Saturday, March 17, 2007

lazy daisy

Sometimes it is really nice to do a task the slow way.

Recently I came across a copy of Meaghan Mountford's new book, Cookie Sensations. It is a little over a hundred pages of everything from icing the Eiffel tower to Elvis onto a cookie. I decided to start with an easy one -- daisies.

Well I can't imagine how long a few dozen Elvises take to do because two and a half dozen daises took most of last Saturday and I mixed up the dough the day before. Still, it was a lovely slow way to spend a day. A few tips I learned from Meaghan:

1. You can dye icing white. This came as a total shock to me. I thought that the only way et get white icing was to use Royal Icing which is beautiful but not very tasty. Turns out Wilton makes white food colouring. And it works.

2. If you think your icing is too thick it probably is. I suffered through about a half dozen cookies before emptying out the icing bag and thinning it a bit. What blessed relief.

3. If you're piping a simple outline, skip the #3 and use a #4 tip instead. Also about six cookies into the day I realized that if I was only doing loopy daisy outlines it was going to go a LOT faster with a slightly larger tip. I wish I had realized this before filling in all the yellow centres with a #3. Good grief, it's not THAT had to change tips!

All in all they came out not too shaby. One thing to keep in mind is that you always need colours in pairs -- one to outline and a lighter version to fill. So these cookies in three shades required six colours of icing (would have been seven but white outlines white just fine.) All that to say do yourself a favour and buy multiple #4 & #6's so you're not constantly washing out tips. And to whoever it was who invented the disposable icing bag, I salute you.


JAnie & DAve said...

Very very pretty. What a nice way to think about spring! But how did they taste? I know, i know, the end does not justify the means, because of course they are beautiful and if all you did was look at them, that would be more than enough, but i bet you ate some, or at least asked the people who ate them how they tasted.. so... did all that hard word go down smooth?
I starting making simple, one bowl chocolate cupcakes last night and then remembered that our oven is broken, so i had to make mini cupcakes in our toaster oven. They turned out so cute and mini, love it.. but it was alot of icing as well. But i went simple, with dots and lines and only one color. In your book do they talk about 'flour icing'.. it has another name, but it made with a flour and milk paste that is then mixed with butter and sugar and it the best, creamiest-but-not-whipped cream icing i have ever had.
We are off to bed very soon, have a really great week.
Love Janie

kelly said...

wow - those cookies look great! You must have been feeling patient...i'm not sure i could have done them all!
i'm totally not a baker, but i've heard you can do icing with ziploc bags, by cutting the bottom corner of the bag as your tip. May be cheaper than buying the real deal, and that way you can cut them to size too. But what do I know???? i don't bake!!!

◄THIS IS ME said...

Just watched your "Rubber Ducky" video on YouTube. Haha, good job with the home movie!

Meaghan Mountford said...

Hi Claire,
In my obsessive, sort-of-vain search for my name (to see how the book is doing), I came across your blog and "lazy daisy". I've been decorating cookies for so many years, it's hard to remember the experience of the first-time decorator, so it was helpful to read your post. I've been so curious to know how people other than my mom use the book. Your daisies look great!

You're right on with all of your comments about the thick frosting, buying several tips, the many colors needed, and definitely the time-consuming part. I can't even count the number of hours I spend in my tiny, tiny kitchen making hundreds of cookies for research.

Thanks for using my book and posting your comments. It was so reassuring to see your daisies!