Posts Tagged 'white'

How To Frost Sugar Cookies – Classic Royal Icing

Hokay so. I just cannot get over the cuteness of these cookies. I would take these to market. I was super nervous about decorating them, but luckily, the real cookie-decorating pros like Bridget over at Bake At 350 know what they are doing. Girl is a marvel.

If I can do this, you can do this. I think I made a couple mistakes along the way, but I will point them out to you, and then you will be even better, deal? Deal.

 

Royal icing is basically egg whites and sugar beaten together–a cinch. Bridget uses meringue powder because you can get a more consistent result not worrying about how large your eggs are or getting a bit of yolk in your whites that will cause them to remain flat, lifeless and useless except for supposedly heart-healthy lunch omelets. For more on how to give your egg whites life to the full, please read this post.

The key to a great royal icing is to beat them just right. That is, you shouldn’t beat them too much, as I did. It led to problems.

Once beaten, you can separate your icing into bowls and color it however you want. Once colored, you can put it into a pastry bag with a piping tip as I did, or put it into those cool little squeeze bottles, of which I wish I was the proud owner. They’re durn useful in unicorn sugar cookie situations.

But wait! There’s more!

In addition to your stiff royal icing, you need to make what is called flood icing. I divided my recipe in half and made half of the stiff stuff into the thinner flood icing. I did this by stirring in one teaspoon of water at a time until the frosting was the consistency of syrup. If you lift a little out of the mixing bowl and let it fall, the icing should take about 2-3 seconds to reabsorb into the rest of the icing. Kinda tricky, but there has to be a bit of leeway if I got it on the first try. You can put your flood icing into a piping bag, but I think in this case, a squeeze bottle would definitely work better.

So now you are ready to frost your unicorn cookies and bring smiles to the faces of women at baby showers everywhere. Begin by piping an outline of your cookie with the stiff royal icing. You hafta make it all the way around with no breaks in the icing. Mine had a break on the right side that I had to go back and fill in. Also, if you want to stick anything into the icing like the little dragees I used on the tip of the horn, make sure to stick them in right away. I was working with about four cookies at a time, but I did press in a dragee after piping each one.

And see how this icing looks a bit strung out and pitted? Yeah, that is because I over-beat it. It could also possibly be that my icing technique is less than super quality, but I’d like to think that is not true.

Then, you fill in the piped outline with flood icing. The flood icing should not be thin enough that it flows into the corners by itself. You kind of have to maneuver it around with a toothpick to get it into all the corners. (In my case, I used the end of a metal skewer that I found in the back of a drawer. It was sufficient, if not perfectly kosher.)

In retrospect, I should have doubled the frosting recipe. I frosted around 36 cookies and this batch of frosting was just enough–not a lotta room for mistakes.

Saweeto! Once the base frosting was dry, I gave the unicorns a purple royal icing swirl for a mane and used an edible marker to make little eyes.

You want to wait a good few hours or overnight before packaging the cookies so the frosting doesn’t mess up. I was worried that they would dry out, but I found out that royal icing is like sparkly lip gloss. It looks pretty, and it provides a moisture seal so the cookies don’t dry out as quickly as an unfrosted cookie. Yeah? :]

I couldn’t resist using my baker’s twine. Most of the time I can’t resist cute things, so no surprise there.

Ta,

Lauren

Royal Icing

Adapted from Bake At 350

4 tablespoons meringue powder
scant 1/2 c. water
1 pound (4 cups) powdered sugar
1/2 – 1 tsp light corn syrup
a few drops clear extract (optional)

Combine the meringue powder and water in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat until foamy. Sift in your powdered sugar, and beat on low speed to combine. If you want, add the corn syrup to keep your icing shiny and any extracts you want to flavor your icing.

Beat on medium/high speed until stiff, shiny peaks form (see picture above) and peaks do not fall when jiggled. Do not overbeat or your icing will get crackED.

Use immediately or cover icing with plastic wrap until ready to use.

To make flood icing to fill piped outlines, stir in water with a rubber spatula one teaspoonful at a time until icing is the consistency of syrup. According to Bridget, you should be able to spoon up a little icing and let it fall back into the bowl. If it takes 2-3 seconds to disappear back into the rest of the frosting, you’re golden.

Favorite Shot: Shameless Butterfly

I love butterflies shamelessly. And it’s really ok because I’m a girl. No one blinks twice at a girl who loves butterflies. But even if you blinked thrice I would still love them because they are so fabulous. Just look at this picture. By the way, I totally faked this macro shot.

