Hi everyone, I'm traveling to South America in August to decorate my, soon to be adopted, daughter's birthday and I wanted to make Tinkerbell cookies here and take them with me. Can you guys please give me some tips, what type of recipe is best, what should i use to decorate, fondant, mmf, buttercream, etc and definitely the best way to store them.
Thank you all very, very much for all your help. This means alot to me. Oh, i won't bake over there because there's no AC and i'm not about to have a meltdown.
Hi Shari - First of all, congratulations to you on your upcoming newest member of your family! I expect others will add on here, but I use royal icing, specifically Antonia74's recipe. Once dry, it packages without issue and stacks nicely. Here is the link to her recipe, if you want it:
Regarding her recipe, the meringue powder she uses has vanilla built in, but that in the U.S. does not, so I add 1 tsp. pure van. extract during the last minute of mixing. If I need it to be white, I use ¾ tsp. instead and balance the color with Americolor Bright White. You can also use almond or other flavorings, but obviously you need to watch for any nut allergies. I just ordered some all-natural flavorings and am really happy with them.
When making her RI, dont use too warm of water and dont overwhisk your meringue powder and cream of tartar. When mixing with the powdered sugar, I dont like to let mine get stiff or fluffy. I did that a couple of times before, adding water afterwards to thin and it was too fluffy for me to work with. The rule of thumb that I follow is that it should be relatively fluid so I add that full ¾ cup of moderately warm water initially and mix on low for the 10 min. recommended, adding water as need so as to not let it get thick or fluffy. You want creamy. Once done, run a line of icing across the top. You are watching how long it takes for the icing to disappear. For flooding, I go about 7-10 seconds (closer to 10). For outlining, I have the icing a bit thicker. If I am doing all the same color, I do my border, wait just a bit and flood. If doing outlining, do the outline, let thoroughly dry and then flood the areas.
As for the cookie itself, the NFSC is very popular here as it holds its shape pretty well. NFSC stands for No Fail Sugar Cookie. Here is a link to the recipe:
If you make it, it tastes best with good quality butter (I use Land O'Lakes unsalted butter) and Madagascar pure vanilla extract. You can use Niesen-Massey, but the Cost-Co Kirkland brand is very good at a better cost. However, I recently saw that Cook's Illustrated rated the McCormick Pure Vanilla Extract the highest in taste tests and when I did a batch of rolled out chocolate chip cookies recently, I was very pleased with it. As for the NFSC recipe itself, I reduce the baking powder to 1/2 tsp. Make sure you rolled out dough is well chilled before cutting and then pop back in the fridge before baking so as to reduce spreading. I roll out to 1/4" using the Wilton bands, which I got at Michael's. Make sure your oven is thoroughly preheated.
For Tinkerbell, you will likely need to make a template. Trace your image onto template plastic, which you can find in the quilting section at Joannes (use the lighter weight of the two you will see) Cut it out and place it on top of your rolled out dough. The big trick is to make sure that your dough is well chilled. Use a fine, sharp thin knife with as small a blade as possible ( I prefer use a fine tip Exact-)) and to cut around the template. Once they are cut out, pop them back into the fridge so they will be well chilled before baking to help keep their shape. Wash off your template and store until the next time you need it when you little girl wants Tinkerbell cookies again.
Once dry, I bag my cookies individually in cellophane bags I get at my local cake store and then heat seal them. For shipping, I wrap them in bubble wrap, extending over the front twice and pack carefully with more bubble wrap and peanuts in a box. Considering how important they are I would consider handcarrying them on the plane as luggage bounces all over.
Hope this helps! (and that you haven't fallen asleep by now!) Have fun with your cookies and again, congratulations to you and your family!!!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!! Wow! How could i fall asleep?? That info was the bombdiggity!!!
You are most certainly welcome! I see that you are in Florida so if you bear in mind that humidity can cause longer drying time with icing on cookies and you should be all set. Enjoy your trip!