azlorri Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 4:49pm
post #1 of

Well, my DH thought I was nuts (but this certainly isn't the first time). After looking at all the gorgous cookies here on Cake Central, I decided that I wanted to my hand at decorated cookies. I couldn't make up my mind which recipes to try. So I tried them all! I ended up making three cookie recipes that seem to be most popular here (NFSC, Martha Stewart's and also the Cream Cheese Sugar cookies). Then I decided to try four frostings (MMF, Antonia's Royal, Alice's Icing and Toba's). What fun! I ended up with 8 sets of 12 combinations (the rest got eating during baking/decorating). It's amazing how much the cookie taste changes with the various icings! Then everyone I know has been asked to do "blind" taste tests to help me figure out which recipe I want to keep as my standard. It's been so much fun and I've learned ALOT so I will definitely be better decorating next time!

And, yes, these all ALL my cookie cutters at the moment...I really need to get more! (And, yes, I got all the ideas for the designs from other wonderful designers at Cake Central. Thanks for the great ideas.)

But I do have a question....this was my first time with fondant and I didn't roll it out thin enough. (I used the Wilton fondant roller with 1/8" space rings.) Any suggestions for getting it both thinner and consistant? I LOVE the spacer rings but can't seem to find anything smaller than 1/8"???

I have become SO addicted to sugar (AND THIS WONDERFUL WEBSITE) in the 7 weeks I've been decorating. Wahoo!!!
LL

25 replies
indydebi Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 4:53pm
post #2 of

Those are beautiful!!! And aren't they fun? I told my youngest daughter one day how when she grew up she's be able to tell her kids how she had cookies in the house all the time. With a forlorn look on her face, she said, "Yeah, but I'm not allowed to eat 'em!" icon_biggrin.gif

projectqueen Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 4:54pm
post #3 of

Oh yeah, you are nuts!

Sounds like something I would do!! thumbs_up.gif

So, out of curiosity, which ones won the taste tests?

And, btw, your cookies all came out great! Can't believe you never decorated cookies before. Keep on baking...

mkerton Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 5:00pm
post #4 of

yes we want to know what the favorite was....cookies look great by the way

faithsfancifuls Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 5:02pm
post #5 of

They all look beatiful!! But which combo in your opinion tasted the best? Which icing and cake recipe was the easiest for a newbie to get the best results from?? i plan on trying cookies soon!! thumbs_up.gif

partyhelper Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 5:03pm
post #6 of

Welcome to the world of "I've just got to try that" (Smile)
I made some Superman emblem small cakes for my son's class for his Bday afew weeks ago and I used a pasta machine. I bought it because I was trying out gumpaste flowers, but it was also great for the fondant. It was thin ,smooth and easy to cut. The little cakes came out great!
Your cookies look great, who was the winner?

isakov1 Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 5:20pm
post #7 of

azlorri:

So what did you find worked best for you? I've tried NFSC with Antonias, Alices and Tobas and taste wise, Tobas wins (my husband actually liked them) I just need some more tips on how to work with it. Antonias is great to work with but when I was done there was just too much icing on my cookies(pic in my folder). Alices is good too but I like when I can cover the cookie without having to pipe only....

azlorri Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 5:24pm
post #8 of

That's the problem! There was no ONE winner. (Well, except my three year old who got cookies all weekend.) Every cookie recipe tasted good and slightly different. I liked the flavor of the Cream Cheese Sugar Cookie but I won't use it again for decorated cookies...it was WAY too soft and moist. The No-Fails were just that; simple, tasty and very consistant. I'll probably use that recipe most. Martha Stewart's was fine and I liked the hint of lemon...but it's more ingredients and effort than the No-Fail and the No-Fail had an almost perfectly smooth surface which made icing it so easy!

