Will my cookie glaze get hard and crunchy?
December 17, 2021 5:56 AM   Subscribe

I'm making Leckerli cookies, which have a glaze on top. I've never made a glaze before. Instead of the glaze specified in the recipe, I'd like to use the syrup left over from candying the citrus rinds. But will it harden and get flaky/crunchy like it's supposed to?

Here's the recipe I'm using for the cookies. The glaze is supposed to dry/harden and be a little crispy.

I can't use any products containing corn or corn byproducts (including powdered/confectioner's sugar, which contains cornstarch) due to food allergies among my intended audience.

I have a bunch of delicious citrus syrup left over from making the candied citrus rinds. It's reduced somewhat from basic simple syrup consistency - it's rather thick at this point. I'd like to use that as the basis for the glaze, but I'm concerned it wont dry out/harden like the glaze the cookie is supposed to have. I also don't know how to assess/adjust its water content since I have no experience with glazes and I don't know how reduced the syrup is other than "it's pretty thick, but still pourable."

The citrus rinds have been drying overnight, and they're still somewhat sticky and flexible.

A complicating factor is that these cookies are supposed to age for at least a day in a closed tin in order to be soft enough to eat. I need to serve them in 2-1/2 days. If I glaze them and leave them out for the glaze to harden then that will be eating into my cookie softening time. If I just put them in the tin straight away I'm not sure the glaze would harden (assuming it could ever harden anyway).

So, bakers of MeFi - what do you advise?
posted by under_petticoat_rule to Food & Drink (7 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I would blitz some regular sugar as fine as you can and let it dissolve in the syrup. Otherwise I think you’ll have too much water.
posted by showbiz_liz at 5:59 AM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Best answer: As a former pastry cook, I wouldn't chance it. If you want it flavored, you could make the correct glaze, then chop some of the candied rind very fine and stir it in there.

Can you take a spoonful of the syrup glaze and put it on a piece of parchment and see what it does as it dries? My guess is that it's not going to go hardened and crusty as you wish.

As showbiz_liz said, grinding regular sugar as super fine as possible will get you a decent substitute for confectioners sugar. But I'm not sure what purpose if any the cornstarch serves to get you that dry glaze or a good royal icing.

Honestly, not glazing them might be your best bet, considering the aging time and all that is an added wrinkle.
posted by fiercecupcake at 6:56 AM on December 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

no, it won't harden. sugar syrup stays sticky.

there may be a path for your glaze here involving meringue powder, but there are a lot of variables and it's probably best to do what the recipe says.
posted by fingersandtoes at 7:36 AM on December 17, 2021

You can use another starch to make confectioners sugar. This recipe uses tapioca starch. Potato starch might also work
posted by aubilenon at 8:09 AM on December 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

You can buy confectioner's sugar made with tapioca--look for the organic varieties and read the labels. I started getting it because you can taste the cornstarch in the regular stuff and I find it offputting.
posted by Don Pepino at 9:05 AM on December 17, 2021

Best answer: It's unlikely to harden. Sugar undergoes specific texture changes at different temperatures, and a boiled sugar syrup just won't behave in the same way as uncooked sugar mixed with water and alcohol. What's likely to happen is that the tops will remain sticky even after the cookie has soaked up most of the liquid. Especially because you're on a tight timeline and have no time for a re-do, I'd suggest sticking to the recipe. You can blitz granulated sugar in a food processor to sub for the confectioner's sugar -- it will accomplish the same goal (dissolving quickly with no heat), and it won't require any kind of starch to prevent clumping because you're not planning on storing it for a long time.

Use the citrus syrup for cocktails or mocktails instead (it's probably delicious mixed with some plain soda water!).
posted by ourobouros at 10:00 AM on December 17, 2021

Response by poster: Thank you all for the great info. I have a much better understanding of how a glaze works now.

I ended up blitzing granulated sugar into a fine powder, then mixed the recipe amount with 3tbs of my syrup and the kirschwasser (actually vodka infused with almonds, anise and cinnamon - I didn't want to get a whole bottle of kirsch for one batch of cookies).

It worked really well. The icing is delicious, and it has already hardened up to exactly the right texture.
posted by under_petticoat_rule at 12:26 PM on December 17, 2021 [9 favorites]

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