Nifty Gnome Cookies

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Introduction: Nifty Gnome Cookies

About: I am an artist, author, and collector of smiling frogs.

These Nifty Gnome Cookies are a treat to eat. The base (body) of the gnome is a chewy sugar cookie cup and the gnome's cute facial features are piped with creamy vanilla icing. A colorful swirl of meringue for the peaked hat tops off this whimsical cookie creation.

Supplies

Sugar Cookies:

flour, baking soda, baking powder, butter, white sugar, egg, vanilla extract

cooking oil spray

mixer

mixing bowl

small mixing bowl (dry ingredients)

mixing spoon

measuring spoons

measuring cup

mini cupcake tin

small cookie scoop

cookie rack

oven and oven mitts

Meringue Swirls:

egg whites, superfine sugar, cream of tartar, red food gel

electric mixer with whisk attachment

large mixing bowl

spatula

measuring cup

measuring spoons

large pastry bag

large coupler for pastry bag

large star tip ( I used a Wilton tip #4B)

2" macaron piping template (Internet - free) - optional, but helpful

parchment paper

2 baking sheets

cookie rack

oven and oven mitts

Creamy Vanilla Icing:

powdered sugar, butter, milk, vanilla

electric mixer

mixing bowl

spatula

measuring cup

measuring spoons

2 teaspoons

2 small bowls

small paring knife

12" pastry bags (3)

standard-sized couplers to fit 12" pastry bags

Wilton pasty tips - #19 for beard and circles, #3 for mouth, # 10 for nose

Step 1: Make Sugar Cookie Dough

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 t. baking powder

1 t. baking soda

3/4 cup softened butter

1 1/2 cups granulated sugar

1 egg

2 t. vanilla extract

Directions:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Mix butter and sugar to a creamy consistency, then add egg and sugar to mixture. (picture 1)

Measure flour, baking powder, and baking soda into a small mixing bowl and stir together. (picture 2)

Slowly add dry ingredients to wet mixture. (picture 3)

Step 2: Fill and Bake

Spray mini muffin tin with cooking spray.

Scoop cookie dough with a small scoop (approximately 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons of dough) and

drop the rounded ball into the mini muffin tin. (picture 1)

Place the cookies into the preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes. (picture 2)

Step 3: Cool Baked Cookies

Place the hot muffin tray on a cookie rack to cool.

When the sugar cookies are cool, gently twist each cookie to cleanly release them from the muffin tin.

The baked sugar cookies are cup-shaped with an indentation in the middle as shown.

Yield: approximately 3 dozen cookies

Step 4: Making the Gnome's Hat

Swirl Meringue Hat Recipe

Ingredients:

4 large egg whites

1 cup superfine sugar

1/2 t. cream of tartar

red gel food coloring

Preheat the oven to 225 degrees F.

Step 5: Whipping the Egg Whites

Put a whisk attachment on the electric mixer.

Add 4 egg whites to the large mixing bowl and beat egg whites for approximately 5 minutes or until egg whites hold a stiff peak. (picture 1)

Add cream of tartar and beat on high while slowly adding the superfine sugar a little at a time.

Step 6: Add Food Coloring

When ready to pipe, meringue mixture should be glossy and hold a stiff peak (picture 1).

Add red gel food coloring. (picture 2).

Step 7: Piping the Gnome Hat

Prepare the pastry bag, couplers, and large star tip. (picture 1)

Using a spatula, fill the pastry bag with meringue mixture.

Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Tip: Slip a 2 inch macaron piping template under the parchment paper to serve as a helpful guide when piping the hats.)

Pipe the hats as shown, leaving a little space between each meringue hat. (picture 2 and 3)

Step 8: Bake and Cool

Bake at 225 degrees F. for 60 minutes. At 30 minutes, rotate the cookie sheets.

Remove cookie sheets and place them on cookie racks to completely cool. The hats should be dry to the touch.

Step 9: Creamy Vanilla Icing Recipe

Creamy Vanilla Icing Recipe

Ingredients:

1/3 cup of softened butter

3 cups powdered sugar

1 1/2 t. vanilla

2 T. of milk

(gel food coloring: pink and black)

Directions:

Using an electric mixer, blend the sugar and butter together.

Add the vanilla and milk.

Beat until the icing has a spreadable consistency. (picture 2)

TIp: If the icing is too thick, add more milk. If the icing is too thin, add more confectioners sugar.

Step 10: Prepare Pastry Bags

Take a small amount of vanilla icing and put into two small bowls. Add pink gel food coloring to one bowl and black food coloring to other bowl. Stir until gel is blended into the icing. (picture 1)

Fill one pastry bag with pink icing for gnome's nose, using a round tip- Wilton #10 (picture 2)

Put a small amount of black icing for gnome's mouth in the other pastry bag, using a tip for small piping - Wilton #3. (picture 2)

Put the rest of the vanilla icing into a third pastry bag, using a Wilton # 19 for piping borders and beard.

Step 11: Add Beard and Hat

With white icing-filled pastry bag, pipe a circle around the top perimeter of the cookie. This icing acts as a "glue" to secure the hat. (picture 1)

Then pipe on the beard as shown. (picture 2) Tip: Add texture to the beard by using the tip of a paring knife as shown.

Set hat on top of piped circle. (picture 3)

Step 12: Piping Ring for Hat

Using the pastry bag with pink icing, pipe on a nose. (picture 1)

Using the pastry bag with black icing, pipe on a mouth (picture 2)

Step 13: Gnome Cookie Is Finished!

It's time to eat a gnome...cookie that is!

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