Friday, November 12, 2010

My First Foray Into Cookie Decorating!

My first* attempt at cookie decorating was a resounding success! Plus, the kids had fun, too!

Oh and the cookies even tasted yummy. So this was a win all the way around.

First, there was my lovely assistant, Caitlin. She missed the dough mixing portion of this process, but was happy to show up for the cutting out and decorating parts.

I made Bridget's recipe from Bake at 350 and altered it for our elevation (i.e. added 3 tbsp of AP flour for a total of 16.2 oz, removed 1 tbsp of sugar for a total of 6.6 oz, and increased the oven temperature by 15 degrees from 350 to 365.). It worked like a charm (Although next time I'm going to try the reverse creaming method that Cook's Illustrated recommends. Some of my cookies had air bubbles.). Then, I followed the directions for rolling out the dough between 2 sheets of waxed paper as taught by Cheryl at the University of Cookie. Seriously. It's like I was meant to find these bakers! After rolling the dough out, I popped it into my freezer for about 7 minutes and then called to Caitlin for her assistance in cutting out some cookies.

We baked them off while the twins slept and then it was time to mix up some icing. I admit that I just bought a box of Royal Icing mix from the store. Next time I think I'll buy some powdered egg whites as Gail from One Tough Cookie suggests. I didn't have a lot of icing to begin with, so I kinda faked it and then split it into 3 colors. Little did I realize the sheer amount of complaints I'd have over the 3 colors. Once Logan had the purple, he wasn't happy about relinquishing it to anyone else. Emma was happy as a clam to just squeeze 3/4ths of the pink onto her first cookie. Only Caitlin and I were interested in multi-colored cookies and a little artistic expression.

My decorating team.

Logan works the purple icing with a death grip.

My first cookie didn't look anything like I'd really imagined it would, but as far as a first attempt went, it was pretty yummy! I got the hang of outlining cookies, playing with dots and figured out why round toothpicks would be better than flat toothpicks (Pointier ends!). It also made me understand that having a lot of icing to play with would have been ideal because then I could have messed around with the concept of flooding. Next time!

A peace cookie to celebrate Veteran's Day. Yes, peace can be a little messy and may not look like what you'd envisioned originally, but it's a good thing in the end.
Emma wanted to squeeze out the entire contents of the pink bag all over her cookie. I helped her out by spreading it around with a small palette knife.

Also, her idea of "eating" the cookie is to lick all of the icing off with her fingers. Logan smashed his first cookie, decorated the larger portion of it, and then had to be cut off from the purple icing. He was a sticky purple fiend in the end.

Don't mind my drippy nose. I'm a little sick!

Luckily enough for Eric, he made it home in time to decorate two of his very own cookies.

Caitlin went to town and made some fun cookies.

I found that once I started making my second cookie, that I didn't want to eat anymore. The prettier they became (by my standards), the less I wanted to eat them. Instead I had to nibble on the last bits of broken cookie bits. Slathered with a little icing, of course.

Now I know what I'll be bringing to Thanksgiving dinner at my MIL's: baked cookies and a pile of icing colors for the kids to go nuts with and decorate! (I'll probably also bring a loaf of bread and maybe even a pumpkin pie. I can't totally slack off!)

* I know. You're shocked, aren't you? I've made cookies before, but I've never tried making cookies for actual decorating purposes with Royal Icing and decorating tips. I had to do a bunch of research, search out all of my existing decorating tips and even pick up a few new ones. I was overwhelmed by the talent of Bridget at Bake at 350 and followed piles of links from her site all over the place. It's winter time and I'm trapped indoors. Clearly it's time to obsess over something that isn't plant related!


slow panic said...

I decorate cookies about once a year. I get all excited about it and then we pull everything out and in the end the kitchen is covered in flour and who knows what and we are done until next Christmas

Candy "Sweetstuff" said...

What a wonderful thing to do with the kids. I used to do this with my Mom when my kids were little. They are 22 and 23 and remember it still and great memories! Great looking cookies!

Cousin Janet from NY said...

Throughout Jade's childhood we made Christmas cookies together, with her best friend Erica, & later Erica's little sister joined us. We made many kinds & all were beautiful, then I'd make platters to bring to neighbors & customers. Here's a tip - make rice krispie treats using corn flakes & green food coloring, shape into a wreath, & put the cookies inside the center, all on a big platter. Quite a presentation!!!! Have fun! I spoke to all of your kids this weekend, thanks to Grammy!!! Love every one of your munchkins!!

alessa said...

looks yummy! too bad about my wheat allergies. sniff, sniff.

I haven't made all the cookies at:

but I'm trying... The chocolate chip cookies are good, but you have to know 4 oz = 1 cup almond flour. Otherwise, you have very oily, very flat cookies. I *MUST* to try her ginger cookies. I miss ginger snaps.

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