As for the icing...it's even more confusing. I didn't get a perfect answer. (I love butter cream on cookies...but obviously that doesn't lend itself to detailed decorating and stacking.) Antonia's was easiest to make and work with. It definitely looked the prettiest. But, not as many people in my group liked the taste and the crunchiness. The MMF was fun and easy to work with....but since I put it on too thick it kinda overwhelmed the cookie. Toba Garrett's was a nice texture and fairly easy to work with...but I would use less liquid next time to make it slightly more firm. But, goodness, it's SOOOOOO sweet! As for Alice's Icing...I must have done something wrong. The icing was foamy and very difficult to work with. I never got a smooth surface out of it. (And I'm not really fond of the cream of tarter taste so I probably won't try to tweak it.)

PartyHelper - great idea with the pasta machine. (Just what I need...something to go shopping for!) BTW - I love your Sesame Street Cookies. How did you decorate them? They are adorable and the decoration is so neat.

just_for_fun Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 5:24pm
post #9 of

you're a real natural!! i've made hundreds of cookies, and i still can't make them as nice as these... thumbs_up.gif

partyhelper Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 6:06pm

I love making cookies!
When I made the sesame cookies I used Penny's recipe( Penny's Pastries in Austin Tx One you may want to try. It doesn't need to chill to use it . It calls for 2 cups of butter but in a demo she said you could use half margarine, which I always do. and I leave out the baking powdwer so they don't rise much. and as soon as they come out the oven I roll my mini fondant roller over them, just incase. She has a book called Cookie Stories which is cute and has great recipes. The roll out recipe is in there , but i also found it online at Texasmonthly.com in the Dec. 2000 issue of the mag.)
I usally can't find a cutter so I make a template out of parchment or waxed paper from what ever I can find , if it's not the size I want I scan it and make the size i need. Cut around it on the dough and i have my cookie( Great tip I got from the I.C.E.S. convention was to cut parchment to fit the cutter roll the dough over the parchment and cut the cookie , you might think it too much to do at first but you can pick up the cookie move it around slide in a stick if you want it is WONDERFUL!

For the icing I usually do a standard royal then add creme bouquet flavoring to it becuase it make everyting smell delightful. I color everything in small glass bowls them add water until it is like craft paint and I paint the cookies, let them dry between layers of painting .
When they are completely dry I wrap them in Wal- mart's Sam's Chioce strectchable plastic wrap and hit the with my heat gun to shrink to fit the cookie.
Happy Baking it seems you've got the bug I started on my son's 1 st bday. I made his cake and a favor and now he's 6 and comes to me with the ideas( smile)

azlorri Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 6:16pm

Wonderful suggestions. I'll have to try that recipe next. What is Creme Bouquet?

Yes, I'm definitely hooked. (I needed a birthday cake for my 3 year old last month and my favorite bakery raised her prices to $49 for an 8") so I decided it was time for me to take a Wilton course and try it myself. Didn't know it would be so much fun. I need more REASONS to make cakes. But cookies are different. I don't need a reason to make cookies!!!

partyhelper Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 6:45pm

Creme Bouquet is a flavoring you can find a bakery supply . You can find it online too but if you have one near you, you will love it . I learned about it in a class ,it make cakes and cookies smell devine and people always remember how great the cake or cookies smell. Also the thinned down royal is still good on the cookie but it is not so sweet.

cakeatopia Posted 13 Sep 2006 , 11:12pm

Those are Gorgeous!!! When I first used fondant, I did not roll it out thin enough and the cookies cooled too quickly. I use a cheap clearance "skill" mat for rolling out. I use a rolling pin but have my hands on the center-you can get it thin that waty. One thing that helps loads is my Graham Kerr bash & chop(aka benchscraper) in case it sticks a bit. I think the thinner the fondant is the better. My first batch, though not the best, I still sent to shool with my 3y son and his classmates ate them!

My flower petals kept breaking off when I tried to ice them. They were thick enough, wondering if they were not cooked enough.

Yomomma Posted 15 Sep 2006 , 5:11pm

You do things the way I do! I research, pick several options, try them all at once and do a side-by-side taste testing/appearance looking comparison. I always get my family & friends involved and make them "vote". I then make all kinds of notes on each recipe for future reference.

