Triple Chocolate Cookies, Decorating Basics, and a Peek Inside my “Photography Studio”

Have you seen any of the decorated cookies I’ve been posting?  I’ve made a lot, but they haven’t all made it to the blog.  Some of them are on my flickr photostream, and some of them didn’t even make it there.  Suffice it to say, I have been making quite a lot of cookies lately, since discovering this hobby.  It is so much fun, easy to pick up when you have a free minute, and put down for the inevitable interruption, and everyone that gets a taste seems to just love it.

Everyone, that is, except for two people.  Two very important people.  Two very hard-to-please people.  Two people, who, if left to their own devices, would eat nothing but Doritos and Chips Ahoy.

I am so ashamed to admit this, dirty, dirty, little secret:  my kids won’t eat my cookies. 

I realize that admitting it is the first step to recovery, so I’m hoping that with your help, (in the form of suggestions and comments) I can overcome this.  I really want my kids to eat wholesome, homemade foods instead of processed crap loaded with preservatives and triglycerides.

For now, I would like to share with you the basics of cookie decorating, which I have been practicing and studying with the (online) help of some very talented bloggers.

Since my Schmoo is a total chocoholic, I attempted to win him over with a triple chocolate cookie recipe (chocolate cookie with chocolate chips and chocolate icing).

Here are links to the recipes:

End-All for Chocolate Cookies Recipe from LilaLoa.blogspot.com
Chocolate Royal Icing from SweetSugarBelle.com

I halved the cookie recipe and added 1/2 cup of mini-chocolate chips to Georganne’s dough to make it extra-chocolatey.  It tastes wonderful, soft, and chocolatey, like a brownie…

Some helpful hints:
Roll the dough between two sheets of parchment paper for a no-muss-no-fuss preparation.
Use rolling pin rings to get a perfectly even and exact thickness.
I love my Ateco Double-Sided Round Cookie Cutter Set.  It’s like 12 cookie cutters in one little box!  Talk about a space saver…

I asked Schmoo what shape he wanted and he said “circle.”  I asked him regular or fluted and he said “fduted.”  Fduted it is.

Here is how I cool and dry my cookies, so I don’t have sheets of cookies covering every surface of my kitchen:

criss-cross and stack cookie sheets

For the icing, I did not want such a large amount so I quartered Callye’s recipe for the following quantities:

2 cups powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 tablespoons meringue powder
3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons water (+ more for thinning)

It came together beautifully and has a sweet, mild chocolatey flavor.  It starts out pretty thick and fluffy, so you want to thin it down before you begin decorating.  **Consistency is the absolute key to successful cookie decorating.**  Everyone has their own preference, but I like mine to smooth over into a perfect glossy puddle after 10 seconds or so.  I don’t like to see any of the bumps or smears that a too-thick icing will show, and a too-thin icing can fail to hold any shape and run off the sides of the cookie.  Here is a great video on how to get the right consistency:


The more you practice, the better you’ll know when you get it right.  I like mine to be the consistency of hair conditioner.  It will squirt, rather than run, but it slumps and smooths over all on it’s own.  Add water an eighth of a teaspoon at a time, and if it gets too runny add in some more powdered sugar.

Since a perfect circle can be hard to draw/pipe, I pressed a cookie cutter into the surface of my cookie, as a guide.

Pipe an outline first.  I used a Wilton Squirt Bottle (meant for candy making) instead of a piping bag, because I like that I can store any leftover icing right in there.  As you squeeze, hold the tip of the bottle about a half inch above the cookie and let the icing fall onto your guideline.

Fill in the outline and use a toothpick to nudge the icing around or pop any air bubbles.

Give the cookie a good shake or a light rap on the counter to help the icing settle and smooth over.

If you want to add jimmies, to further entice a picky three-year-old, be sure to sprinkle them on while the icing’s still wet, so they stick.

Beauteous!

Now, doesn’t this just look so scrumptious?!?  Wouldn’t you love to dive into this after a long, hard day at preschool?

I cannot imagine what I am doing wrong here, would someone please buy me a clue?

And, since I am in full confession mode, I thought you might like to have a glimpse behind the scenes, at how the above photo was created:

Don’t you just love my glamorous photography studio?  It’s actually my dining room table.  In an ongoing effort to improve my skills, I’ve set up a fill-card (white foam core) to brighten up the shadows, and a background of scrapbook paper binder-clipped to another piece of foam core.  I just love when bloggers give photo tips like these, so…

hopefully this post will help you to make a prettier cookie, and take a better photo!

Advertisements

5 thoughts on “Triple Chocolate Cookies, Decorating Basics, and a Peek Inside my “Photography Studio”

    • thanks, mere… i didn’t even pick up on the pot leaf thing when i bought them, lol! i wonder if that’s really what it’s supposed to be??? they are vintage, from barn attic…

  1. They look yummy and delicious, now I know what I’m going to cook soon. Thank you ! And you do have a beautiful photography studio !

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s