Thursday, September 30, 2010
The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking.
First, let me explain what this is. I have joined an online group called the Daring Bakers, which is a community of bloggers who make the same dessert every month. I joined last month in time to do this challenge, which, interestingly enough, ended up being one of my dessert goals for this year! How weird. Had it not been a challenge, I think I might not have made these by the end of the year. I'm glad I've gotten my first cookies decorated with royal icing out of the way. I can't imagine how frustrating this would have been without step-by-step instructions.
Anyway, the theme was to make cookies that remind me of September. That generally means the beginning of fall in Kansas, although the weather has only just now started to feel like fall. So I made fall leaves during a trip to Aunt Betty's. She had a couple old leaf cookie cutters and I had the day off, so it was perfect.
What I learned from this: do it over a couple days. The cookies are easy enough to make and held their shape really well. The hard part was the royal icing. You have to change consistencies for outlining and for flooding, and it wasn't until the last color that I really figured it out. Plus, piping made my hand hurt after a while! There's a lot of fun ways to decorate though, like that closeup of the brown leaf, which actually has luster dust on it. I'm thinking I will make cookies again around Christmas time, now that I've experimented a little. All-in-all, though, it was a fun time!
Now I have half of my goals conquered and three months left. Those cake pops and the fondant-covered cake, though, scare me a little bit. Before tackling those, I have to decide what kind of birthday cake I'm making myself this week :)