Team Spirit

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tomorrow morning, we will fly to Charlotte for a surprise birthday party for our friend, Dave. Dave is one of Michael's friends from college (Dave graduated before Michael and I met), and part of a good group of friends that we try to get together with whenever we can. Some are local, some are not. Dave and his wife (whom we are also friends with), Lynsay, live in Charlotte.

Back in July, Lynsay e-mailed me to say she was planning a surprise party for Dave in October. Michael and I discussed it, and almost immediately decided to book tickets to attend. We have been meaning to get down to Charlotte to visit Dave and Lynsay for a few years now, and this was the perfect reason to actually go.

Since Dave is a big Buffalo Bills fan (hmm, who else do we know like that?), Lynsay decided to give the party a Buffalo Bills theme. Several weeks ago, I came up with the idea of making Buffalo Bills cookies to bring down with us for the party. I made the Halloween cutouts as practice.

This week, I've been working on the cookies almost every night. On Sunday night, I made the dough. On Tuesday night, I baked the cookies, made the frosting, and started by frosting the footballs. On Wednesday, I finished the footballs, and started the helmets. Tonight, I finished the helmets by writing "Bills" on each of them. Spreading out the work was such a good idea. They weren't nearly as tedious to decorate as the Halloween cookies since I didn't try to do it all in one sitting.

Anyway, they are done and packed up REALLY well so that they hopefully make it down to Charlotte unscathed.

(UPDATE: Success! Not a single broken cookie. And also, they were a HUGE hit with everyone at the party. I heard several people ask, "Where did Lynsay get the cookies?")

I had someone ask me how I make my royal icing. I follow the Wilton recipe that I learned in my cake decorating classes.

Wilton Royal Icing
(Yield: Approximately 3 cups)

- 1 lb. powdered sugar
- 3 level tbsp. meringue powder
- 5-6 tbsp. lukewarm water

1. In large mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar and meringue powder. Using electric mixer, mix until well blended.

2. Add water. Beat on medium-high speed for 7-10 minutes, or until icing loses its sheen.

NOTE: This recipe makes stiff to medium consistency royal icing (depending on how much water you use). To thin it out, you just add more water. Add water little by little (teaspoon by teaspoon) because a little bit goes a long way toward thinning it.

I also had someone ask me how I get the colors so dark. The answer is that I use a LOT of coloring. I haven't had any problems with the coloring altering the taste. Red and black coloring tend to be the most bitter tasting, but to avoid my icing tasting bitter, I use other colors to darken the icing before trying to make it red and black.

For instance, when making red, I use rose pink to make the icing a really dark pink before I start adding red. Then, I use a combination of Wilton's "no taste" red, and Christmas red, just adding a LOT of it until it is the color I want. Also, you should let your colors sit for a while before using, because they do tend to darken with time.

Another hint: For black, I mix a bunch of darker colors together first. Green, blue, purple, brown, etc. Once it's a dark, ugly color, I start adding black. Again, it still takes a lot of coloring, but I have never had my icing taste nasty because of the color.


noisy penguin October 26, 2008 at 7:42 PM  

Those are so cute. You and your decorating. I'm all jealous. =)

Gia October 26, 2008 at 9:44 PM  

Thank you for posting how you color the icing! I want to attempt some Halloween cookies this week and have never worked with royal icing before.

PS: I am signed up for Wilton Course I with a friend and I am so excited!!

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