Years ago, when we were just married - literally, it wasn't even a week - Josh was offered a position to complete a year-long fellowship in Phoenix, and we accepted. A few weeks before we moved across the country, we spent the weekend with good friends of ours, Ari and Leah, and I offered to bring a dessert. I made rice krispie treats, tinted it green, pressed it all down into a rectangular shape on a cookie sheet and cut it all out into a big cactus shape. You get it? We were moving to the desert. I thought it was funny.
Anyway, after I made them, I cleaned up, I washed the bowl, the spoons and threw the extra rice krispie treat scraps in the garbage. Fast forward twelve hours, we served the rice krispie cactus for dessert and I was asked how I made it. So I explained what I did, that I cut the cactus shape out of a rice krispie rectangle. It was at that point that Josh asked what I did with the rest of the pieces, and well, this is kind of how it went down:
Josh: Where's the rest of it?
Me: What do you mean?
Josh: Did you put the rest of the rice krispie treats away?
Me: No, I threw them out. Why?
Josh, totally horrified: You threw them out? Like in the garbage? Me: Yeah, why?
Josh: Cause we don't do that. Those were perfectly good rice krispie treats.
Me: Hmm. Okay then.
So the new rule - never ever throw out any baked good or pastry or dessert item, no matter how small, how odd-looking or how bad I think it tastes. Josh will always taste it and then make an executive decision as to whether or not we should devote precious counter space to keeping it. And I have been faithful to this new rule ever since.
So why do am I telling this story? Because this week I made my first attempt at decorating cookies with a glace icing. They didn't turn out as pretty as I had hoped they would, but they aren't awful either. Here, I'll show you:
I've decorated cookies many times before but I usually played around with fondant to decorate them. Fondant on a cookie is pretty foolproof, aesthetics-wise, but tastewise, well, to quote Ari (yup, the same Ari as above), "Jen, it tastes like doody". No really, that's a direct quote.
This time I used a glace icing, and while these football shaped cookies did not come out anywhere close to perfect, they weren't as bad as I thought they would be. I had half a mind to throw them out but I didn't. I know my place as woman. Instead, I called Josh in. He tasted them and deemed them eat-worthy, so stay they must. At that point, I had only iced half the cookies with chocolate icing, I hadn't even gotten to the part where I had to ice the white lines on the footballs. But since I wasn't throwing them out, I had to finish.
The glace icing recipe is really a very good one, this wasn't the icing's fault, it was mine. I feel like I just need more practice. Here is the glace icing recipe I used, from Toba Garrett, a cake decorating guru:
Toba Garrett's Glace Icing:
1 lb. of powdered sugar (about 4 cups)
3/8 cup milk or warm water
3/8 cup light corn syrup
extract flavoring as desired
Mix the sugar and water until fully incorporated. Mix in the light corn syrup until just combined. Ice your cookies to your heart's content.
To make the chocolate icing for the footballs, I added two tablespoons of cocoa powder to the powdered sugar before adding the water or corn syrup.
To make the white lines, I made another batch of icing, just much less, dividing the ingredients by four and only making a quarter of a batch. And if you have been following along, you will know that I would not have the first clue as to how to divide 3/8 of a cup by 4. So I called Josh at work. Not even two seconds later, his first answer was 3/32 of a cup. That meant nothing at all to me, there is no 3/32 of a cup on a measuring cup and Josh, knowing that I would hang up on him if that was his final answer, came up with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons. Sounded good to me. I went with 1 and 1/2 tablespoons and it worked, so go Josh!
Once the icing was mixed, I used a small spoon to drop less than a teaspoon of icing on a cookie and used the back of the spoon to push it out to the edge. In retrospect, I should have put the icing in a pastry bag and outlined the cookies first so that when the rest of the icing was added, there would be a border to stop the icing from spreading. But I didn't. And if you factor in that my cooling rack where I was placing the iced cookies and my counter in my very old house are both very much not level, well, what you get is icing dripping off the sides of the cookies. Oh well. I'll know for next time.
After the chocolate icing dried - I let it dry overnight - I put the white icing in a pastry bag (I'm learning) and piped the lines on the footballs. Those dried and I cleaned up. But I didn't throw anything out. I promise.
I packed them up for tomorrow's Superbowl party, which is thankfully, not in my house - thanks Moldie! I had made thirty-something cookies but only twenty made it into the box. The rest are in a bag on the counter because even though they are broken and have icing all over them, I learned my lesson years ago. They will be eaten.
Not bad for a first try. But not great either. And now the challenge is on. I must try again or the icing and my uneven kitchen will have bested me.
Are you a Mom?
Of course you are,
your shirt is dirty :)