I hope to find out about how the kids liked them. Ironically, my own child is on vacation this week and will get the leftovers at home.
I had a flag cookie cutter. One of the cheap plastic ones that comes in the set of 100 for around $5-10 I find about half of the cutters in those sets utterly useless. It’s as if the designers have never actually used a cookie cutter. The flag actually has a pole which is about 3/16 wide and always, always breaks off when you move the dough, and would certainly break off after they bake. So who needs it.
I didn’t have any pattern to work from. I just go with the flow. I piped the curve against the pole so it would be smooth. The black is spread on. The skull and bones and flagpoles are piped on freehand.
It’s just seeing what you come up with. It;s always good to have enough extra for breakage, mistakes and the learning curve.
The inspiration came from my day care provider who, after I offered to do a snack for the kids, mentioned that they were looking for something for pirate week. I thought about all the pirate-y things I could, and decided that this was the ticket.
I bagged each one along with a chocolate coin. Here’s a shot of them all done.
I mentioned that I was always up at 2:30 am tying bows (aaaarrrrgh!).
Earlier in the day I spent about 1/2 hour drying/crisping the cookies due to the humidity. I baked them last week and froze them. Normally, I would have just baked a day or two in advance and then stored them in a keeper box. But I just knew they would sog out. So I froze them, and planned to recrisp them before decorating. I put them in the convection oven at about 250 degrees, until they seemed slightly browner and much crisper than before. When I bake in the fall and winter, this isn’t a problem.
This is my timeline for 36 bags from a batch of 40 cookies:
9:00 pm - come down from putting kids to bed (or getting home late, eating dinner and cleaning up). Make icing.
9:15 pm start icing cookies. It took about 40 minutes to do the black. Normally, i can “face” dip and sweep off excess, except for the fact that the base doesn’t cover the whole cookie. These had to be spread with a spatula.
9:50 pm - realize that with the humidity we are experiencing, my cookies are absorbing the moisture from the icing before it can dry, thus the cookies are in danger of getting soft. Which I hate. I pride myself on a cookie with “snap”. Snap is difficult when its humid. Pull out fan so cookies will dry before tomorrow.
10:00 pm - first cookies iced are dry enough to do the flag poles. Make up brown and pipe flag poles. This didn’t take long.
10:10 pm - most cookies are dry enough to do the skulls. Adjust icing for the right consistency. Take one of your least favorite cookies and see how you are going to draw a skull and crossbones.
10:12 pm - determine that you chose a too-large tip. Switch tips. Try again. If you are lucky by the time you get into your actual cookies needed, you will have found your rhythm and now you are a pro at whatever you happen to be piping.
10:25 pm - your rhythm and ease at piping the skulls gets really easy. You are in the skull and crossbones groove. You are very happy with the results.
10:35 pm - you have about 6 cookies left and you are getting tired of them. You finish the last one, which always looks kind of odd.
10:40 pm - turn on fan. Dump all the icing coated stuff into a big bowl of water. Find something to do (like catch up on Rose’s Forums) until the cookies are dry enough to put in bags.
11:00 pm - Cookies can be handled, but not bagged. Take a few pictures and post on forum.
1:00 am - cookies are dry enough. Bag them up, tie them up. Stop to look for something to hold a crimp in the stiff cello bag to make tying easier. Find something that works. It does make it easier.
2:00 - all done. Bagging always seem to take an eternity. Always.
2:15 am - Take some pics of the bagged cookies. Don’t they look festive. Plan to post on forum tomorrow.
That’s why we are up so late.
That and it avoids the “uncontrolled children” aspect of cooking. I say that due to a specification in the Home Kitchen regulations that state “No animals or birds or uncontrolled children shall be allowed in the food preparation area.” Sometimes when I am cooking dinner, and the kids are circling the island in the throes of some inter-galactic battle, I cry “UNCONTROLLED CHILDREN! OUT OF THE KITCHEN”.
Now I am not a certified kitchen. But I am practicing. Some day I hope to be certifiable. . .I mean certifiably . . . No really, I meant certified. Um . . . well, anyhow.
To all those certifiably dedicated to the pastry arts, Cheers! and a hearty yo ho ho!
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