Saturday, December 14, 2013

Decorated Sugar Cookies: Coomassie Stained SDS-PAGE Gel

Where my nerds at because this cookie is just for you! It all began about 4 years ago when I started to make food for the people in my class around the holiday season. Now, there was just one criteria that people had to make before I was to make them food. Simply, let me get to know you and I'll let you get to know me. Simple as that. 

UW classes are enormous that it's never simple to meet people. Most of the time, people are already in their pre-formed cliques, and I am guilty of that as well. Every so often, I get into a smaller class and everything just clicks. People get along, we laugh, play games and it doesn't even seem like we're taking a class anymore, but more of a socializing hour.

I can honestly say, Biochem 426 lab was exactly that. It never seemed like we were in an intense upper level course. Everyone knew their job and with all the waiting period for reactions to occur, all we did was socialize. Playing Mafia, green glass door and "To the moon, I'm going to take _____", killed time and allowed us to get to know one another in a way I've never experienced at UW since starting my college career. By the way, those are some great party games.

Because of that, they pretty much filled the criteria of "Let me get to know you and I'll let you get to know me" and that meant food.

In honor of the class, I wanted to do something that revolved around what we did and the inside jokes that we made. Thus, decorated sugar cookies in the form of a Coomassie stained SDS-PAGE gel were made. Now, an SDS-PAGE gel is used to look at the purity of a solution and how well you were able to separate a single protein from all the other proteins in solution. The presence of one band in a lane is pure, the presence of many is not pure. Just like this gel my lab partner and I got from lab.

Simply using our gel as a template, I copied our results onto a cookie and BAM! Coomassie Stained SDS-PAGE Gel Cookies!

AJ's Secret:
  • When using the Royal icing, make sure it dries completely before decorating or packaging them up. If not, it indentations will be made and decorations can fall off.
  • Use a thicker royal icing to outline the cookie and then thin out the icing with water 1 tsp at a time until it's the consistency of syrup. Fill the remaining space with this thinner icing. This is known as flooding.

Decorated Sugar Cookies
Recipe by Sharon Bowers

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 batch Royal Icing (see below)
Food coloring

Cream the butter and sugar. Add the egg and beat until fluffy. Blend in the vanilla. Sift in the flour, baking powder, and salt, mixing until just combined. Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and chill for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. On a floured surface, roll half of the dough to 1/8-inch thick. Cut into circles using a 3-inch round cookie cutter or the top of a drinking glass. Gather and reroll scraps. Repeat with remaining dough. Place the cookies on a greased baking sheet and bake for about 8 minutes, until just golden. Do not allow cookies to brown. Cool cookies completely.

Spread white royal icing smoothly over the surface. Allow the icing to dry completely, about 24 hours. With the same royal icing, dye with food coloring and decorate with a desired design.

Royal Icing: 
1 egg white*
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar

With beaters or a standing mixer, whip the egg white and lemon juice until frothy. At medium speed, beat in the confectioners' sugar, a little at a time, until the mixture is thick but still liquid enough to beat. Then beat on high until the mixture is thick and glossy, about 3 minutes. Cover the surface with plastic wrap while waiting to use it. Royal icing will set to a firm, glossy finish when applied to a cookie. The icing can be stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator for up to a week. 

*RAW EGG WARNING Food Network Kitchens suggest caution in consuming raw and lightly-cooked eggs due to the slight risk of Salmonella or other food-borne illness. To reduce this risk, we recommend you use only fresh, properly-refrigerated, clean, grade A or AA eggs with intact shells, and avoid contact between the yolks or whites and the shell.

-Aaron John

1 comment:

  1. I am really enjoying reading your well written articles. It looks like you spend a lot of effort and time on your blog. I have bookmarked it and I am looking forward to reading new articles.


Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment! :)

-Aaron John


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