Before I begin, I would like to mention that I will be using a lot of the same decorating related terminology in each post. When a new term arises, I will do my best to explain it, or add a link. If you are just joining my journey now, feel free to check out this link that James shared in the comments of my last post. It contains many useful definitions. Thanks James!!
Now, let’s dig in! After receiving some great feedback from classmates on my post last week about my first attempt at cookie decorating, I decided that I would try something a little more difficult this week. Let’s just say it did not go exactly as planned…
My plan this week was to try a more difficult design that had more than one layer. My goal was to create some little pumpkin pies. I began by flooding the cookies in the middle with an orange icing. I made my icing a little thinner than last time and also tried using a bag without a piping tip. I cut a little hole in the end and it worked well. I can see why many decorators prefer to flood without a tip as you can easily throw the bag out when you are done as opposed to having to flip it open to find the piece of your tip stuck inside.
Disaster struck when I attempted to pipe the border around to make the crust of my “pies”. Apparently, my royal icing was too runny to hold and it turned into this sloppy mess that looked more like a raw, uncooked pie.
I continued trying to thicken my icing by adding more powdered sugar, but it did not seem to make much of a difference. I went to my cookie decorating group on Facebook to ask for help. The replies mostly stated that it was still not thick enough. When clarifying how thick was “thick enough,” many people seemed to say that their ideal consistency for details is right out of the bowl when the icing is first made. Now, my icing definitely was not that thick at the beginning. This lead me to adding even more sugar and trying again a few times until it seemed at least thick enough to hold itself. Once I finished the boarders, I decided that it still was not thick enough. For my “whipped cream” dollop in the middle, I added EVEN MORE sugar until it was so thick I could hardly stir it. My end result was a little better:
All in all, they turned out okay. I am a bit of a perfectionist so I was not super happy with them, but there was definitely some improvement between the beginning and the end attempts. I did not enjoy eating these ones as much as the ones from last week as I found there was way too much cookie to icing ratio. I also forgot to put the vanilla in the icing so it mostly tasted like sugar.
Next time, I am going to try a few things: – Continue tying to flood using a tipless bag as that seemed to make no real difference and made my clean up easier. – Remember to put the vanilla in my icing! – Try a different royal icing recipe to see if my end product, before adding water to thin it, is as thick as these other members have described.
As Thanksgiving is this weekend, I will be taking a short break, but will be back next week with a new attempt!