I found this one after a morning run. I see a lot of wildlife in the mornings at camp. Surrously, I’ve seen prolly sixty bunnies on the road. Live on the road. It makes a run that would otherwise seem like folly a little more bearable. Because let’s be real, no one really loves going on runs early in the morning. You can like it, but ‘love’ is a little too strong for 6 am.

Another random fact I learned about bugs this summer: Flies actually do taste things with their feet. Your fourth grade teacher was right all along.

Have such a happy day,

L

Pipe Dream #30: To Imitate A Fabulous Couple

As I was talking to a friend at the wedding I did a couple of weeks ago, I was struck by this thought: Everyone is so happy about this wedding. There is an infectious joy surrounding it.

It’s like everyone has known that their relationship was so right for so long that it was just complete joy to see their marriage finally come to pass. The Lord is totally present here.

Of all the weddings I’ve ever attended, this one just felt so perfect.  The pastor was funny. He mixed super formal phrases (“Let no one put asunder”) with more informal notes. The bride looked smashing.  The reception dance was off the chain. Plus, the venue looked AWESOME. The bride had such a vision for the space, and the bridal party worked some long hours putting it together.

I actually mingled at this wedding. And danced. Oh ma word, introvert Lauren! You deserve a pat on the back. Here are some comments from other people with which I could not agree more:

“They are best friends. I’m excited to see how the Lord uses them together.”  Amen.

“They are both so, so kind and generous.” And that is so TRUE.

“It has been so neat to see him grow in his relationship with her. I have never seen their relationship affect others in anything less than a positive way.” And that is SO true.

I am totally blessed by the couple’s friendship, kindness and dedication to Jesus. And knowing that made all my stresses about the cupcakes being dry seem unimportant.

That said, I wilt offer thou a couple of little notes to anyone making a wedding cake in the near future that will hopefully save you some stress:

1)   Do not drive 2 hours with a fully assembled wedding cake on the seat next to you. The frosting WILL fall off and you will have to fix it later. Your hyper-extended arm that didn’t even still the cake for the whole ride will be quite sore upon arrival at the venue. You will realize you forgot your clear vanilla at home and the fixer frosting will be ivory instead of white. You will feel like crying about that. Then you will remember that the bride and groom as SO CHILL, and you will feel better.

2)   Incidentally, the cupcakes were a bit dry after making them two days in advance. (The cake was so incredible, though. Recipe here.) They would have been better day of. I am going to experiment with freezing cupcakes in the future. I haf my doubts.

3)   Do not plan two weddings and 14 hours of driving plus 250 cupcakes and a two-tier cake in one weekend. Although rewarding, it is unwise. I can’t take credit for the little bump the cake suffered on its way to the venue (although the groom can). I covered it with that white ranunculus, and I thought it looked all right.

What a joy to be part of such a lovely day. I hope ya’ll like this cake–it was nearly the death of me.

Heh,

Lauren

Pipe Dream #20: To Make a Wedding Cake

Here it is! The “wedding cake!” The fruit of my amateur labor!

And there is the beautiful couple. Jackie had the wonderful idea for the topper–super classy and cute. Seriously, have you seen some of the toppers out there these days? Come, come Wilton. We can do better. I refuse to use a cut plastic sculpture of a dancing Barbie and Ken for my non-existent wedding.

The beauty of this cake was truly in the details. The pearls were both perfectly pretty and heinously annoying–they kept rolling all over the floor. But the effect was worth a few more floor sweeps, I think. Probably I think that because I wasn’t the one sweeping and still finding pearls on the second floor weeks later…


We kept the main frosting a traditional white and used a linen-y sort of yellow for the detailing. I think perhaps the pictures make it look a little more yellow than it was, but just by a shade or two.

I put up a lot of photos. I was really happy about them, and I couldn’t choose which ones I liked best. Please excuse my enthusiasm.

Look at the picture she chose for the other side of the topper! Super adorable. Their dog is their baby.

And here is my beautiful and creative helper and friend. Thanks for making this so fun, Jackie! Couldn’t have managed this project without you. And seriously, if y’all ever want an interior decorating consult or a haircut, let me put you in touch–she does good work.

For some reason, I say y’all on my blog way more than I do in real life,

Lauren

Pipe Dream #17: To Live With Flowers

Haha, dream on self?  Receiving flowers is a rare treat, and it makes me appreciate them all the more. Surprise flowers never lose their appeal. It doesn’t even matter who they’re from–they’re a breath of fresh air in this plastic concrete world.

They are a reminder of spring in an inanimate winter.

And they are an thoughtful expression of love any day of the week.

This post has been sentimental. Sorrah,

L


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