I am will invloved in a big equestrian event late this summer where I will be putting on a decorating contest for kids. I am a complete newbie and will be donating a theme/3d cake at this event with free advertising and a tent to promote my business. In exchange, I need to perform some sort of decorating contest for kids.
The event planner suggested cookies or cupcakes aprox. 250-300 for the day. I am guessing that there will be say 15 - 20 kids per session for each contest. The idea is to have it be fun and casual for the kids.
I was thinking sugar cookies might be easier to do than baking all those cupcakes, and freezing them so i can get started way ahead of time. I saw a decent looking recipe here on cc for sugar cookies that hold their shape. Is it ok to freeze the sugar cookies - how far ahead of time will be ok?
Also, what sort of icing recipe/decorations and set up might be the easiest to do this? This will be outside I believe and not sure if the contest will be under a tent.
In any case, any suggestions for this newbie on how to make this happen successfully? I am thinking about best recipe for icing (so it doesn't melt). I am thinking providing basic icing colors in various bags held in small buckets at different stations along with sprinkles and such.
Any ideas, suggestions, recipes, tips would be most appreciated. This newbie is a little stressed but this is definitley an opportunity I cannot pass up as it will be a great way to promote my new business specializing in 3d/theme cakes to an affluent VIP crowd.
kids are "my bag"...
I would freeze cookies ahead of time- simple shape like stars or circles.
I WOULD DO COLOR FLOW ICING- simple, in a bottle (think nasty, germy kid hands- not great for pastry bags).
I would probably do the "toothpick swirl" decorating (think cheap, disposable, easy...)
I might make available some sprinkles, or "pre-made" royal icing decorations (LIMITED to x number per kid).
Needs to be fast, simple, and limited quantity. Some kids will cost you $2 each just in the icing they will pile on!
Make "rules". One cookie, one paper plate, 10 toothpicks, colorflow icing, one spoonful of sprinkle choice, 2 royal icing pre-made choices. They get their plate and "go"- no more, no way. Adapt as you see fit.
Older kids could use tweezers to "place" or sort sprinkle or jimmes and lay out patterns. Maybe make some available to the kids and wash between kiddos.
PS. Paper plate makes great "judging" platform too. Have kids write their name ON BACK of the plate, and you put a number on the front, and say "Hi Sally, you are #2". That way, "judges" don't see names, but Sally knows she is #2 if she "wins". They you put on the cookie, toothpicks, and a spoonful of the sprinkles they choose, royal icing decorations, and send them off to decorate.
"Prize" can be a choice of cupcakes, special ones designed and displayed by you. That way, you showcase your cake AND cupcakes. So 300 kids/ 20 per session= 15 "prize" cupcakes.
Thank you for the ideas. What is color flow icing? Can Imake it or buy it in bulk? Where might I get the decorations and squirt bottles bulk and cheap - any ideas?
what I call color flow is just diluted royal icing. I add extra water to it get it to "run" a bit. Wilton bottles (looks like clear ketchup or mustard picnic bottles) are about $1.50 per pair at Walmart. I would use red, yellow, blue, and white. Two bottles of each color should be fine (for each session).
I started a thread for the sprinkles and pre-made royal icing decorations- here are the answers.... http://forum.cakecentral.com/cake-decorating-ftopict-583603-.html You can also make some drop flowers with royal icing yourself. Maybe some eyeballs too. Don't forget cheaper options like "Nerds" candy or other tiny candy you can buy in bulk. Mini chips, mini m&ms, etc.
Make sure YOU practice so you know how much time you have. Most kids are bored after 15 minutes. Also, make some cookies yourself, with the provided materials so kids see some examples....