Thursday, May 31, 2012

Candy Cookies

I have a super fun story to tell you guys. Are you ready? I mean, its a really good one, so don't be pretending to listen while doing the dishes or anything. Because, if you do that, you're going to miss the punchline and then I'll be standing there looking at you and  you won't be laughing and then it will get all silent until you realize I've stopped talking. And everything after that will be just awkward. And...I don't really like awkward.

I made you parade candy cookies last Saturday. And they were real, real cute. And completely festive because I made them with red, white, and blue icing. It was like one of those dream come true afternoons. My husband was working. (That's not the dream come true part.) My oldest child was reading in his bedroom. My nearly 2 year old was sleeping quietly in her room and the baby was making happy sounds from the living room floor. I had somehow created the most perfect shades of navy and red that ever existed. My lines were crisp, and my cookies were soft, chocolatey goodness. I took some pictures for a tutorial and then went to put my memory card in the computer to make sure the lighting wasn't all weird. I had all the time in the world and my just-finished cookies were drying on the kitchen table. It was a fantastic afternoon.

 And then out of the corner of my eye, I saw something moving. And out of the corner of my brain, I realized that it was my nearly 2 year old. She had picked this exact moment in time to become capable of letting herself out of her bedroom. And she had a piping bag in her hand. And she was much closer to my cookies than I was.

Do you ever wish you could think in slow motion sometimes? I mean...there was NO CHANCE I was going to get to her in time. But I shouted a "Stop!" anyway. And it scared her. And in the second that she looked my direction I saw the eagerness on her face. She truly believed with all of her little heart that she was going to be doing me the biggest favor ever. And I would give all the decorated cookies in the world to have not called out and to have watched that little face re-decorate all those cookies in pure happiness. As it was...we just cuddled instead. And ate icing straight from the bag. So, you know, not entirely a waste.

These are not those cookies. These are different cookies. These do not have 2 year-old love inside of them or on top of them. But if you could imagine these in red, white, and blue...then you would be closer to those "afternoon of dreams" cookies. As it is...I did miss one of the photos I needed so you get some pink, red, white and blue swirls in your photo tutorial.

1. You need thick icing to make these. If you pull the spoon straight out of the dish, it should leave a peak that doesn't go away. These are the most perfect reason to try out Karen's "icing bullet" trick. Just be sure to twist the ends of the two "bullets" together before putting them in the bag. Squeeze the icing on a plate or wax paper for a couple of seconds until both colors of icing are coming out of the tip.

2. I find it helpful to do these as a transfer since I am REALLY bad at judging the center of the cookie. But you can do what you want. Holding your tip well above the wax paper/cookie, squeeze the icing so a line drops toward the center of the circle.

3. Lower your icing bag and the icing rope will naturally start curling on itself.

4. Follow that curve at a nice easy pace until your swirl is as big as you would like it to be. Stop squeezing and pull gently at the end to create a tapered edge. If you are doing them as transfers, let them dry for 3-4 hours before removing them from the wax paper. (Since these are made with thicker icing, they dry much quicker than flood icing would.)

Keep out of reach of children.

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