There are some things that I consistently make too much of: namely, mashed potato, pasta, rice and as I finally acknowledged today – buttercream.
Actually that’s quite a lot of things.
Mostly because the consequence of not having quite enough of all the above is so dire. Not enough mashed potato to top a pie – disaster. Ditto pasta when you are in the midst of a frantic carb crazed supper; rice is a little less high stakes, but I just make so much more than I thought I was making… and buttercream, well – you’ve gone to the effort of making cakes, can you imagine not having enough icing?!
So I always err on the side of caution and end up making about 50% more than I actually need.
And not that I am particularly virtuous about no waste but it does feel pretty awful throwing food away. So I do all the classics, with mashed potato used for fish cakes (or our family staple ‘mash browns’ the distant and underrated cousin of a hash brown)… pasta salads… fried rice with the leftover rice…you name it. But leftover buttercream, I normally just try and spoil immediately with dish soap because I know otherwise I will likely eat it all.
Anyway today my baking-mad 3 year old insisted on butterfly cakes, like these that we made a few weeks ago:
So I duly obliged and ended up with the standard leftover icing. Anyway it suddenly occurred to me that maybe I could freeze it? (I am a fan of freezing, after all) – and google suggests this is a very viable option. But I have a strong suspicion that it would be one of those things I would find at the back of the freezer when having a clear out and end up binning, just a year from now instead of today.
And then it occurred to me: could I make the icing into cookie batter?! And I googled it and people have tried this. So I tried it and reader: it worked. Quite well in fact.
They are only ugly because I was unconvinced by the batter, holding a baby on one hip and had about 20minutes until I needed to do the school run so I very haphazardly threw dollops of the mixture onto the baking tray.
They might be a bit ugly but they are surprisingly delicious! My 7 year old actually decided he’d have one of these instead of the butterfly cakes for pudding – a serious honour. So next time I’d actually put a little more effort into shaping them and making them a little prettier.
There are lots of buttercream cookie recipes out there as it turns out, but this is how I did it – super simple and surprisingly effective for a soft vanilla cookie. Not really a recipe so much as a rough guide on quantities…But I have a feeling it would be pretty forgiving of a wide variety of ratios and variations.
1/2 cup (rounded, generous, heaped) leftover vanilla buttercream icing
1cup all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
Preheat oven to 350F/180C.
Add egg slowly to buttercream. Mix the Baking soda with the flour if you can be bothered, or just add both separately (I took the lazy 1-bowl approach).
Combine. Don’t be put off by how soft the mix is.
Spoon onto baking tray assuming some serious spreading will occur. Bake for about 12 minutes for big – ish cookies, less for smaller cookies.
Mine were really a bit unattractive so I went for the classic peanut cookie grid on the top with a fork as I took them out of the oven. But next time I’d probably just make them a little smaller.
Cool. Eat. Feel VERY smug and not lazy at all.