Something Sweet

And in a break from our irregularly scheduled DIY home posts, here’s a baking one.

This summer I’ve been trying to learn to bake a little better. I could not tell you why, but something about being able to bake well has always been something I really wanted to do. I’ve mastered the apple pie, dabbled in a few types of pastries, but have always held off from what I viewed as a pinnacle of a true baker: the decorated cookie. You know, those adorable cookies that are almost too perfect to eat?

Like these from sugarbelle:

I stared on in envy.

BUT NO LONGER.1

Yeah, okay, mine aren’t nearly as pretty, but they’re a start!

With only two weeks left before I head back to school I decided to finally give this a shot. I was determined to do it the right way, so I invested in a stock of some cookie decorating supplies. Total everything came in at less than $25 and I knew I’d probably end up liking it enough to want to try it again.2First I made the dough. Using a mix. Because I am that kind of person. Then I used one of my shiny new circle cookie cutters.

3I chilled them for a few minutes before baking (because apparently that’s the thing to do), and then baked them. I guess I should have left them in the fridge longer because they still flattened out a lot. Luckily with circles it wasn’t as obvious.

Then I mixed up icing loosely following the guide found here. I altered the recipe a bit as I didn’t have corn syrup. I used 1 cup of confectioner’s sugar, a tablespoon of milk and added a drop of almond extract. Mixed all together, I put it in a bag and edged the cookies.4Looking pretty good!

Which, of course, meant that the next step would not be easy. I had to create the “flood” icing and I added waaay too much milk. It ended up too runny and thin. Ultimately I made a new batch of icing and scraped the old icing off, but below you can see the old icing versus the new.

5See, it’s almost see-through.

Then I played around with some blue icing. The cookies from this first test run are by no means perfect. Especially after comparing them to more professional ones, I can tell I made some amateur mistakes. That said, I had a lot of fun and am definitely going to try again soon.

6May not perfect, but they still taste good!

Anyone else try anything new recently? How did it go?

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