Thursday, January 6, 2011

Royal Icing

For the longest time, I've been petrified of royal icing. It may seem silly to be afraid of powdered sugar and water, but I suppose it's really about the fear of failure for me. Royal icing is so pretty, so detailed - I've always been afraid anything I created with royal icing would be a royal disaster.

Over the past several months, I've become much more confident in the kitchen, especially in the baking arena. When my favorite food blog, Annies Eats posted a tutorial on royal icing, my love for all things pretty took over and it was just the push I needed to take a stab at it. She has an amazing tutorial that walks you through the process step-by-step. Here is the link to the tutorial.

My first project with royal icing was for my husband's 7th grade basketball team's Christmas party. We decided to have the boys over for dinner and video games only a few days before the actual event, and naturally, I had to get into party-plan mode pretty quickly. The first thing I typically do for a party is plan the menu (after, of course, the invitations are sent - but this time the ole hubs took care of that part :-)). I map out my ideas in a fun notebook that I always carry with me and then decide on a finalized plan. However, the first thing I did for this party was decide on the favors - basketball cookies made with royal icing! I always like to have a "favor" of some sort when having a party like this. It just acts as sort of a reminder of the party and almost acts as a "thank you" for coming to our home and celebrating with us and it's a nice "finisher". 

Here is the basic foundation for the cookie. I colored the icing with both orange and brown Wilton food coloring to create the look of a basketball. Next, I stripped the cookies with the lines of a basketball with black icing.
The last step in decorating was to add the school mascot to the cookies in their school color. My favorite part about royal icing is the opportunity to use so much detail! I can't wait to make more sugar cookies with this technique!
It's difficult to see in this photo, but the red paper is embossed with "Happy Holidays" and matted on a white shiny paper. To make the departing gift a bit more personal, I had Coach Ramirez write a little note to each of the players on the reverse side thanking them for their dedication to the team and encouraging them to keep up the hard work. I placed all the cookies in cellophane bags and closed them with the thank you note and jingle bell, attaching them with basketball printed ribbon. The cookies all went in this basketball themed bowl that was placed near the door. (Side note: hilariously enough, I didn't have to tell the boys to take a cookie with them as they went. They somehow knew exactly what to do. They've apparently been to many parties with favors!)

I decided on a taco bar for the meal and I'm really happy with the decision. I'm fairly certain it's common knowledge that teenage boys eat a lot of food. So I was prepared with a lot of food! The only thing I wish I had done differently was have more snacks available. For some reason I forgot that 13 year old kids like JUNK food - not dinner. They ate all of the dessert cookies and hand pies in no time. And every time I brought something random out of my pantry and put it on the dessert plate, it was gone in a flash!

I had an absolute blast with these kids. Everyone I spoke to about the party used adjectives like "crazy" or "nuts" to describe Francis and I in this adventure. (And, I must admit, I was one of the folks calling myself one of the aforementioned adjectives!) However, I had no idea how good these kids were - respectful of me, my husband, our dogs and our home. I can't wait to have them over again! (But with more snacks available, of course.)

Go Carmel Cougars!

No comments:

Post a Comment

I'd love to hear from you!