So it’s been a week since I returned from Convergence… probably about time to make good on that Dalek Cookie Decorating tutorial I was promising, huh?
Ah, Convergence. 6500+ geeks under one roof, amazing costumes, messed up conversations… and more than one reminder that I am getting OLD. I was in bed by 10 pm the first night, and was barely able to walk by Sunday. Yikes!
My husband had an AMAZING time in his Weeping Angel costume, posing for several hundred photos (Conservative guesstimate, it was likely over 1000!), sneaking up on people, photo bombing some … he was kind of a rock star 🙂 Click here for photos!
For my part, I taught cookie decorating for my “Cooking with an Overlord” activity.
If you were at Convergence and had NO idea what “Cooking with an Overlord” would entail, you weren’t alone – *I* had no idea what it was going to be until about 2 weeks before the event, which was LONG after the program guide description was due, LOL! (That was right around the time I was up to my eyeballs in MasterChef stuff.)
At the last minute, I decided that I wanted to teach people how to do cookie decorating, using Doctor Who themed cookies. A quick Google search brought me to Warp Zone Prints on Etsy, a company that was using 3D printers to make cookie cutters – Brilliant! I immediately ordered the three cutters pictured above, and planned the logistics for such a large class.
Note: I did a trial run of all three cutters, only the Dalek one was really suitable for this type of cookie decorating. The TARDIS and Weeping Angel ones were so cute, I’d recommend dyeing your cookie dough and only doing outline decorating on them, however.)
At my cookie class, I got to see Idris serve Carmen Sandiego with a warrant, so… there is that. 🙂 My friend Michelle is sporting the Idris costume I made her – check out my costuming site, I’m back in the custom fashion design business! – and Carmen Sandiego is my friend Samantha, a local writer who reports on Eurovision at her blog, ESC Insider.
We also had the pleasure of meeting the famous Pink Dalek herself, Alanna… who was excited to EX-TER-MIN-ATE some cookies!
Me decorating some cookies to demonstrate to the class… let’s get to it!
Rolled Sugar Cookie Recipe for Decorating
1 1/2 cups butter, softened
In a stand mixer, cream together butter and sugar until smooth and fluffy. Add in eggs and egg whites, a little at a time, beating well between each addition. Add vanilla extract, and mix until well incorporated and smooth.
Mix remaining 3 ingredients together, carefully mix into wet ingredients until fully incorporated. Wrap dough in plastic film, chill for 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F, line cookie sheets with parchment paper
On a floured counter, roll cookie dough out to about 1/4″ thick (can be slightly thicker). Use cookie cutters to cut out whatever shapes you’d like, place cookies 2″ apart on greased cookie sheets.
Bake cookies for 8-10 minutes, or until bottoms look lightly golden. Allow cookies to cool on cookie sheets for at least 5 minutes before moving. Cookies need to cool completely before decorating.
Royal Icing Recipe
4 egg whites
1 Tbsp lemon juice
4-6 cups powdered/confectioner’s sugar
In clean stand mixer, whip egg whites until foamy. Add lemon juice, whip for another minute. Slowly add powdered sugar until cookie icing reaches desired consistency. You will want a fairly thick frosting – but still smooth and workable – for piping details and borders.
A good way to figure out if your frosting is the right consistency is to pull a spoon through the middle of the frosting bowl.
– If the frosting settles out in less than 5 seconds, it’s too runny. Add a little more powdered sugar.
– If the frosting settles out in 5-10 seconds, you’re good to go!
– If the frosting takes longer than 10 seconds to settle, it’s too thick. Add a little water or lemon juice and try again.
First, take about 1/4 of your frosting and dye it black. Personally, I like the Americolor line of food coloring gels.
Cover the remaining frosting tightly with plastic wrap – have the wrap sitting right on the surface with NO air pockets, vent holes, etc. The frosting dries out FAST.
I recommend using a frosting bag with a coupler and tip (#2 or #3 round tip), so please take these photos as a “do as I say, not as I do”. It was after Convergence, I was tired and burnt out, didn’t feel like messing around with tips and couplers. Also, I used pre-Convergence frosting – which was too thick for outlining – so my cookies are kinda ugly. LOL!
If you don’t want to use a tip, cut the very end of the frosting bag off to leave a fairly small opening – 1/8″ diameter or so.
Holding the tip / end of your frosting bag about 1 cm away from the cookie, carefully pipe out your outlines and design details. These lines will eventually contain the flowing frosting, so make sure you don’t have any breaks in the piping, or the icing will flow out to areas you don’t want it!
Once all the outlines are piped, allow the cookie to dry for about 10-20 minutes.
Next, you’ll want to tint your first color of frosting – about 1/3 of the original batch. I used a few drops each of gold and warm brown to get a sort of bronzey colour for the main body of the Daleks. Daleks come in many colours now, though, so use whatever colour you prefer!
Once you’ve gotten the right colour mixed up, you’ll need to thin the frosting so it will “flood” the decorating area. Add a few drops of water and stir well. Use the end of your spoon to drizzle a bit of frosting back into the bowl. If it smooths out and disappears in a count of 3, you’re good to go! If not, add a couple more drops of water until it’s the right consistency.
Carefully pipe a bit of the liquid frosting into the areas you want – you’ll probably not even need to squeeze the bag, just carefully guide it, nudging it into corners, etc. This can be messy to start, just practice!
Generally speaking, flood piping is done from the outside perimeter of an area inwards, but on these cookies there’s so little room to work with, just do whatever feels right!
Sit back and admire your work. (Yes, these examples are sloppy. Sorry!)
Following the past few steps, dye about 2/3 of the remaining frosting gold (or whatever colour you’re looking at for these sections, thin it for flooding, and have at it!
Dye about 1/2 the remaining frosting bright turquoise blue, and flood the appropriate circle. (I have no idea if “the one on the forehead” applies, given that the forehead of the actual creature would be more like 2/3 of the way up, inside what is seen. Maybe I’m over thinking this…)
Dye remaining frosting pale grey and thin it. Pipe to fill in the … whisk?… area!
Allow the cookies to dry overnight before packaging or serving.
(Or, if like me, you are less than impressed with your own work after a loooong weekend at Convention… you can go over all of your original outlines with some more black frosting to make them stand out a bit more and “clean up” the overall appearance! Bonus points for claiming that you emant to di it that way, for extra definition!)
Btw, the following picture sums up my Convergence weekend nicely, I think: