So, as much as I have enjoyed decorating cookies for practice, parties, and birthdays, I have to admit that it all leads up to Christmas. Yes, that’s the big show. The Super Bowl of baked good decorating. Alright, maybe I’m stretching a bit much on the creative writing here, but you get the idea, this is it.
I’ve been researching and planning how I was going to complete this year’s cookies for longer than I would care to admit, and have to thank all of the talented bloggers out there for their inspiration and advice. One of the best pieces out there had to be the idea of planning to begin with. Not just looking at pictures, but literally sitting down with pencil, paper, and markers, and sketching out what you plan to do. Here’s my planning:
I have to say that this was a great help when it finally came time to do everything else. Because of my planning I knew what shapes I did, and did not, want to make, and how much and what colors of glacé and royal icing I needed to make and tint. Yes, yes of course, as always, I had extra, but not too much, and I didn’t run out of anything half way through. I was also able to get down to decorating much more quickly; as I didn’t have to spend time staring at the “blank slates” of baked goods while I figured out what to do. Seriously, if I ever had any advice to share with anyone on this subject it would be to plan ahead.
The second “life lesson” I learned from this one is that I will forever more ONLY use No Taste Red gel colorings. I tried the Red and Christmas Red varieties, and my royal icing tasted like gross chemicals. I salvaged it, for use in detailing as you see, with vanilla and almond extracts to, try, to cover the flavor.
I have to say that I am quite pleased with myself at how these turned out. I hit the colors I wanted exactly as I had planned out.
My Uncle is giving me my late Aunt’s decorating supplies, so I resisted the urge to stock up on tips and such. Once I start using these, my detail work, like in the snowflake above, will be much more professional looking and less like a kid helping their mother.
The only regret I have with this batch is that I didn’t go with my original plan of painting the stars with glitter powder like I did with the snowflakes and Christmas trees. I think it would have added that special something.
The glitter on these was an afterthought, but I’m glad I did it. It’s subtle, but really cute.
I had to add a couple of shots of the kitchen and dining room during the full press of Christmas sweet madness. Cookies, marshmallows, and hot cocoa mix all at the same time. If you look closely, you can see a bottle of bloody Mary mix, but I promise they were virgin, as it is important not to drink and decorate.