Some fun news for my family, my brother and his wife are expecting! They live in Reno, so we don't see them too often, and they happened to be visiting this week, so her mom and sister decided to throw a shower. This was only a week in advance, so I didn't have time to really make something for the baby, but I wanted to do something for the shower, so I decided on cookies. Cookies wouldn't compete with a cake or cupcake or anything that would need to be ordered, but would still be a little something more than a pan of bars...right?
I started browsing flickr and was in awe of some of the cookies there- Whipped Bakeshop has the most incredible delft-tile-inspired, hand-painted cookies, which would be amazing since my sister-in-law is scandinavian....and then I came back to reality. I've decorated cookies with royal icing once. They turned out ok, but they were white rabbits - not a lot of real decorating required :) I browsed some more on cakecentral, and read about fondant on cookies, and thought that might work better for my not-great-decorating skills.
I've used Michele Foster's Fondant, available on cakecentral, before, and I've really liked it. This time I tried her updated version, using cream instead of milk. Here's my gelatin/cream/butter/vanilla/almond extract in pyrex, and the powdered sugar in the mixer waiting to go.
The dough hook didn't seem to do it's thing quite as well as I remembered, but I think I let the mixture cool a bit too much.
And after the kneading, it's ready to rest overnight in the fridge. Then I mixed up my mom's sugar cookie recipe and SmittenKitchen's mom's chocolate sugar cookie recipe (new for me), and they both went in the fridge for the night.
On cakecentral, I'd read that some put on the fondant about a minute after taking the cookies out of the oven to get it to stick, and others use some corn syrup. I decided to try the oven trick - hoping to get my timing right! I had a hard time keeping up - next time I'd cut the cookies and place them on the trays in the fridge, and cut the fondant for each batch as they're baking. Most of them worked, but I ended up using the corn syrup on about four of the onesies. I meant to get pictures of adding the fondant, but it got a little crazy - so the best I got was the first batch of cookies (before realizing how quickly I really should be working to get the fondant going!).
After letting the fondant-ed cookies rest about two hrs (the fondant got pretty soft when it was warm - and then I was sidetracked by the chocolate cookies), I used some candy melts to pipe some hearts, so I wouldn't have to wait for royal icing to dry. I just used disposable bags and cut the tip, so it wasn't the neatest ever, but the yellow and pink worked pretty well. The blue wasn't piping very well, so those didn't look so much like hearts :)
And again, best intentions with the chocolate sugar cookies...but just the cookies.
And then the fondant-ed cookies. The bears were way more time consuming with the little bits. I had to use the corn syrup (they're not dry yet in the pictures so you can see the gloss) with these because I was soooo much slower. Piping would be a much better idea for something with any kind of detail. SmittenKitchen's brownie roll-out/chocolate sugar cookie recipe turned out really well - they're a new favorite. I'm sure we'll be having them again!