Happy October, dear cookie crumbs!
Not much going on at Casa de Me lately, but I wanted to share the cookies I made for coworker T’s baby shower last Friday.
I purchased new cookie cutters for the occasion — a rattle, a bear, and a flower — because I’m sure I’ll have reasons to use them again in the future. I did a trial run last Sunday with a very buttery cookie dough. Not only did the undecorated versions look like penises …
…but the finished cookies were too buttery and fell apart easily. Plus I used too much pink gel food color in the royal frosting and it looked like solidified Pepto Bismol. Never fear, they tasted great and went well with coffee. The flower petals were breaking off and I couldn’t figure out a nice way to decorate the bears without introducing a third color of frosting, so I did away with them. I’m a baker, not a decorator.
Try two found me hacking around with one of my regular sugar cookie recipes, and using less pink food coloring in the frosting. Success!
Here is the royal frosting recipe that I used. I stuck with a meringue powder frosting because I didn’t want to use raw egg whites and risk poisoning our expectant mother. Bad show.
Two nights before the shower I did the pink frosting, and the night before I piped the white accents. The page on Bakerella’s site shows that she used plastic bottles for frosting. I tried that too, but my hands quickly fatigued from steadily squeezing the bottle and that resulted in shaky lines. (Me to WM: “It looks like Kirk Douglas decorated these!”) I switched to a plastic pastry bag and a decorator tip and it went much easier.
I bought cute cellophane bags so that I could present the cookies as individual favors, but the bags were too small. Woohoo! (Fact about me: I suck with eyeballing length.) I ended up having to use regular Ziploc bags and folding the business end behind the cookie before tying the ribbon around it.
Coworker T and the rest of the work crew loved the cookies, and I spent my Saturday chipping dried royal frosting off of my counter. And mixer. And faucet.
Here are my takeaways to make next time easier:
- Add the gel food coloring slowly to avoid too-pink frosting
- Buy a narrower decorator tip for the detailing and skip trying to use the plastic bottles altogether
- Or maybe snip the plastic bottle tip to make the hole larger
- Make one batch of pink frosting and use it for both piping and flooding. I made two separate pink batches but fretted because the pinks were slightly different. Nobody else seemed to notice or care. But I did.
- Take my time. I should have watered down the pink flooding frosting even more before attempting to use it but I wanted to rush, rush, rush. Taking my time would also have eliminated many of the ‘peaks’ on the polka dots.
- MEASURE THE DAMN COOKIES BEFORE BUYING CELLO BAGS
- Wipe the counter down when I finished each night. I, uh, let things accumulate and while my kitchen smelled divine, it’s much more difficult to clean hardened frosting than wet frosting.
The bad news is that I have the baking bug again. I made banana bread on Sunday and my goal for this fall/winter is to work through a bread baking cookbook that WM’s mom sent us.