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Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Cookies!

Sooo I love it when Kelly Ripa talks about watching events on TV like gymnastics, ice skating, etc, and totally thinking that she can do it just by watching.  I feel like I'm the same when it comes to crafting, etc.  I see a picture, a tutorial, a video, and I'm like "I can TOTALLY do that".  And then there's always some point in which I say to myself (or perhaps rather loudly to my husband) "WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?" Enter royal icing.

I've always marveled at the beautiful cookies at bakeries with their clean icing and intricate designs. I mean, really, how cute are these?

 But I've never tried royal icing cookies before, and decided for some reason that I needed to do this for Valentine's Day.  I think it started when I asked Drake what kind of valentines he wanted to do, and he told me "ninja ones", since we have ninja cookie cutters. 

I turned to Google for ninja cookie inspiration and found these:

Cute! Seemingly simple! (LOL) 

I started with this cookie recipe that touted that the cookies don't spread after cutting them out, ensuring they keep their shape.   And while I had to add more water to the recipe than it called for, since it was super duper crumbly, these cookies really did hold their shape.  And are pretty good.  Probably better once there's icing on them!

And then I found a video tutorial on icing them, along with a recipe that was supposedly the best, here. (What she failed to mention on the video is what a HUGE mess this is, ha!) This recipe is from the same place as the cookie dough recipe, and what I found was that this recipe ALSO needed a bunch more water than it called for.  Anyway, once I finally got the icing to stand up to the "10 Second Rule", I started the icing process. 

I loaded up the icing bag.  I hate my icing bags.  I need new ones.  Mine are too small (9").  Almost immediately, the super thin icing started squishing out of the top (it does this a tiny bit with buttercream).  Icing up to my elbows, insert "WHAT HAVE I GOTTEN MYSELF INTO?".  This, folks, is the Aimée Way, lol.  I should probably just get some disposable piping bags...they're such a P.I.T.A. to clean anyway.  (note to self, check on Amazon).

I started by icing the circular cookies, and they are allll wonky (they look worse in person, promise).  Not very circular, more oval-ish.  This is how the night ended, with my lovely husband of mine fixing me a cocktail....

And then I started to get the hang of it a bit (BEFORE the cocktail, thank you very much), and once I got to the ninjas, my skillz (yeah, SKILLZ) got better, and they started to look pretty good! Here's a video of me Piping a Ninja (doesn't that sound like the name of a rap song?).  Be jealous of the PJ pants:
Fast forward a day...a trip to Michael's for 16" disposable piping bags...and this girl is in heaven! OMG, so much easier.  No squishing out of the top, a good twist on the bag....and then I got to throw it away when I was done...woot! So here's the finished product:

 I made the toppers in PowerPoint, with some free clipart I found online.  Drake got some great handwriting practice, and I loved to see that he knew how to spell a few of his friends' names!

(Sorry Brent, yours got a little overcooked on the bottom.  Dang oven!) 

 Heart cookies for Violet, a.k.a. Little Miss Sweet Potato, adding the hearts and dots detracts from the oval wonkiness of the white....

Happy Valentine's Day everyone!!!

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