Thursday, April 4, 2013

How-to Texas Cookies : part one

Here's one thing I learned about making Texas-themed cookies: people not from Texas don't necessarily know about bluebonnets.  They do, however, know about armadillos.
 photo Texassetarmadillomiddle.jpg
So, when Jim (don't you love how I throw that out there like it happens everyday?) wanted Texas cookies for his party, he kind of gave me carte blanche as far as the designs went.  My mind raced.  Even though there would be several different designs, I wanted them to coordinate somehow, so I went with a black outline.

texas bluebonnets and map photo texasbluebonnetsandmap.jpg
I love a black outline for several reasons. 1.) It really makes colors POP.  2.) I think it brings out the whimsical and fun in cookies. 3.) It's an easy way to coordinate a set of cookies that don't have other colors in common.

Right away, I knew that I wanted to break out my armadillo cookie cutter (I mean, how often do you get an opportunity to make armadillos? Thank you, Terri!), AND I remembered some fabulous bluebonnet cookies made by Jennifer, an incredibly talented local cookie decorator.

texas armadillos center photo texasarmadilloscenter.jpg
{This little guy may be my favorite cookie EVER. I'm not sure what that says about me.}

texas bluebonnets side photo texasbluebonnetsside.jpg
To make armadillo and bluebonnet cookies, you'll need:
  • sugar cookies cut with an armadillo cookie cutter and another cutter with a cone shape, I used the gnome cutter, but a Christmas tree also works
  • royal icing, divided and tinted with AmeriColor Super Black, Bright White, Royal Blue & Leaf Green
  • disposable icing bags
  • coupler and tips: #2, #1
  • squeeze bottles 
  • toothpicks
  • green food coloring pen
texas armadillos and bluebonnets outline photo texasarmadillosandbluebonnetsoutline.jpg
Outline the cookies in black using a #2 tip.  Because we're using black icing, let it dry for an hour before filling.

Make a two shades of grey icing using black food coloring. Thin the all of the icings, except black, with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  (Reserve some of the blue icing for piping details later.) 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 bottles as needed.

texas armadillos flood photo texasarmadillosflood.jpg
For the armadillos, flood the entire cookie with the darker shade of grey icing, working 6-8 cookies at a time.  Come back to the first cookie flooded and add lines and dots with the thinned lighter shade.  Let the cookies dry at least one hour, then add eyes and a mouth with black icing, using a #1 tip.

texas bluebonnets flood photo texasbluebonnetsdetail.jpg
For the bluebonnets, working 6-8 cookies at a time, fill in the top petals with white and the rest with blue icing.  Starting with the first cookie filled, drop small dots of thinned white icing at the top of each petal.  Place a toothpick in the center of each white dot and pull down.  Do not wipe the toothpick off between pulls...you want a bit of blue icing on the toothpick.

Flood the leaves with green icing.

Let the cookies dry, uncovered, 6-8 hours or overnight.
texas bluebonnets leaf photo texasbluebonnetsleaf.jpg
The next day, use a green food coloring pen to add variegation to the leaves.

texas bluebonnets set photo texasbluebonnetsset.jpg
In the next post, the rest of the Texas cookies.  See y'all then!
{update: Here's part two.}


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