Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Royal Icing 'MONSTER-osities' {how NOT to decorate cookies}

Decorating cookies is time consuming. I always carefully draw and design my cookie ideas onto paper before actually making them. I have pages and pages of ideas drawn up just waiting to be made. Of course I have WAY too many ideas to ever make all of them into cookies, so you can imagine that when I do choose to make some, I pick my favorite designs. 

One of the best parts of cookie decorating is being able to see your finished product at the end.

Especially when they turn out just as you had imagined in your head. 

And then, there are always days like this....... 'Monster-osities'. The cookies only a mother could (pretend to) be proud of. 

Oh the horror. This is a good example of two mistakes that are easily made.

1. Not washing out your bowl before making royal icing. If you look at the purple and green, they have a funky grainy texture to them. (I decorated my voodoo doll cookies with the same icing, it's even more noticeable with them!) THAT is what happens when oil gets into your icing. Sometimes you may look at your bowl and think 'that looks clean enough to me'.

I'm warning you, DON'T fall into that trap like I did. These are the results of that exact thinking. And of course laziness. Because who wants to wash a clean mixing bowl?

You may not be able to tell from the pictures, but even after sitting out for 3 days these cookies never completely dried. 

2. Adding too much food coloring. Do you see the black? Horrible, I know. Color (especially dark colors like black or red) take time to develop. The best tip for making dark colors is to make a lighter color (like deep gray) and let it sit in the fridge for a couple days. THEN add more black if you need it. But usually after a day or two it becomes much darker

Don't try to make black in one afternoon. Trust me, it doesn't work if you want a true, deep black. 

After taking these pictures I waited a few more days and the black still never dried. 

It's always so sad when such tender loving care goes into making your cookies and then they come out like this! Hopefully this post will spare some of you from the same mistakes.

And thank goodness it was my 2 year old who ate them and not a neighbor or client :) Especially because the first time he saw himself in the mirror he started laughing and then said "Look mommy! Arrrrrrgh, I'm a pirate!"

Happy Halloween everyone! Hopefully your cookies won't turn out quite as scary as mine did. 

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