Saturday, 11 May 2013

Springtime cookies

I'm so happy that spring has finally arrived. The grass is green, our lilac has a tonne of flower buds on it, and the quince is in full bloom.

So when I was asked to bake some cookies for the 125th anniversary of the boys' school, I decided that some flower cookies were in order.

Making iced sugar cookies is at least a two evening process for me. The first evening I bake the cookies and make the royal icing, and the second evening I do the decorating. Sometimes you need to wait for one layer to dry before you can pipe on the next set of details, so the job can spread out over three or more days. I picked up a great tip from Sugarbelle's website for making the center of the flowers using royal icing and sanding sugar. It saves a day because I can do the flooding and the center detail at the same time.

I started out with two bags of royal icing with flood consistency (like shower gel), and two different kinds of sprinkles.

I piped out a tray full of  circles onto wax paper taped down onto a large cookie sheet.

Sugarbelle said to let them sit about 10 minutes before sprinkling with the sugar/nonpareils, but I found that they didn't stick very well. Next time I'll pipe out all the circles and then sand them immediately.

The pink sanding sugar covered really well (I piped the pink second so it was wetter) while the nonpareils kind of bounced off the icing and rolled around the tray. They were a failure for cookie use, but are fine for throwing on top of ice cream or cupcakes for the kids.

After waiting a day or two (depending on the humidity) they peel right off the wax paper. If they're sticking, you haven't waited long enough. Once they're fully dry, you can throw them in a container and store them in a cool, dark place forever.

I baked two sizes of flower, and piped the outline in white on both of them. I flooded the small ones with white, and immediately dropped the pre-made center into the wet icing.

Alan came down just as I was finishing and said "I like your nipple cookies". Nice.

I hadn't seen it. And I didn't stick around the baking table at the 125 Celebration to see if the pre-teen boys snickered over them like my full-grown husband did.

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