Friday, May 9, 2014

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle Cookies


I found the cookie cutter at www.cheapcookiecutters.com. I outlined the turtle faces with black royal icing first and then filled in the spaces with the appropriate colors. I found that using a slightly larger tip (Wilton #2 or #3) for the black outline  to make it a bit thicker worked best. I tried using a smaller tip first, but the colors ran over the outline and into each other more easily because the outline was too thin. After I had filled in the colors inside the outline, I used my oven trick to quick-set the top of the icing. I added the black pupil of the eye and the details around the mouth (smile lines at the corner) and bandana (crease marks) last.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Cars Movie Cookies

I made these for my two-year-old niece who loves the Cars Movies. Her favorite characters are Lightning McQueen and Mader, of course, but she also likes Flo so I added this one to the group.

This was the first time I had encountered Butter Bleed with my royal icing. The outside edges of the white royal icing in the background turned a light yellow. It looked a bit like a yellow ring.

I'm not completely sure what contributed to this. I had flooded these cookies a few days before and let them sit before I added the cars. I also think the cookie dough may have had a bit more butter as proportionate to flour than it usually does. I also used my oven trick to prevent craters as I described here. I think putting the white dried royal icing base into the oven (even at a very low temperature) was the main problem. I think it heated up the cookie just enough to cause the butter in the cookie to seep into the royal icing. In the future, I will only use this trick to quickly set icing that is still wet. I think a fan or dehydrator might have served me better with this project.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Lollipop Flower Cookies

I followed Sweet Amb's cookie pop tutorial when making these. I baked flower shaped cookies and small oval-shaped cookies, baked with the lollipop sticks. I decorated the flower cookies and waited for them to dry completely. Then I turned them over and adhered the lollipop stick/cookie to the back of the decorated cookie with medium-consistency royal icing. It only took an hour or so to dry, and then I finished them off with a clear cellophane bag and white ribbon.

 
 


Volleyball Cookies (Including a Tutorial on Preventing Icing Craters)


Making a volleyball cookie would normally be very straightforward and take only two steps:
  • Flood the entire cookie in white 
  • Outline the indentations of the volleyball 
This is a fine way of doing it but drawing the outline on top of the white doesn't create that poofy, rounded shape that the sections of the volleyball normally have. In order to give the cookie this look, I needed to outline the indentations first and then fill in the spaces with white flood/20-second consistency icing second. This is how the cookies looked before I filled them in with white icing:

Outlined with gray royal icing using a Wilton #2 tip
The issue when filling these small, outlined sections is that, when the icing is left to air dry, it tends to crater and form holes. This is not a pretty look and can be very frustrating. Making the icing a thicker consistency often helps and so does running a toothpick (or scribe tool) through the spaces before the icing starts to dry. But the general consensus among experienced cookie decorators is that speeding up the drying time ("quick drying" the top of the icing) helps even more. 

Food dehydrators, fans, and space heaters are often recommended as good ways to dry the icing faster, but - with the exception of a fan - I don't own any of these. I decided to try my oven. I set my oven to its lowest temperature setting (170 degrees) and then turned it off. As soon as I filled in a cookie, I placed it on a baking sheet in the oven and let it sit for 10-15 minutes. The top of the icing dried very quickly, and I was pleased to see that no craters formed. I let one cookie air dry and set it side-by-side with an oven-dried cookie for comparison:


I used the same consistency icing for each. The oven-dried cookie was poofy, rounded and had no craters. The icing on the air-dried cookie had a few small craters and the filled spaces looked a bit sunken and dented. The icing on the oven-dried cookie was also a bit shinier than the more matte, air-dried cookie. This might be something to keep in mind when going for one look or the other.