Tuesday, June 18, 2013

How to Make Buttercream Butterfly Cookies

I have received hundreds of emails asking me how to make the "Butterfly Buttercream Cookies."  I mean, people are begging me, stopping me on the street and calling me at all hours during the night.  I finally found a few extra minutes to share this with you.  Maybe all the "noise" will settle down after this and I can finally get some much needed rest.

Pretty impressive opening statement, don't you think?  

To bad it's not really true.  

Ooops.  But hey, it was real good drama for those few short seconds.  GOTCHA!

No one has asked for this tutorial but I am going to share it with you anyway...just because.  I am like that.  I love you.  Plus, it is free, people.  Just read it, make the cookies and eat them.  
I have made these several times and not only are they YUMMY-O they are little cuties too.
The first thing is to bake your favorite sugar cookie recipe.  

I like to use "princess" extract because it takes me back to the good 'ol days.  It may not take you back if you are not that old.  Either way the princess extract is good stuff.  Vanilla or almond would be great also.

Once you cut out your cookie shapes at least 1/4" thick, put them in the freezer for about 10 minutes before you bake them.  This will "help" them to retain their shape while baking.

My cookies never come out of the oven looking like the cookie cutter shape.  I have spent lots of hours studying cookies and I have yet to find the secret.  

I know there IS a secret.  I just haven't found it yet.  

If your cookies didn't retain their shape while baking, simply take your cookie cutter and re-cut the warm cookie.  You will have a lot of "cookie scraps" that you can munch on while you do the rest.  

Go ahead and start munching now.  It is okay.  I won't tell. 

While the cookies are baking mix up your favorite buttercream recipe.  Make it a medium consistency.
Do several tastings to make sure you get it right.

After you think you have it just about right, taste a little bit more just to be sure.

You can never be too sure when it comes to buttercream.

Heck, go ahead and make two batches of buttercream.  One for you to eat while you work on the cookies and one batch for the cookies.

Be sure and use only real butter.  No margarine.  No "I can't believe it's butter" because believe it or not, people, I CAN believe it is not butter.  And no crisco.  Just pure butter from above.  Butter is a God thing.  Did you know that?  If you want really, really, really good buttercream you have to start with real butter.  No exceptions.

Fit your icing bag with the plain round tip and then fill your icing bag.  I like to do this with the icing bag in a glass.  But no matter what tricks I do, I am going to make a mess.  It is going to happen.  There is just no other way.  It is eventually going to come out the top of the bag, run down the sides and get all over me and everything else in sight.  It is a mystery of how I actually manage to get the buttercream on the cookie.  

Notice the color of the buttercream compared to the white icing bag and you will see the buttercream is a little yellow-ish.  You want to know why?  Because real butter is yellow.  Simple.

The icing bag always starts out looking nice and perfect.  Don't let that fool you.  These bags can be wicked.

Well, okay, take a little squirt.  I won't tell.  We are all friends here, right? 

I am going to assume that about half of your extra buttercream is all gone now along with all those cookie scraps.  I know.  You can't fool me.  Good stuff should be eaten immediately.  Don't worry, we think along the same lines.

Purchase some fondant or make your own.  I make my own marshmallow fondant.  The little butterfly mold is a Martha Stewart brand.  You will also need to brush a little shortening inside the mold so your fondant won't stick.  If it does stick, just take it out and start over.  

Press the fondant into the mold and carefully remove the butterfly.  Again, if you mess up, just start over.  

You may have to start over several times until you get the hang of getting the dang thing out of the mold without distorting it.  You will need patience. 

If you get frustrated and need a little break take a few more squirts of buttercream.  That should calm you down.

Make lots of butterflies.  You have lots of cookies, remember?  Or did you eat them all already?  If you did just make some more.  Did I tell you this could possibly be an all day project?  It depends on your sweet tooth.  

Brush your cardboard with some powdered sugar to keep the butterflies from sticking.

Add a little golden dust if you want your butterflies to sparkle.  I like to sparkle.  Actually, everything is better with sparkles.  It is not just for little girls.

See, it sorta brings the butterflies to life a little bit.  

Now take your icing bag and apply a swirl of buttercream on a cookie.  What?  Your icing bag is empty?  Before you even get started?  I totally understand.  Just fill it up again.  You may have to make a little bit more if you run out.

Get those chunky sugar sparkles ready.  I love sparkles.  Did I say that already?

While the buttercream is still moist, dip the cookie in the sugar sparkles.

Ahhhhh....so sparkly and shiny.  They would be good just like this.

But wait....

Apply a little dot of buttercream on top of the sugar sparkles.  Must give the butterfly something to land on.  Eating a few dots of buttercream IS allowed at this point.  Go ahead.  I will wait on you.

Place the butterfly on the cookie.  Press the butterfly down a bit in the center.  This will give it some movement and more realistic looking.

And wa-la.  B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L!  Stand back and admire your work.  Tell everyone you know that you did this.  Take photos and email to all your friends.  Tell them how you would love to give them some but the buttercream butterfly cookies all flew away soon after you made them.  

I  know, you really don't want to share and that is okay.  You don't always have to.

Ahhhhh so pretty

Eat one.  Eat two.  Or eat all of them.  Whatever you want to do.  They are your cookies.

Eat a few more dollops of buttercream to celebrate.  Then eat a few more cookies.

Hide the cookies from yourself if you want to save some for your friends and family.
If you are not going to share, then pour yourself a big cold glass of milk and eat all of them.  

It is okay.  

The calories will be canceled out by all the physical energy you exhausted while making them.

You can make your cookies and eat them too.

It is allowed here.  I won't tell.  Just be sure and tell me if you make them!

See you next time,