Friday, February 15, 2013

The Way The Cookie Crumbles

H is such a busy, crazy, wild boy that I often forget just how sensitive he is. He loves to create, especially if it's for somebody specific.  Last week, he came home from school, excited to show me the book he'd checked out from the library. I saw the cover and he explained that this would be the valentine we'd create for his teacher. Charlie has two classroom teachers, so we'd actually be creating three of these since what H does, so does Charlie.

That's right: a cookie bouquet. I put the book to the side, thinking he'd forget about it, and proceeded to purchase simple little carstock boxes and an assortment of Ghirardelli chocolate squares to put in them for the teachers and support staff. Fast forward to Tuesday night when H reminded me that we still needed to get the supplies and start on the cookies. I showed him my genius purchase, but he would not be swayed. Then he threw down the gauntlet. 'You said you'd get the (insert variety of craft supplies here) for the Star Wars craft, and you never did!' Fine, 'Uncle!', I cried in my head and promised that while they were in school on Monday I'd get the supplies and we could decorate the cookies after school so they'd have time to set overnight before the big day. 

They really weren't that difficult, but I did as instructed and used refrigerated cookie dough, though I know that my mom's sugar cookie dough is the best (and it would have actually worked a lot better for these). In the future, I'll just make cookie pops in a cello bag-you'll see why a little further down. 

The boys got home to find iced (not frosted, an important distinction) cookies waiting to be decorated. Next time, I'd use an even smaller cookie cutter, but this was the smallest heart I had and the crapp-o store-bought dough spread a lot in baking. Secondly, I would have baked them for maybe two minutes longer until they were much more done than I usually prefer.

The boys then got to use the frosting in a can that looks like easy cheese and a sparkly decorating gel (which I wouldn't recommend in the future). I had purchased sparkly frosting, but realized my tips wouldn't work with it, so I saved them for later. 

Next time, I'd let them all remain on the sheet instead of transferring them to plates because I think it may have weakened the back a'll see for yourself at the end. Cookies decorated, they painted the pots with pink and red acrylic paint (and I resisted the urge to touch up and fill in the gaps) and left them to dry. I had them do it on parchment paper (I just re-used the parchment I baked the cookies on), so that as the paint dried it wouldn't stick like it would to newspaper.

I then inserted a square of floral foam that I cut so that it would have a snug fit, and covered it with a sheet of white tissue paper, pushing it down into the sides to fill the gaps and leaving a single layer on the top so that the lollipop sticks could easily be inserted.

The next morning, I arranged three cookies per pot and filled the gaps with candy hearts, making double sure I had H's three cookies in the pot he painted because he would remember and then I'd be a failure in his eyes once again. I put them in a box with an airpack between each pot, and then realized I'd have to have J ride along with me for school drop off so they didn't fall over and break. The extra cookie was put in a cello bag (as I would do in the future) and given to H's teacher from last year. In the end, only one cookie broke in trasit, and it wasn't one of H's so I'm calling it a win. In total, they only took about 15-20 minutes of hands-on time, not including the 12 minutes they were in the oven.

How I thought they'd arrive at school
Although they turned out fine (9 out of 10 intact ain't bad...) I'd do a few things differently next time:

1. Use smaller cookie cutters.
2. Don't be lazy; actually make the sugar cookie dough that you know works well.
3. Don't push the stick into the cookie too firmly, as the icing will make it secure in the front.
4. Don't lean any cookies forward, as the weight of the frosted front will pull it forward and break the cookie.
5. Convince H to give the simple cardstock boxes with chocolates.

How they actually survived the ride.

1 comment:

Nicole Ingersoll said...

Such a cute story. My mom would always include a note to the teachers that stated that the homebaked goods were safe to eat--and I'm sure they appreciated that :) I never really understood why until I became a teacher.