Friday, December 27, 2013

Cookie time made simple!

Its that time of year again! Sugar Cookies!! Well I decided to make my own frosting. If you haven't realized by now I am all about doing things myself. Making food items yourself, from scratch, is far healthier then anything you might get at the store that's not found in the health food section or labeled organic (and even then sometimes I am left scratching my head.) Well homemade butter-cream frosting is simple delicious and downright decadent! (I feel downright dumb for not knowing this BEFORE.) I gave myself a stomach ache from licking the spoon (and bowl)! The amount I made for roughly $3.00 if the equivalent of at least 4 of the regular cake frosting cans, that are normally $2.99 each, and that's if they are not on sale! And oh my golly-goodness does it taste AWESOME! I am a self proclaimed sugar-holic. Its an addiction. I cant help it! This frosting is destined for sugar cookies, but can be used on anything. I am planning on making banana muffins this week and will be using some to top them. So lets take a look at the various ingredients between homemade and the store bought canister of  frosting. (This is not a direct one to one comparison; but gives you the same idea of what is actually hiding in that innocent looking can of frosting at the store.)

Homemade Butter-Cream Frosting:
Powdered sugar:
    Sugar: Sweetener, derived from sugar cane or sugar beets.
    Cornstarch: Starch ground from the heart of corn kernel.
Butter (Cream (milk)): Made from fatty part of Cow Squeezing's.....LOL
Heavy Whipping Cream: Cow Squeezing's
Vanilla: Comes from the seedpod of a specific orchid plant

Store-bought Frosting in a can: Cream Cheese Verity
Sugar: Refined from sugar cane or sugar beets, used as a sweetener.
Partially Hydrogenated soybean oil: Chemically converted for better shelf life, to add stability to fatty acids.
Partially hydrogenated Cottonseed oil: Chemically converted for better shelf life, to add stability to fatty acids.
High Maltose Corn Syrup: Similar to high fructose corn syrup,  typically created from genetically modified corn. (note the big one here GMO!!! EEK!)
Water: The elixir of life (LOL)
Cornstarch: Starch ground from the heart of the corn kernel. Used as a thickening agent for most of us home cooks.
2% or less of:
Distilled monoglycerides: Binder for ingredients that don't blend easily.
Natural and Artificial Flavor: Yeh when you figure this one out let me know!
Yellow #5 and 6: Artificial coloring agent (AVOID)
Other color added: The label was not specific enough for me to discern the "other" colors.
Polysorbate 60: Emulsifier, stabilizer, and thickening agent......
Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate: sugar replacement, fat replacement, dough conditioner
Sodium acid Pyrophosphate: Creates leavening used for baking (such as baking powder), edible phosphoric acid.
Citric Acid: Vitamin C, found in citrus fruits
Potassium Sorbate: antimicrobial properties, increases shelf life, preservative
Sodium Benzonate: Heavily used in sodas, preservative.

I want to seriously vomit now. The simplicity of homemade frosting is staggering! Why staggering you ask? Its because as a society we have moved away from what is truly simple. Thinking that pre-made is more convenient and better, when in actuality its just making us fat and lazy. It took me maybe all of 10 minutes to measure the ingredients and put it in my blender and make this delicious frosting. I pre-made it the day before my daughter and her friend frosted cookies that way all I had to do was let it soften (cause I will admit it stiffens up, but a few seconds in the microwave, stir and it's just as perfect as it was when I made it the day before.) And oh the flavor was just so wonderful and light! Not heavy like the butter cream you get on cakes at the store. The original recipe I found here. But after tasting it, it was a bit thick so I tweaked it to suit my tastes. I don't like my frosting to heavy. So here is my version of the frosting:

Homemade Butter-Cream Frosting:
3 cups powdered sugar
1 cup butter (grass fed butter like Kerry Gold is one of the best! Softened)
2 tsp Vanilla Extract (use real vanilla not imitation)
2-4 Tbsp Heavy whipping cream

Put in standing mixer (if you have one) and whip till frothy. You can add more whipping cream, or less, to meed your desired consistency.
*Once you frost your cookies, put them in the refrigerator for a few minutes to allow the frosting to set up, that way when you put them in a plastic container they wont stick together!

Seriously it is that EASY! And it doesn't have ANY of the garbage of the store bought kind. We may save money in the beginning by buying these pre-made products but we end up paying for it, many times over, in the long run, but fighting obesity, diabetes, and many other medical ailments. I will take the simplicity over the complications any day!

Don't laugh, these were frosted by two 4 year old's :-) I think they did great!