More sugar cookie experimentation! I was really worried about these after the piping and flooding of the white backgrounds. The flooding dried so uneven and the piping around was horrible.
I seem to have forgotten the lesson I supposedly learned with the snowflakes. I didn't like how it looked when I piped, let it dry, then flooded the backgrounds. So why did I do it here? No idea. I should have done what I did then - piped and flooded with the same 10-second royal icing at the same time. That way I can smoosh the edges around a little to make the shape nice and round.
I received a great tip though from Aunt Mary on a cookie forum. She said to use a slightly smaller cutter and make an impression on the dough before baking so that I'll be able to follow that impression when outlining the background shape. Brilliant! I was thinking that if I don't have the next size down cutter, maybe I could use the same cutter and make the impression on the freshly baked cookie, since it spreads a bit in the oven.
Once the cookies were decorated, the lumpy, bumpy white background didn't look as bad.
Above is my first attempt at writing. I think that it looks like a kindergartener did it. I used a #1.5 tip and wrote on the cookies first with edible markers. My hands were shaking and it felt so uncomfortable to follow those tiny letters.
So I decided to go bigger and free-hand. That felt so much better. Still looks pretty rough.
Then I started just playing around, practicing different things. I used a #1.5 for all of the details.
Oh gosh. Those clocks look just terrible. No, a small child didn't pipe those. The one on the very bottom was a #2 tip. What a huge difference between #1.5 and #2!
Piping the outline with a different color sure does draw attention to the the bad job I did with it. They remind me of Dali's watch. Ok, not quite that bad, but definitely misshapen.
Here's a bunch of them together. I'm really not pleased with this whole batch. Writing is going to take some practice. It sure wasn't as fun as the others I've done. I won't give up though.
The confetti cookies are probably my favorite. Sweet and simple. Ha! At first, I used a pizza wheel to cut them out but they were so wonky that I scrapped them. Then I used my smallest square cutter and used the pizza wheel to cut those in fourths. I baked them for just 6 minutes. They were piped and flooded together with the same consistency at the same time. By the time I got to the confetti, the lessons previously learned were finally starting to take hold. I appear to be a slow learner, huh?
I did some baking experimentation with this batch also.
I wanted to see if chilling the dough would make any difference in the definition and spread of the baked cookie shape. I chilled some of the dough for about 20 minutes before rolling and cutting. After I baked them, they looked just like the unchilled ones.
I wonder if I chilled them again, after cutting them out, if that would make any difference. I'll try that sometime with some intricately shaped cutters.
I also wanted to test some of my pans. I don't like for the cookies to brown much, if at all, on the edges. I have some thinner cookie sheets that I don't use very often but want to add to the rotation so I always have a cool pan. It turns out that the cookies bake faster on the thin sheets. They came out with brown edges when baked for the same time as those on my thicker cookie sheets. So I baked the cookies for one minute less on the thin sheets and they came out perfectly.
So let's see what I learned this time.....
Lesson 1 - Do not pipe with thick icing, wait to dry, then flood with thinner icing. Maybe I shouldn't be so definitive. I should try Aunt Mary's trick. When my piping skills improve I should have better luck. I actually don't like the look of it this way anyway, so what I should do is use Aunt Mary's trick, then outline and flood together with 10-second icing. Yeah, that's it!
Lesson 2 - #1.5 tip for details and order more of them!
Lesson 3 - Bake for one minute less on thinner cookie sheets.
Lesson 4 - Lumpy bumpy backgrounds. Ok, I guess I didn't learn a lesson with this one. I didn't have this problem with the Christmas cookies or the snowflakes. I think I have more questions than answers for solving this one. Was the royal icing consistency too thick? Did I not pile it on enough? Did I not run a toothpick through it enough? Should I have flooded small sections at a time? I'll need to do some experimenting to solve this one.
I'll leave you with this photo.......LOL! Huh? These were two quick, little test cookies for my next batch. Can you guess what I plan on trying next time?