Today was the first time in my life that I left Texas without knowing when I will return. As you can imagine, these last couple of days have been nostalgic for me (or as nostalgic as it gets for a 22 year old about to start her adult life). I visited my old places of work, ran into my 5th grade teacher at the gas station, and transferred my folder from the doctors office.
I was driving down 5th street, one of the most lively streets overflowing with Austin culture, and noticed a massive Texas flag painted on the multi-level wall of a building. First of all, who paints their state flag on a large building in the center of town? Who memorizes their state’s flower, flag, and random facts? Who, after 15 years, still remembers their state’s individual pledge of allegiance? A Texan.
In the heart of this Texas spirit, I decided to make these cowboy boot cookies. Something tells me the charm of a boot-shaped cookie will not be appreciated in Washington DC.
– 2 sticks butter, unsalted and softened
– 1 cup sugar
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 1 egg
– 1 tsp vanilla
– 3 cups flour plus some for dusting
– 1 lb powdered sugar (more depending on how much you need)
– whole milk
1. Mix butter and sugar with an electric mixer, cream until fluffy
2. Add egg and vanilla. Stir well.
3. Add mixture of flour and salt. Stir until just incorporated.
4. Split dough in half and roll into two discs. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 2 hours.
5. Roll out the dough on a floured surface, touching it as little as possible to keep it chilled. Cut desired shapes.
6. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the edges are just slightly browning. I like to take them out prematurely and sometimes do it before the edges brown.
7. Let cool on the baking sheet for 5 minutes and then transfer to a wire rack.
While the cookies are baking, make the royal icing. I tried a new cookie and royal icing recipe that a friend suggested to me. This royal icing is no-egg. It takes longer to dry because there are no egg whites and no meringue powder, but the icing is much softer than hard royal icing. Also, peeps won’t get weird when you feed them raw egg whites. Mix powdered sugar with whole milk until the consistency feels right. I know, what an annoying and vague description. I would say 1 part whole milk to 5 parts powdered sugar. A better rule of thumb is to take a fork and drizzle the icing back into the bowl. It should take 4-5 seconds to completely melt back in with the remaining icing. Split into small bowls and color. Cover the icing with plastic wrap, but push the plastic to the surface of the icing to avoid air drying the top.
1. Using 1/3 of the thick royal icing and a piping bag with #2 tip, pipe the outline of the cookies. For a tutorial on piping and flooding royal icing, click here. Let the piping dry for 5 minutes.
2. Add any leftover icing from piping into the bowl of icing.
3. Add 1/4 teaspoon of water to the remaining brown royal icing and stir until thinner. Now the icing should take 2 seconds to melt into the remainder when drizzled on top.
4. Using a piping bag or candy making squeeze bottle, flood the icing in the space between the piping. Only fill partially and then use a mini offset spatula or toothpick to spread it around.
5. Let dry for 6-8 hours.
6. Use the same technique for a lighter brown icing which will be used for boot accents. I have been using Americolor gel food coloring and love it.
7. Next add black accents for the spur of the boot, the bottom heel and dots on the top. Use a dark red to complete the boots with zig zag accents. Let dry for another 8 hours and serve. Do not stack the cookies for 24 hours.
ps- just an example of how cool the Americolor food dye is…these are flip flops in the making: