Friday, March 18, 2011

An Experiment with Rolled Buttercream

Rolled Buttercream Frosting test subjects I made yesterday.
I'm gonna say it:  I like my sugar cookies a little crispy on the outside and soft on the inside.  There is a certain tactile experience I look for in eating a sugar cookie.  When I pick up a cookie, it should have some heft and a good thickness to it.  When I break it in half the frosting should lightly crack to reveal a softer layer underneath.  The cookie should have a little crunch on the egde and an almost creaminess to the center.  This is my preference.

The other day a friend of mine who shall remain nameless... named JESSICA informed me that she wants her cookies falling apart soft.  Ewww!  Like the kind you get at the grocery store that coat your mouth with that greasy shortening layer?  Yep, those are the ones she likes. 

I decided to experiment with this Rolled Buttercream recipe to see how it affected the overall taste/texture experience.
This is an official experiment so I am going to take all the steps using an unbiased scientific process...
This is totally scientific and legit:
  1. Question:  Will Rolled Buttercream be gross?  (Note the use of technical terms)
  2. Hypothesis: This frosting will leave a coat of disgustingness on my tongue.
  3. Procedure:  I will make rolled buttercream (hereinafter referred to as RBC) and compare the user-friendliness, the taste, and texture to the traditional Royal Icing (hereinafter reffered to as RI).
  4. Results:  The RBC had a very different texture than RI in that it was very thick and quite greasy, but relatively easy to work with once you got past the layer of shortening on your hands that wouldn't wash off after kneading (consider it extra moisture).  After rolling the RBC I was looking forward to cutting it out with cookie cutters and placing it right on top of the cookie.  Easy peasy!  Alas, I found it was very difficult to lift the RBC shape off the wax paper without jacking up the shape.  I kneaded in more powdered sugar and it helped.  I kneaded in some color and achieved a deep color very easily.  When I piped on the details the cookie "resisted" the RI.  It was a little tricky to get the frosting to stick to the surface of the RBC.  Visually, it looked pretty and smooth.  Time for a second opinion and some tasters!  Mr. John didn't like the shine of the RBC.  He took one bite and thought the texture was marshmallowy and gross, and it was too sweet.  His exact quote, "NO.  This is gross."  The kids all loved the look and the taste.  While it was a very different texture, I could see and taste the allure to this super softness.  I did find it to a bit too sweet for my preference.
  5. Conclusion:  While it didn't "winter coat" my mouth with greasiness it did maybe "light sweater" my tongue with it.  In some ways the RBC was very convenient.  It seemed to limit my piping a little as it was harder to get the RI to stick to it.  I would do this again, but only if requested.  I prefer the texture and taste of Royal Icing.  
So that's the official word on the street.  I think I might need some more tasters that are outside these walls.  I'm curious to find out Jessica's take on these cookies!  Hmmm...

5 comments:

  1. did you really pipe a chandelier on a cookie.. holy cow I love you! =)

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  2. These are beautiful!!! I would say "too beautiful to eat" -but that would be a lie.... I bet they are delicious!

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  3. The Royal Icing didn't breakdown when on to of buttercream?

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  4. I use it all the time. The trick is to get plenty of PS worked into it to absorb the grease. roll VERY VERY thin, And freeze or refrigerate it for several minutes before cutting and transfering to cookie. Love this stuff, and is perfect on a not-so-sweet cookie

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