Monday, 1 April 2013

Lemon and Polenta Spring Cookies

These lemon and polenta sugar cookies, decorated with fondant using a springerle mould are to herald the arrival of spring.

Springerle moulds are a german tradition and intended to be used to bake biscuits with an embossed design, usually at Christmas time. I sometimes use them for embossed biscuits, but, usually prefer to use them like this.

Spring has been so long coming, this year and whilst we have had welcome sunshine today, temperatures are still hovering just above freezing, just the day before yesterday, returning from a spring break in Cumbria, we were driving through the Lake District, along the Kirkstone Pass between Ullswater and Windermere on a road cut through snow higher than the car. Back in January, when I booked the break, little did I imagine that during said break, snow would fall gently every day and the temperature would still be similar to January.

These cookies are simple to bake and decorate, requiring very few tools in addition to a springerle mould. The cookies themselves, are baked using the same recipe as these cookies. You can also use this recipe to mould the cookies with the springerle mould, have a look at this post to see how.

The cookie below is decorated with plain (unpainted) fondant. I think it looks really beautiful, like this, I was really in two minds whether to paint them or not, though now, I am glad that I did. I think?

Here is the painted version for a little comparing and contrasting.

Here's How

Springerle Mould I used Lily of the Valley with Rose from House on the Hill
Small rolling pin
Marzipan spacers
Cookie Cutter that works with the cookie mould

Batch of Lemon and Polenta Cookies cut out with cutter that matches the mould you are using
Sugarpaste / fondant coloured pale yellow. I used Bitter Lemon Lime gel colour from Sugarflair
A little vegetable fat or cornflour

As the rose part of the cookie mould is quite deep, you need to start by putting a pea-sized piece of fondant into the rose. Without this, I found that the fondant did not fill the rose part of the mould properly.

Don't you love the way that this mould has all the little indentations and knocks that you would expect to find on a really old cookie mould. These House on The Hill moulds are replicas made using resin, the original moulds were carved out of wood.

Prepare you work surface by smearing a little vegetable fat over to stop the fondant from sticking. (You can also use cornflour, but, I have heard that this can sometimes cause mould to grow if you are keeping the cookies for a while)

Roll out the yellow sugar paste, using marzipan spacers, until it is about half a centimetre thick

The spacers are not essential, they just help to get the fondant a nice even thickness.

Place the cookie mould face down onto the fondant.

Press firmly down.

I put one hand on top of the other and use a circular pressing movement to press down really well

If you have problems with the fondant sticking either rub a little vegetable fat on top before moulding, or leave the fondant in the open air to dry out a little. On a hot day, you may want to pop it in the fridge fro 20 minutes or so first.

Lift the cookie mould off by pushing upwards on the metal ring on the top of the mould C A R E F U L L Y!

Check that the mould has come out well and that you are happy with it

Carefully position the cookie cutter over the moulded fondant, looking directly over it, to see what you are cutting and cut out the design.

Paint one of your baked cookies with edible glue, piping gel or a small amount of water and carefully lift the fondant on top. Press the fondant gently into place, being careful not to squash the embossed design

The finished cookies.

I painted the one on the left as follows (All dusts are Sugarflair)

Lily of the Valley flowers
White petal dust mixed to a thick paint with a little alcohol and then brushed over with snowflake lustre.

Lily of the Valley leaves
Moss colour petal dust mixed to a paint with a little alcohol and then brushed over with a thin layer of confectioners glaze.

Rose Leaves
Dusted with dry spring green petal dust

Yellow rose flower and buds
Dusted with lemon ice petal dust

That's all for today
Thanks for popping by and please call again soon

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