Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Summer Cookie Preview

Umbrellas and strawberries?  Sure, they go together… for now.  They both reminded me of summer, so they got thrown together momentarily.  I received my Sur La Table shipment of cookie cutters and my new solid maple rolling-pin and I was too excited to use them to really figure out a plan.

Mise en Place, ready to decorate

I always get everything I need to decorate ready (mise en place), but since I was only doing this as a small batch I didn’t make enough icing to have the thicker in piping bags and the thinned out icing ready to flood in squeeze bottles.  But it’s usually a good idea to have all the parts ready at the same time. 

Royal Icing

I choose the colors for the specific project, mix the royal icing and place each color in a separate piping bag using couplers and #2 tips.  Keeping the tips in a scant amount of water keeps the icing from crusting over while you’re working.  Keep some toothpicks handy to help the flooded icing go where you want it to go.

Outline and Flood

Let your outlines dry for at least an hour before you attempt to flood.  It helps the flooding process and also keeps the colors from bleeding.

Flooded strawberry

Once the outline has set, thin out the icing using the ten second rule and begin your floodwork.  Use the toothpick to pull the icing where you want it to go.  I also sprinkled a bit of pink sanding sugar over the red icing while it was still wet for a sparkly finish (not shown until final product).  I also used yellow sanding sugar over the wet green icing on the umbrellas for the same effect.

Finished cookies

Let the floodwork set overnight (or at least 6 hours), then pipe your finishing touches.  In this case, I added seeds to the strawberries and white veins to the umbrellas for dimension.
Overall, I think these cookies turned out okay, but next time I’d like to try a variation.  Keep the umbrellas more simple, maybe just a one-color flood with detail work over it.  Any thoughts on how to improve the strawberries or umbrellas, let me know!

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