Saturday, June 30, 2012

Decorated Mustache and Bow Tie Cookies and Cookie Pops: Part 2

Decorated Sugar Cookie Pops
I hope you enjoyed my last post on how to make perfectly cut sugar cookies and cookie pops. I have to admit that I had way too much fun with those cookies which can be dangerous! The Cookie Pops that I gave to Alya's friends were a hit..some did not want to eat the cookies because they were too pretty to eat! I was pleased with the result since it was my first time ever trying to bake sugar cookies or to decorate them! The decoration process is the same for all the cookies. once you get the hang of it, you will have fun with it and create as many designs as your heart desires.

Designing the cookies
  • Decide on the cookie shape and there is a cookie for every season and occasion. Over the years, I have been buying many cookie cutters with the intention to use them one day...and that day came. You don't even have to have a cookie cutter, you can use a glass or the cap of a bottle to create a circle of different shapes. You can even customize the shape to your own needs but more on that in a different post.
  • Decide on the design and colors of the cookie and I think this is one of the most creative parts of the process. I like to brainstorm on a piece of paper, to experiment with colors and lines. Keep in mind that designs that look good on paper may not work out in real life situations (More about that later in this post). Outline the shape of your cookie cutter on a piece of paper and try to choose the colors that you will use later, keeping in mind the food coloring that you already have. You can always combine colors to create your palette. 
  • Based on your design, you can plan your frosting needs, how much do you need, which consistency and which colors.
Now that we have covered the design part, let's talk a little bit about the process. To decorate a cookie, you have to first pipe the outline of the cookie (Piping), and then you fill in the outline (Flooding). You can later add more details either on wet flood or on dry flood. So you basically need two royal icing recipes, one for piping and the other for flooding. 

Recipes:

Ingredients:
  • For Piping Royal Icing: 
    • 2 cups of confectioners' sugar
    • 4 teaspoons of meringue powder
    • 3 tablespoons of warm water
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1-2 teaspoon of extract (vanilla or any other flavor)
  • For Flooding Royal Icing:
    • 2 cups of confectioners' sugar
    • 4 teaspoons of meringue powder
    • 6 tablespoons of warm water
    • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice or 1 -2 teaspoon of extract (vanilla or any other flavor)
If you don't have meringue powder, you can use liquid pasteurized egg whites or powdered egg whites but the recipe will change. 

Method:
The method is the same for both types of icing, you just combine the ingredients in the bowl of the electric mixer and beat high for 10 minutes (using the paddle attachment). when you reach the desired consistency, it is important that you immediately cover the mixture or store in airtight container. Note that the water amount in the icing recipes is just a starting point. You have to adjust the water depending on the weather or kitchen temperature. 

Consistencies: 
  • When first mixed, piping consistencies will start out like white glue but by the time you are done beating, it should be glossy with the consistency of a toothpaste. It should squeeze easily out of a #2 tip but should stay in place and hold its shape. It should not be too stiff or too loose. I like to test it first on a parchment paper.
  • When first mixed, flood icing will appear very soupy. In 5 minutes it will be shiny and an opaque white color with the consistency of heavy cream. When you squeeze it onto a cookie, it should immediately flow towards the borders. It shouldn't be so thick that it stays in place or too thin that it run like water.
 Coloring:
Based on your cookie design, you will need to color the icings. I like to store the quantity I need for each color in a plastic container and color immediately. To color, just add the food coloring to the container and mix. According to my original design, I needed to color some piping and some flood icing in black but because I had so much trouble with getting the black piping icing to be as black as I needed it to be, I decided not to work with black again, unless I really really needed it. I left some icing white as is because I needed white piping and flood icings. I like to use a toothpick to collect the gel food coloring and put it in the icing container. I dispose the toothpick after very use. I mix and add coloring until I get the right color. For the orange flood icing, I mixed red and yellow gel food colorings.

 Storing:
  • Piping Icing:
    • I stored the piping icing in a plastic piping bag fitted with # 2 or # 3 tips. To prepare the piping bag, you should first unscrew the coupler and insert the big part inside the piping bag as far as it goes.
    • Cut the piping bag with scissors just below the edge of the couple, about 2 inches from the end.
    • Place the tip over the exposed opening of the coupler piece and tightly screw the coupler ring over the tip catching the bag in the threads of the coupler in the process.
    • I like to place the prepared pastry bad inside a tall glass, I fill each piping bag with a colored piping icing. I scoop the icing inside the bag, don't overfill. Unfold the bag and squeeze the bag closed at the top and push the icing towards the tip. I twist the top of the bag. You can fasten it with a twist tie.
    •  I keep my piping bags in a tall cup with a wet paper towel at the bottom so that the tip stay wet and the icing doesn't dry out.
    • Piping Bags Are Ready
Preparing a Pastry Bag
  • Flood Icing:
    • I fill each squeeze bottle with the flood icing while making sure to keep the cap on it.
    Squeeze Bottles filled with Colored Flood Icing
Outlining:
Holding the pastry bag, you outline the cookie as per your design to create a dam to hold the flood icing. The goal is to outline the shape of your cookie in an unbroken line, while trying to get the icing as close to the the edge of the cookie as possible without falling off. If you made a mistake, dont panic! remove the outline with a toothpick. I wish it was as easy in real life!
Outlined Sugar Cookie and Sugar Cookie Pops
Decoration
Flooding:
To flood the cookie, squeeze the flood icing into the middle of the shape; it should flow toward the outline dam. I think that the consistency of the flood icing was bit stiff, so I had to spread it with the toothpick. You can also use the mighty toothpick to puncture air bubbles. Leave the cookie to dry undisturbed for about 2 to 3 hours. If you want to add details on wet flood, like I did with polka dots, you just squeeze little droplets of flood icing on the wet flood. But first, just wait about 5 to 6 minutes otherwise, the colors will bleed badly, especially in the case of white flood icing. (As in my case)
Flooding a cookie
When the cookies are dry, store them in an airtight container. Don't pile them on top of each other, like I did, they will stick to each other and/or break. I put the cookies and cookie pops in clear cellophane bags to show the cute designs. These cookies keep for 2 weeks if properly stored.

Decorated Cookies in Clear Cellophane Bags
Adapted from "Cookie Craft" by Valerie Peterson and Janice Fryer

2 comments:

  1. thats awesome. where did you get the cookie cutouts for the bowties? please

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you Olivia. I found the cookie cutters at the clearance rack at Micheal's but I am sure that you can find similar cutters at Amazon or specialized cake supplies vendors.

    ReplyDelete