Triple Chocolate Cookies, Decorating Basics, and a Peek Inside my “Photography Studio”
**This post originally appeared on my other blog, YinMomYangMom.com.**
Have you seen any of the decorated cookies I’ve been posting? I’ve made a lot, but they haven’t all made it to the blog. Some of them are on my flickr photostream, and some of them didn’t even make it there. Suffice it to say, I have been making quite a lot of cookies lately, since discovering this hobby. It is so much fun, easy to pick up when you have a free minute, and put down for the inevitable interruption, and everyone that gets a taste seems to just love it.
Everyone, that is, except for two people. Two very important people. Two very hard-to-please people. Two people, who, if left to their own devices, would eat nothing but Doritos and Chips Ahoy.
I am so ashamed to admit this, dirty, dirty, little secret: my kids won’t eat my cookies.
I realize that admitting it is the first step to recovery, so I’m hoping that with your help, (in the form of suggestions and comments) I can overcome this. I really want my kids to eat wholesome, homemade foods instead of processed crap loaded with preservatives and triglycerides.
For now, I would like to share with you the basics of cookie decorating, which I have been practicing and studying with the (online) help of some very talented bloggers.
Since my Schmoo is a total chocoholic, I attempted to win him over with a triple chocolate cookie recipe (chocolate cookie with chocolate chips and chocolate icing).
I halved the cookie recipe and added 1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips to Georganne’s dough to make it extra-chocolatey. It tastes wonderful, soft, and chocolatey, like a brownie…
Some helpful hints:
Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper for a no-muss-no-fuss preparation.
Use rolling pin rings to get a perfectly even and exact thickness.
I love my Ateco Double-Sided Round Cookie Cutter Set. It’s like 12 cookie cutters in one little box! Talk about a space saver…
I asked Schmoo what shape he wanted and he said “circle.” I asked him regular or fluted and he said “fduted.” Fduted it is.
Here is how I cool and dry my cookies, so I don’t have sheets of cookies covering every surface of my kitchen:
For the icing, I did not want such a large amount so I quartered Callye’s recipe for the following quantities:
It came together beautifully and has a sweet, mild chocolatey flavor. It starts out pretty thick and fluffy, so you want to thin it down before you begin decorating. **Consistency is the absolute key to successful cookie decorating.** Everyone has their own preference, but I like mine to smooth over into a perfect glossy puddle after 10 seconds or so. I don’t like to see any of the bumps or smears that a too-thick icing will show, and a too-thin icing can fail to hold any shape and run off the sides of the cookie. Here is a great video on how to get the right consistency:
The more you practice, the better you’ll know when you get it right. I like mine to be the consistency of hair conditioner. It will squirt, rather than run, but it slumps and smooths over all on it’s own. Add water an eighth of a teaspoon at a time, and if it gets too runny add in some more powdered sugar.
Since a perfect circle can be hard to draw/pipe, I pressed a cookie cutter into the surface of my cookie, as a guide.
Pipe an outline first. I used a Wilton Squirt Bottle (meant for candy making) instead of a piping bag, because I like that I can store any leftover icing right in there. As you squeeze, hold the tip of the bottle about a half inch above the cookie and let the icing fall onto your guideline.
Fill in the outline and use a toothpick to nudge the icing around or pop any air bubbles.
Give the cookie a good shake or a light rap on the counter to help the icing settle and smooth over.
If you want to add jimmies, to further entice a picky three-year-old, be sure to sprinkle them on while the icing’s still wet, so they stick.
Now, doesn’t this just look so scrumptious?!? Wouldn’t you love to dive into this after a long, hard day at preschool?
I cannot imagine what I am doing wrong here, would someone please buy me a clue?
And, since I am in full confession mode, I thought you might like to have a glimpse behind the scenes, at how the above photo was created:
Don’t you just love my glamorous photography studio? It’s actually my dining room table. In an ongoing effort to improve my skills, I’ve set up a fill-card (white foam core) to brighten up the shadows, and a background of scrapbook paper binder-clipped to another piece of foam core. I just love when bloggers give photo tips like these, so…
hopefully this post will help you to make a prettier cookie, and take a better photo!