Happy Chinese New Year 2012 (Dragon Cookies)

In case you were not aware- it’s the Year of the Dragon. I know, it was cold down under that rock, wasn’t it? Yes, I know you are aware; just a gentle reminder that this year should be anything but dull. The dragon has been unleashed. Buckle your seatbelts, and hold on tight. Now, who said anything about doom and gloom. Rein in your Debbie Downer. I’m just saying it should be an exciting year. We’ve put up with the Rat and the Rabbit, so now it’s time for the Dragon. Oh and I know a lot about the Dragon. I was coached , prepped, warned I should say right from the beginning. The year was 1999. The year I got married. My husband informed me straight on; and it went something like this. We were having a nice leisurely walk around Lake Merced.

The Husband:  “Honey, we have to have a Dragon”.

Me: “Huh”?

The Husband: “We have to have a Dragon baby, it’s very important”

Me: “What is a Dragon baby”? (and then I learned in the reader’s digest version from my husband all about “Chinese Astrology” and the importance of having a “Dragon”.

Soon everyone (and by this I mean all my Asian friends) were weighing in on my procreation of planning. “Oh…you have to have a dragon baby”, “Oh, you know, next year is the Year of the Dragon, you gonna have a Dragon baby”? “You GOTTA have a dragon baby”! “DID YOU KNOW NEXT YEAR IS THE DRAGON”? (yep, I knew) and on and on it went. So guess what? we had a dragon baby. Cutest little dragon you ever saw. Biggest joy of my life. He may be small, but feisty; just like a dragon. Smart, cunning, fast; just like a dragon. Determined; just like a dragon. Leader, not a follower; just like a dragon.

It’s 2012. Don’t be afraid. Embrace the Dragon. Start small; perhaps with a cookie…..

Dragon Sugar Cookies

Sugar Cookies

3 Cups all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. kosher salt

1 Cup + 2 Tbsp. sugar

2 sticks cold butter

1 large egg

1  1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1/2 tsp. almond extract

Whisk the flour, baking powder and salt; set aside. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.  Add the extracts; mix. Add in the egg and mix. Add the flour mixture a little at a time and mix until just combined; scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure everything is combined well. Try not to overmix the dough. There will be crumbs; take out the dough and knead softly with your hands. Roll out on a floured surface to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Place on a Silpat sheet or parchment paper lined cookie sheet and Bake at 350 °  for 12-15 minutes until the edges just barely start to turn light brown. Let cookies cool on sheets placed on a wire rack for 10 mins. Move the cookies to wire rack to cool completely before icing.

Frost cookies with thin consistency Royal Icing. See recipe below.

Royal Icing:

4 Tbsp. meringue powder

1/2 C cold water

1 lb. powdered sugar

1/2 tsp. clear vanilla

Combine the meringue powder and H2O until foamy. Add the sugar a cup at a time [if the sugar is lumpy; make sure to sift it first] and beat on low until combined. Once all the sugar is combined, turn up the mixer to high and beat for about 5 mins. until the meringue forms stiff peaks. Add cold water one tsp. at a time until the mixture is thinned to consistency of heavy cream. Ice the cookies and let the icing dry until the icing is totally dry. This may take overnight; especially if it is foggy as it is here in San Francisco!! In my neighborhood this means pretty much every day…

Once the icing is totally dry; cut out the rice paper sheets; found at www.fancyflours.com  and turn over the sheets and brush carefully with light corn syrup. Place the rice paper sheet on the cookie and run your finger over the sheet so it adheres flat. Turn over the cookie and let sit for about 30 minutes. You can pipe a decorative border along the cookies with medium stiff royal icing or decorate the edges with sanding sugar; or leave plain. Sprinkle the edible glitter over the cookies.


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