I'm sure this must have been covered a thousand times but I am making the favors for a friend's wedding in March and they will need to travel with me on a 20 minute flight. I'm doing 400 sugar cookies in a wedding cake shape and I am wondering how much lead time do you think I will need?
The design is pretty basic, I think (of course I am totally new at this, too) just a white RI, trim, and flowers. I plan on doing a lot of practicing but I'm wondering what the best plan is. Should I bake everything that week? Bake, decorate and freeze? Bake and freeze then decorate later? How long will the cookies last once decorated? I'm using an impulse sealer for them - will that extend the life? How do I pack everything for the flight? I didn't even think about that yet.
I'm sorry if these are a lot of questions but this friend did a lot for my wedding and she's one of my husband's best friends and I really want this to turn out right for her since this is also my wedding gift (even though she doesn't know that part yet.)
You can for sure bake the cookies ahead of time and freeze them. I've done that and they tasted great.
I've not frozen iced cookies but many here have with great results.
Since you still have time, you may want to do a trial run. Make the cookies in different stages and then freeze them (plain, iced, decorated). Give them about a week or two and then take them out to thaw. You'll see what results will be and can plan from there.
As far as traveling, i guess you'd pack them same way people here pack to ship. You'll need to pack the cookies very well individually with bubble wrap in a tight fitting box. Then put that box into a slightly larger box and seal. You could check it in or ship it straight to your friend's house without having to worry about the flight.
If you want to make RI drop flowers or other small compact flowers, you could do them in advance. Cut pieces of parchment paper, pipe the flowers and you have them ready to go on your cookies. After baking, you need only outline the cookies and with small dab of RI glue the ready made flower - similar to the sugar flowers you can buy in grocery store.
The prepared RI flowers can be stored in cardboard box, in dark and dry place.
As for the cookies - again you can prepare well in advance. Either cut parchment paper to size of your cookie sheet, roll out the dough and cut out the cookies. Place the parchment with unbaked cookies on a cookie sheet and freeze it. You can stack these frozen sheets or carefully roll them (not bending the cookies). Put it in big plastic bag and store in your freezer. When you need them, you can take it out and simply bake it.
Or you can bake the cookies, leave them undecorated and freeze. Defrost and decorate.
Me personally, I would think about gingerbread cookies - you can bake them in advance and they hold almost without any real limit in a box in cold place (think pantry or dry cellar). The same for RI decorations - you could start to bake them right after New Year and with proper storage, they will taste the same (or develop better taste) in March.
And good luck to you!
If you intend to fly with them, you'll need to check with your airline. They all have different regulations nowadays.
Thank you for the advice. Once my cutters come in next week(I've totally used this as an excuse to buy more cutters!) I'll try different stages and see what works best. Unfortunately I will have to fly since the only way to get there is via plane. (I'm in Hawaii so I have to go from one island to another.)
Try shipping them to the destination so you can be worry free on your flight