You're a Peach!

Peaches.  Peaches are my absolute favorite thing about summer.  Peaches and tomatoes. 
Am I right?
If you've never eaten a Texas peach, get yourself on down here quick.  I hear Georgia has peaches, too.  Have you ever been to Atlanta?  Did you notice that every other street is called Peachtree?  Nope, not confusing at all.

I lived in Atlanta for a bit after college, in flight attendant training for Delta.  Would you like to hear another flight attendant story?  Oh yay.

I remember my mom was so excited for me to go through training so I could come home and teach her the proper way to pack a suitcase.  I was looking forward to learning the best way to pop open a Coke can without breaking a fingernail.

Well, turns out...flight attendant training is really about the safety and health of the passengers, not packing suitcases and popping Coke cans.  Who knew?

One day in training, the instructor was talking to us about dehydration...signs a passenger might be dehydrated and a warning to avoid it ourselves.

"A lot of people walk around in a dehydrated state and don't even know it," our instructor said.  A sweet girl in my class raised her hand and asked, "Is Georgia one of those dehydrated states?"

And that's my flight attendant story for the day.

Let's make some decorated peach cookies!  You'll need:
  • peach shaped sugar cookies
  • royal icing tinted peach (using a mix of AmeriColor Soft Pink & Lemon Yellow), chocolate brown, and leaf green
  • disposable icing bags
  • couplers and tips: #2, #4, & #3
  • squeeze bottles, one preferably with a small, removable tip
  • toothpicks
  • clean paintbrushes (2)
  • cotton swab
  • AmeriColor Soft Pink & Lemon Yellow food coloring
  • meringue powder
  • clear sanding sugar
Use a #2 tip to outline the body of the peach in peach icing. Reserve some of the piping consistency icing.

{I made peach by mixing together AmeriColor soft pink & lemon yellow colors.  No real ratio here...mix it a bit at a time until you get the shade you desire.}

Thin the remaining peach icing with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin.  Count of 2-3 is good.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed.  Pour into squeeze bottle.

Fill in the outline with the thinned flood icing, using a toothpick to guide to the edges and to pop large air bubbles.

Use a #4 tip to pipe a stem with brown icing.

For the leaves, thin the icing as directed for the peach icing, but instead of thinning it all the way, stop when the ribbon of icing is thicker than regular flood icing, and disappears in 12-15 seconds.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Transfer the icing to a squeeze bottle with a smaller tip. (Usually these are bottles with removable tips.  Use the one provided or use a #2 icing tip.)  Pipe an outline with this slightly thinned icing and immediately fill entirely with the same icing.

Switch the tip on the peach piping icing to a #3 and pipe detail onto the body of the peach. It's very similar to making a heart.

Let the cookies dry uncovered overnight or 6-8 hours.

The next day, mix about 1 drop of each soft pink and lemon yellow colorings with 2 drops of water. Combine with a paintbrush.
Dip a cotton swab into the mixture, blot on a paper towel until most of the color is gone, then dab onto one side of the cookie.

Let dry for 30 minutes.

If desired, add some sparkly peach "fuzz."  When I make cookies, sometimes get indecisive about whether I like with sanding sugar or without.  Instagram voted "with," and I agree, but feel free to skip this step if you like fuzz-free.

Mix 1/2 teaspoon meringue powder with 1/2 teaspoon water.  Brush onto the body of the peach, sprinkle on the sanding sugar and shake off the excess.  I use a basket-style coffee filter to catch the excess.

Peachy keen, jellybean.

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