We made it! We moved! It’s an amazing feeling to finally be out of that hellhole apartment and into something that we can love and care about. The movers got everything put into their truck around 9:30 PM on Monday night (they ended up having to call for a bigger truck so they were there for a bit longer than expected…oops), and they were there to greet us around 9:30 AM the next morning. Thankfully, my parents were kind enough to put us up in a hotel for a night so we didn’t have to crash on anyone’s couch or make some kind of bed out of old blankets on the floor of our new apartment. Thanks, Mom and Dad! The hotel was great; it’s always fun to stay in a hotel. We ordered a pizza from Two Boots, drank a nice bottle of wine (that my parents were also generous enough to give to us), and watched the History channel (which we don’t get at home). What a night! It was great to just relax after a long day, although I did wake up in the middle of the night, completely panicked, because I thought that the movers threw all of our clothes away. It took me forever to convince myself that I was just worrying about nothing and to fall back asleep. We woke up the next morning around 7:30, grabbed a quick bagel and coffee at Zarro’s, then spent the rest of the day unpacking. We also got our new bed delivered, which was such a joy to sleep on last night. It is so perfect in every way; I can’t get over it. We still have a lot to do (getting curtains, shelves, some posters framed, etc.), but I’m not even bothered by it because I am just so happy to be in this wonderful new apartment. Hopefully we can stay here for 2 years or so and not have to move for a while. I’ve moved 5 times in as many years, so as much as I enjoy a change of scenery, I’m ready to stay put for a little while.
Aren’t these cookies adorable? They remind me of Ace Ventura – laces out! I love making themed baked goods – it makes them so much more fun to create. I found this football cookie cutter online, but you can probably find one anywhere this time of year, like your local craft store or baking supply store. The inspiration for these cookies was, of course, my new favorite cookbook, Baked: New Frontiers in Baking. These are amazingly easy to make and even easier to decorate, as long as you can draw a football shape, which is really one of the most basic shapes to draw. Believe me, I am not a talented decorator by any stretch of the imagination, so if I can make these, so can you. The cookies themselves were really delicious – buttery, tender, and crispy, but not too crispy. The icing had a bright, lemony flavor to it, which I really enjoyed, but you can use milk or water instead of lemon juice if you prefer a more plain icing. I hope that you give these a go for your upcoming Superbowl party – they’re worth it!
The ingredients for the cookies.
Combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, and set aside.
Beat together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Beat in the egg until well combined, then add in the vanilla. Gradually add in the flour until just moistened.
Wrap the dough tightly in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours. I doubled my dough, which is why it looks like there is so much of it here.
After the dough has chilled, roll it out to 1/4 inch thick on a well floured work surface and cut out the shapes of your choice (in this case, footballs).
Place them on your baking sheet and bake at 325 degrees F for 10-12 minutes, until set and just ever so slightly golden on the edges – not browned. Allow to cool for a few minutes on the baking sheets, then move to another surface to cool completely before frosting.
Now make your icing.
Beat together your confectioners’ sugar, egg whites, and lemon juice, until smooth and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
Add food coloring, if you desire.
Make about 1/4 of your icing firmer by adding more powdered sugar to outline your cookies.
Then make about 1/2 of your frosting very thin to flood the cookies.
And leave the remaining 1/4 of the frosting firmer, to draw details on the cookies. Allow to harden after each step, and allow to harden completely before transporting.
- 1¾ cup all-purpose flour
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cups (1½ sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 tablespoons cold vegetable shortening
- ⅔ cup sugar
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- 2 large egg whites
- 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- food coloring, optional
- First, make the sugar cookies. Whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Set aside. Beat together the butter, shortening, and sugar until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add in the egg and vanilla and beat until just combined. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just moistened. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 4 hours.
- Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Line and/or grease two baking sheets. Dust a clean work surface with flour and unwrap the chilled dough, placing it on your work surface. Roll half of the dough to about ¼ inch thick, and cut out the cookies into whatever shape you like (in my case, footballs). Transfer the cut-outs to the baking sheet and continue to roll the dough out and cut the cookies out until you have run out of dough.
- Bake the cookies for 10-12 minutes, until set but not browned. They should just be ever so slightly golden on the very edges. Remove them from the oven and let cool on the cookie sheets for at least 5 minutes. Transfer the cookies to another surface to cool completely.
- Now, make the royal icing. Whisk together the sugar, egg white, and lemon juice until it is completely smooth and slightly thickened, about 5 minutes. The mixture should have the texture of a glaze. If it's too thin, add some more sugar. If it's too thick, add a few more drops of lemon juice or water.
- To make thick icing for outlining the cookies, place some of the icing in another bowl and add more confectioners' sugar until thickened, but not too thick to pipe out through a squeeze bottle or a pastry bag. If you want to make the icing thinner for flooding the cookies after you have outlined them, place some of the icing in another bowl and add water or lemon juice until thin (it should be a bit thinner than you think it needs to be - believe me). Let the icing harden on the outline before flooding, and let the flooded icing harden before decorating. The cookies can be kept in an airtight container for up to 3 days.