Continuing with my plan to improve my sugar cookie baking skills in 2013, I spent a few hours Saturday working with royal icing and my piping and flooding techniques. Once upon a time, I would have wanted to make perfect, elaborately-decorated cookies by lesson two, but these days I'm more realistic. If I just got the hang of piping and flooding, I would be happy. I still have much to learn, but for Month Two I am quite pleased! (Again I recommend the book "Cookie Craft," reviewed here.)
It helped immensely that I had already baked the cookies and had them in the freezer before the day's session began. Step one: mixing royal icing into piping consistency and outlining the cookies. That little glob at the bottom is the same thing I do when outlining crafts with Elmer's, so I will work on developing a steadier hand!
The next step was mixing the royal icing into flooding consistency. I flooded my cookie all right, and the first one breached the levee!
Realizing I had gone a little icing crazy on that first effort, I tried a gentler hand, and this little guy turned out much better.
Were they dry yet? I thought so, but those little indentations at right are where I stuck my finger in the wet paint.
I realized I needed to take a side view of the cookies. These were still wet-wet-wet.
But eventually they dried and I piped polka dots on them. Though I think maybe I put too many polka dots. Do these cookies look like they have chickenpox to you? I'm not sure, but I think I'll space out the dots a little more next time. The happy news is that the cookies (including the icing!) are delicious, I enjoyed my cookie decorating session, I learned a few things to improve upon for next time, and hopefully I'm well on my way to becoming a better cookie baker and decorator!