Cookie creations

Last updated 08:15 03/08/2012

I have made a non-executive decision and declared that cookie icing is indeed craft. Maybe there was never a question but I spent a long time mulling this question and came to the decision that there's enough skill involved to make it so. And so it is so.

This is a craft form that has enthralled me sincepresent biscuit I spotted the creations of a talented lady at a farmer's market in Christchurch. Her cookies were just so flipping flawless I couldn't fathom just how she managed such uniformity even in her most intricate designs. You can see her in action on the right here.

bag biscuitsSo my cookie journey began two or three years ago and this past week I madly volunteered to make enough handbags and dinosaurs for the loot bags distributed to 30 kids at the party of a friend's daughter. I don't know what I was thinking, maybe that I liked the ooohs and ahhs from other mums that would hopefully come my way. I admit it, I like a little praise. It validates the time and effort I put in and puts the spring in my step.

Baking aside, because I think that rightly belongs in this blog, these little packages of delight take fricking ages to make and mere seconds to devour. Once the dough is made you might think you're halfway home but you're not. Not even close. As a helpful aside, may I suggest you select your recipe carefully - too much spreadage and the biscuits will lose their nice, sharp cutout shapes instead becoming amorphous ghosts of what they once were.

Perhaps appropriate given we're in a Jubilee year, dino biscuitsthe icing used is of the royal variety. It dries hard, pipes nicely, takes colour well and lasts for an age. I used the Good Housekeeping recipe for my icing. I happened to have the meringue powder, which is pricy if you can get it. It gives a nice matte finish and is better for allergies as the egg is pasteurised. However, egg whites can also be used, just ask Google for help and it will provide.

But anyway, I'm absolutely aiming for perfection here, though I have yet to achieve it in even one little cookie. I'm much better than I was, but leagues behind where that clever lady (you know who you are) was and still is. How annoying is that?

Each time I roll up my sleeves I am determined that one of the little suckers will be as perfect as the pictures in the book but they never are. My cookie might not be flat, my flooded icing might drip over the edge or have bubbles in it, my colours might not meld as I'd like - any number of things can and do go wrong. I know the solution to most of these issues but, still, I err.

people biscuitsStill though, the kids were happy and the mothers duly ooohed and ahhed. My point is that this is really just an exercise in attainment for me. I think if I made cookies, even one batch, that I considered to be just right, they would be the last I ever made. I think I just want to absolutely nail one type of craft and know that I can do it perfectly. All you knitters out there who can whip up a jumper without a single dropped stitch are already basking in that knowledge. Right?

Should I give up the game and accept that pretty good is good enough? Maybe The Biscuiteers should be relegated to another bookshelf where I'm not faced with their perfection week in, week out? Maybe you think it's not a craft at all?

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DISCLOSURE: The Cupcake Collection, the business shown in the stuff.co.nz video linked to above, is half-owned by my sister Fiona Fidow.

7 comments
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JCC   #1   08:46 am Aug 03 2012

Its definitely a craft, but one i know i don't have the patience for! I regularly read a blog (Bake@350.blogspot.com.au) and she does some amazing creations, with great step-by-step instructions, ideas and troubleshooting for when things go wrong, so you might want to check her out Colleen. But so time-consuming. Waiting days to get to finally eat the biscuits is too hard for me! I even prefer cakes that don't need icing!! :)

NM   #2   10:45 am Aug 03 2012

Watermelon Carving. The most ridiculous yet most satisfying craft I have ever tried. Google it, it's incredible.

Red   #3   11:49 am Aug 03 2012

Cookies absolutely are craft! As are cupcakes and cake pops. You're so right - you have to have the perfect cookie recipe first. For some reason I have very few problems with my cookies (I love to make dresses, handbags and butterflies), and perhaps it's the royal icing, because unfortunately my decorating skills are definitely NOT up to par when it comes to cupcakes and cake pops, which I somehow think should be easier.

Kat   #4   12:04 pm Aug 03 2012

It's definately a craft I regularly make cookies for parties, kindy fundraisers. I find it time consuming but they look great. I tend to stick to simple ones like cars, dinosaurs, butterflies as the less intricate ones have less margin for error :-)

CJ   #5   12:07 pm Aug 03 2012

Oh those look lovely!!

Totally an art form - and not something that is easy for everyone. very timely too as you and other crafter should be inspired to line up and put this to good use http://www.spcacupcakeday.co.nz/ I'm not as confident with cupcakes but working on some mini sculptures for the fundraise to fill my warm fuzzy needs - if I get them finished in time! (sneaky peak http://cjm99.deviantart.com/gallery/34856647#/d589gd0)

Beebop   #6   03:25 pm Aug 06 2012

Definately craft, I would also argue that cake decorating is (at least I hope so - I've dedicated a lot of time to it!)

"Once the dough is made you might think you're halfway home but you're not. Not even close." - Totally agree! Just the cutting out takes forever. So by the time my cookies are out and cooled I have lost all interest and just smother them in yummy-flavoured cream cheese icing (preferably with a non-matching colour so the blue ones are lemon flavoured and the pink ones are mint etc) much like animal biscuits. So even if you are not getting them perfect, I salute you on even attempting anything decorative.

Clare   #7   12:09 am Aug 29 2012

Having just baked and frosted almost 70 cupcakes (70 were baked, but not all made it to the decorating stage), I definitely concur that it is a craft! I also enjoy cookie baking and decorating, mostly around Christmas time. Sometimes it can feel like my decorating is repetitive though, does that happen to you?

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