My college education began at a junior college where attendance was part of the grading policy. This meant that if I was not present for X amount of lectures my grade would be dropped. I thought that was insane and didn’t think a teacher would really drop an A grade just because a student didn’t attend class so… I didn’t pay much attention to the number of times I attended class.
Just before finals one teacher asked to speak with me - he wanted to go over my grade. In short, he didn’t want me to be surprised when I saw my final grade. Before I got all up in arms I asked what my final grade would be.
“B-“ he said.
WHA?!!! - Ok, stay calm, I thought, then I said, “I guess I didn’t do as well on the exams as I had thought.”
“You did just fine on the exams.” he continued. “Your attendance brought your grade down.”
Starting to fume, yet still trying to keep my cool, “What was my grade before my attendance was taken into consideration?” I implored (with one raised brow).
WH^ THA?! - That’s when I went a little crazy
“Seriously?! (Except using the word seriously wasn’t trendy back then like it is now so I probably really said something like, “Are you kidding me?!”) The I continued in my rage, “You are going to drop my grade because I wasn’t in class? I’m sorry but if I can get an A without being in class that is your problem not mine!” By this time I was red in the face and making threats to file a complaint with the Dean and President of the College. I’m sure I said something about an appeal to the Supreme Court and maybe even to the President of the United States (who was very busy at the time going through an embarrassing investigation regarding his advances toward women staffers.) Finally, feeling I was at the end of my rope I spouted some words about the wrath of God and finished with a voodoo curse. Bottom line, I was… a little upset. Can you believe it, all that and the B- remained. Apparently my argument was not persuasive enough.
So that was a fun story huh? What does it have to do with food? Well, if royal icing were a college course contingent on attendance, I would flunk. That’s right everyone I am a royal icing flunkie. I can do it, I just don’t wanna - and its not for a lack of trying either.
These cookies for example, do you know how many times I’ve made them with intent of turning them into a visual masterpiece? Too many! The only redemption I have on the issue is that at least the cookie is good. Which is really important when it comes to sugar cookies and royal icing. If you’ve had royal icing before you know it certainly isn’t it’s taste that satisfies the masses - it’s the look – so having a really good cookie base is important. It must be sturdy and have enough flava to stand alone, no
attendance, royal icing required. This is THAT cookie.
I’ve tried it in it’s lemon form as Annie’s Eats has adapted it and also in it’s orange form. Either way works, and because they are so good, you just may think its ok to skip the royal icing too.
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup confectioners’ sugar
1 large egg
2½ tsp. vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean split lengthwise
Zest of half an orange (Use the other half of the zest for orange ginger cream cheese frosting)
2½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon salt
- In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar on medium-high speed until smooth, 1-2 minutes. Beat in the egg, vanilla extract, seeds scraped from the vanilla bean, and orange zest until blended. Mix in the flour and salt on low speed just until incorporated. Form the dough into a ball and wrap tightly with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until chilled and firm, at least 1-2 hours.
- When you are ready to bake the cookies, preheat the oven to 375˚ F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silpat. Roll the dough out on a well-floured work surface to about ¼-inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutters as desired and transfer to the prepared baking sheets.
- Bake 8-10 minutes, rotating the sheets 180 degrees on the rack halfway through baking, until fully cooked but not at all browned. Allow to cool on the baking sheet 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Decorate as desired.
Source: Annie’s Eats