Over the weekend we went to my hubands family reunion in Southern Oregon and went camping, boating and relaxed for the weekend. It was a ton of fun (see below for more pictures from our trip). We each brought items to share and contribute to the meals and snacks. I made some decorated sugar cookies. I have been thinking about attempting these really pretty sugar cookies for a really LONG time but hadn't worked up the courage since I tried it a couple of times a few years back to catastrophe of epic proportions which resulted in me throwing the cookies out.
I started reading cookie decorating blogs to get some inspiration and tips and tricks to make my decorating experience go smoother the next time I attempted it and let me tell you it WORKED, so much easier. My favorite blog is The Sweet Adventures of Sugar Belle she has so many cute ideas and her cookie recipe and royal icing recipe both work great. I love her tips and tricks especially and she even gives you a free printable color chart on how to make various colors also sweetopia has a lot of good tips
Some tips and tricks I learned are:;
1. To beat your frosting a lot...until it almost resembles meringue for a lemon meringue pie and then thin it down to the consistence you want using a spray bottle and a little water at a time
2. I used a 20 second technique frosting where it takes 20 seconds for the icing to smooth out...most decorators use a 10 second technique but they have to have 2 different consistencies (one for outlining and one for filling) I don't like cleanup and wanted to simplify so I use this one consistency to outline and fill the cookies. Just do the outlining, wait a couple of minutes before filling.
3. If you want the decorations to be smooth like the dots on the cupcake wrappers below make sure to add them right away before the icing has time to set up, if you want them to be more 3-D like the elephants ear below wait about an hour to pipe it on.
4. I used bottles (they come in 8oz and 2oz sizes) and a #3 tip to do the decorating/filling on all of these cookies, another great tip/trick is to place your icing in plastic wrap and then place inside a piping bag like here
5. Color, prepare, and fill all bottles/piping bags with all of the colors you want (plan out what colors you will want before starting). I started with the light colors and used only one measuring cup to color all of the icing. (Ex. made yellow then orange then pink, etc on up to a small amount of black-sometimes I was able to use any leftover icing from one color to make the next color or just scrapped the bowl out if the next color couldn't be made from the previous color-cut down on dishes)
6. I keep a damp cloth near by to clean tips off and toothpics to clear tips if they get clogged. Toothpicks are also good for popping any bubbles that occur.
Here are some pictures from out camping family reunion
My niece with her jumbo campfire marshmellow-she was a perfect marshmellow roaster
K's First s'more-I don't think it went over very well, she didn't like her hands being sticky
K-fell in love with a kitty
Anya enjoying a cookie