Preparations are in full swing for the big family gathering this afternoon. To tell you the truth, I’m feeling surprisingly zen about the whole thing. I’m hoping this will be something of a permanent shift in attitude, because I’d like to entertain more often. You know, in theory. Anyway, these sugar cookies were going to be favors, partnered with some butterball cookies. Unfortunately, half of the butterballs met with an unfortunate accident last night and are now smashed, so…SERENITY NOW! On to Plan B: the remainders will just be featured on the snack table. See what I mean? Zen. Didn’t even have a big baby tantrum, thank you very much.
Say, but I do have a tip for you when it comes to icing cookies. Well, OK, it’s probably not news to you, because I came across the instructions by chance in an old issue of MS Kids magazine (why did they have to go away? Why?!), which is also where I found the royal icing recipe. Every other icing I’ve tried has been terrible – they haven’t set well – but this one was very good. [Mix 2 cups powdered sugar, 2 Tbs meringue powder – although I used powdered egg whites – and 3 Tbs water.] Besides that, my technique wasn’t any good either. I just thought that I needed more practice, but it turns out that I was doing it all wrong. Chell, I don’t know why I didn’t discuss this with you, because I’m sure you already knew this: First, you pipe the icing in an outline on top of the cookie. Then, you zigzag icing inside the iced border, and smooth it out with an offset spatula. Voila! Painted cookies. As you can see, these are far from perfect, but they’re also a full 90% better than previous attempts so I am 100% pleased.
The men of the house are out bageling this morning, so I have time for a quick cup of coffee and a shower before it’s back to work. Have a terrific Saturday!