To celebrate the arrival of the London 2012 Olympics this weekend, you could go for a 10-mile jog, climb a mountain or hike up a hill. Or, you could just stay in, watch all the action on TV and get into the spirit of the Olympics by making these Gold Medal Cookies. Let’s hope these are the first of many gold medals we get to see this year! And why you’re at it, why not try making Olympic Ring Cookies and Speedy Marathon Cupcakes too. Follow the recipes here. On your marks, get baking and GO!
Gold Medal Cookies
Here is the recipe for plain sugar cookies, but for a sweet vanilla taste you can add the seeds of one vanilla pod to the recipe.
200g unsalted soft butter
200g caster sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
400g plain flour, extra for dusting
You will need
Ribbon, for threading each cookie.
Using a mixer, cream the butter together with the sugar (and seeds from one vanilla pod, if using) until well combined and creamy in texture.
Add the egg, and then once it is well mixed in, add the flour on a low speed until a dough forms. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap in cling film and chill for an hour.
Place the dough on a floured surface and briefly knead. Flour your rolling pin and roll out the dough to approximately ¼ inch.
Use a round cookie cutter to make the medal shapes, pop out a small hole at the top with a straw. This is where the ribbon will be threaded through.
Place the cookies on a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper. Chill again for 30 minutes.
Bake the cookies in a preheated oven for 8-12 minutes, until golden brown at the edges. Gas mark 4/180 degrees C. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
250g of royal icing sugar mix (sifted)
35-75ml of water (boiled and then cooled)
Yellow/gold food colouring
Using royal icing sugar mix is the easy way to great icing quickly. Mix half of the sifted icing sugar and approx 30ml water together to get a smooth thick paste. This is known as soft peak icing, this is perfect for writing and outlining the cookies. Mix the rest of the icing and water to get a runny consistency. Now it’s time to add the food colouring to each bowl of icing.
Spoon the soft peak icing into a piping bag and then pipe an outline around each cookie, once dry, spoon on the runny icing to fill in the centres.
Leave the cookies to dry for at least an hour and then get creative! Using the soft peak icing again, you could ice on the Olympic rings and year.
Olympic Ring Cookies recipe
If you've got the time, why not make some Olympic ring cookies as well.
Use exactly the same ingredients and method as for the Gold Medal Cookies but just cut another hole into the centre of the cookies to make the rings.
Ice in exactly the same way, using the soft peak icing to outline the cookies and then fill them in with the runny icing and voila you have your Olympic medals and rings!
Speedy Olympic Cupcakes recipe
Want to look like you’ve baked an Olympic amount of cupcakes but just don’t have the time? There’s a simple solution of course. For a brilliant time saving cheat all you need to do is buy plain (non iced) cupcakes/fairy cakes from any of the larger supermarkets, then ice them yourself. The cakes usually come in boxes of 12 or 24.
All you will need is butter and icing sugar, red and blue food colouring and a piping bag and nozzle (a large open star works really well for this).
Using a mixing aid or hand held mixer, combine your butter and icing sugar until it has turned white and smooth. The more you mix the whiter the butter cream will become.
For 24 cupcakes you will need 125g of butter (room temperature) and 250g of sifted icing sugar. For really tasty butter cream icing, mix the butter first to get it’s soft and creamy, then slowly add the sifted icing sugar and keep mixing until well combined and has turned white. Add teaspoon of vanilla essence for a burst of flavour.
Divide the butter cream icing into three bowls, adding red food colouring to one, blue to another and keep the third one white. You are now ready to start icing your readymade cakes! Red, white and blue for Team GB!
Chara's TOP TIP: If you aren’t confident using an icing bag to pipe on your butter cream don’t worry, just use a spoon and smear on for a real homemade rustic look. This is also a brilliant way to involve the kids - three bowls of icing, three spoons and a whole heap of cupcakes.
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Chara Georgiou, Guest Baker
View all posts by Chara Georgiou, Guest Baker