CakeDiva73 Posted 15 Sep 2006 , 7:10pm

I just wanted to thank you! You saved me some time this weekend as I was planning on doing a little experimenting but wanted to get an idea first.... I sort of thought the Antonia icing looked good but would taste just like that crunchy royal icing, which I don't care for as much.... But her cookies rock so I wanted something that would look as good as it tasted.

I heard Alice's was very good and was going to try it as well as rolled MMF. I also was trying to decide on what cookie recipe to use.... if the Martha one was so tasty, what about adding 1/2 tsp. lemon oil or grated zest to the NF cookie recipe? I have an old standard cream cheese one from my grandma but yikes! It's like soup unless its straight from the fridge after being chilled overnight...

Your cookies are beautiful, BTW.... I will probably be too embarassed to show mine icon_redface.gif

DianaMarieMTV Posted 15 Sep 2006 , 7:21pm

I know this is a little off topic, but do most people here use a pasty bag and tip or a squeeze bottle to flood cookies? I had a heck of a time with the bag, icing leaked out everywhere! Kind of makes me scared to try again!

Yomomma Posted 15 Sep 2006 , 7:33pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by DianaMarieMTV

I know this is a little off topic, but do most people here use a pasty bag and tip or a squeeze bottle to flood cookies? I had a heck of a time with the bag, icing leaked out everywhere! Kind of makes me scared to try again!




I mostly use parchment bags and sometimes the plastic disposable (hate the cost though since I go through so many). I've used the squeeze bottles, but hated filling and cleaning them - but I know some swear by & love them. The bottles would cure your leaking problem.

DianaMarieMTV Posted 15 Sep 2006 , 7:40pm

Do you know if you can put a tip on the bottles or do they have a built in tip already that you're stuck with? Thanks for your reply, by the way!

Diana

Yomomma Posted 15 Sep 2006 , 7:52pm
Quote:
Originally Posted by DianaMarieMTV

Do you know if you can put a tip on the bottles or do they have a built in tip already that you're stuck with? Thanks for your reply, by the way!

Diana




The bottles I bought came w/ a plastic tip (#2 I think) and coupler. But yes, you can use any standard wilton tip in its place.

Tkeys Posted 20 Sep 2006 , 12:43am

I'm a big fan of using rolled buttercream instead of the marshmallow fondant - a little less sweet. If you decide to experiment again, I'd give that a try!

azlorri Posted 20 Sep 2006 , 12:47am

The rolled buttercream sounds yummy....but it looks like a LOT of work (and I'm basically lazy) icon_surprised.gif)

Tkeys Posted 20 Sep 2006 , 1:43am

I don't think it is any more work than the MMF - it mixes up fast and easy, and you can roll it and cut it with cookie cutters. Your cookies look great, by the way.

azlorri Posted 20 Sep 2006 , 2:20am

Oh please post your photos. I just love looking at the pictures (my husband is starting to wonder EXACTLY what kind of website I browse on for so long!) icon_redface.gif

I've only made cookies twice (the past two weekends). And they take WAAAYYYY too long (about an hour per 8 cookies). But I LOVE THEM. So much more fun than cakes!

Tkeys Posted 20 Sep 2006 , 2:54am

Sure - here are 2 cookies I did recently for a wedding shower - it is rolled buttercream with royal icing details.
LL

azlorri Posted 20 Sep 2006 , 3:01am

WOW! Tkeys. They are beautiful. So dainty with lots of details. You must have a lot of patience. icon_surprised.gif)

Tkeys Posted 20 Sep 2006 , 3:06am

Thanks! Actuall, they were pretty fast. The rolled buttercream covers the whole cookie. The heart-shaped cookies just have dots on them, then a pink dot on the V of the heart, and few dots to make the pearls. They were pretty simple. The dress was also just dots to make the dress, and the sash was created with a flattened "snake" then outlining the bottom and the sleeves.

I put a little shimmer dust on the hearts, too. They actually were pretty simple to decorate. I borrowed the idea from cookies I saw on this site, so I can't take any credit for creativity.

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