mixture.

2. Roll the dough between two baking sheets until 5-6mm thick. Refrigerate for half an hour or up to a few days. Just keep the dough cling wrapped or in ziplock bag for longer storage.

3. Make the red and pink dough. Same as step 1 and 2 except that you add strawberry essence instead of vanilla extract.  Divide the dough into two portions with the pink portion about 1.5x more than red dough. Colour the dough with gel food colouring. Roll the dough to thickness of 2-3mm.

4. Use Mickey mouse shaped cutters to cut the black dough and place on baking tray lined with baking sheet. Use a round cutter and a knife or bench scraper to cut the red/ pink semi circles. Stick the semi circles onto the black base. For Minnie mouse's bow, I used the smallest round cutter and heart shaped cutter that I have to create it. If the dough is too soft to handle, chill it in the fridge for 10 minutes before working on it. If the dough is too stiff and crumbly, let it sit out at room temperature for a few minutes first. I find it helpful to place the dough on top of reusable freezer packs as my work surface to keep the dough cool but pliable for a longer time, especially the thinner dough.

5. Preheat the oven to 160°C. Refrigerate the tray of assembled cookie dough for at least 15 minutes. Bake for 12-14 minutes until very slightly browned at the base. Be careful not to overbake or the colours will not appear vivid.

Freshly baked!

Let the cookies sit on the baking tray for 5 minutes before transferring to cooling rack to cool completely.

6. Prepare royal icing. Sift together icing sugar and meringue powder. Gradually add warm water and whisk for a few minutes until flooding consistency is reached (any peaks disappear in 20 seconds). Transfer to piping bag fitted with a small round tip (I used wilton #2 tip).

7. Pipe two buttons for Mickey and polka dots for Minnie. You may pipe a lot less dots for Minnie if you find it tedious to pipe so many like mine. Leave the icing to air dry or if you want to speed up the process like me, put the cookies back in the oven at 80°C fan mode for 15-20 minutes or until the icing is dry. Cool completely on cooling rack before storing in airtight container.

Freshly iced! 

With love,
Phay Shing

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