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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Fall Decorated Sugar Cookies

A friend of a friend was in need of cookies to be used as favors at her November luncheon.  She had tried my cookies at a beach birthday party and asked me if I would do a few for her party.  I don't really sell cookies so I was hesitant...but as we visited, I liked her and decided I would do it.

Of course, nothing ever comes together exactly as expected.  She had said it would be mid-November and I told her I needed at least two weeks advance notice.  She, unexpectedly, had to reschedule her luncheon to November 6th...a time frame that really wasn't optimal for me.  However, always trying to help where I can, I planned out my various work really fast and thought "I can probably do this"...and then I ended up having to take two trips to Austin (two 700-mile round trips - one planned, one not planned) within the span of the week I needed to start work on the cookies!  Yikes!!!

She had requested 30 minis and wanted Fall-themes...acorns, pumpkins, that sort of thing.  I knew I could whip those out fairly easily, quoted a reasonable price, and went on down the road thinking thirty mini cookies would be easy-peasy.  NOT! 

I could not find my mini acorn cookie cutter (which I was sure I had), but I did have a medium-sized acorn.  I did not have a smallish-medium-sized pumpkin...only largish-medium, large, and mini (and the mini looked too small next to the acorns)...but I had an appropriate-sized apple...which I could make look like a pumpkin with no one being the wiser. I also had one-step-up in size from a mini Turkey.  I finally settled on those three.  I think they turned out quite cute.  I gave her 31 cookies - the extra in case one broke or she needed a stress snack. (Who doesn't need a stress snack when putting on a luncheon for 25 or so folks???)

The party favors for the very popular South Padre Island KOA water aerobics class! 
I hear instructor, Mary L., is really awesome.  They have a heated pool too. 
I might have to go some time!

While I was making those, I went ahead and made one  of the slightly larger pumpkins and 3 round scallops because I wanted to try out some stencils before I started my personal Thanksgiving cookies.  Glad I did.  I'm always learning something!  The cookies were barely large enough, but there was an unseen slope at the edge of the base-coated rounds and the stencils did not lay flat on the rounds, causing some smearing at the lower edges.  I also didn't have adequate space for the border I wanted and had to improvise.  Again, one of those things most people might not notice...but we cookiers would see it!

So, I now know I will use a slightly larger cookie for the round Thanksgiving stencils I bought from Designer Stencils.  I also will try decorating the flat bottom of the cookie instead of the top.  I learned that trick from another cookier.  She said she always decorates that way so the surface is level.  I probably won't do it always...but when I need a flat stencil surface, that may be the answer! 

The leaves on the cookie above the this one were
much more forgiving of the rounded edge than the
Gobble Gobble lettering was.  It was very challenging
and I had to work steadily with my needle tool
to get the letters to look like the word Gobble!

I also tried a multi-colored Fall leaf (one of 4 in another stencil set, also Designer Stencil product).  I was really pleased with it!  I'll be making more of those, using all of the 4 leaf shapes and working on my multi-color stencil technique.  I don't have it down "pat" just yet.  I tried to make the turkey feathers above be reddish at the top and yellowish in the middle...but they got muddled with brown.  I was more careful with the leaf below and I really like the look I got with the leaf.

I used the Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie recipe for all of the cookies in this batch, as requested by Mary, the friend of a friend...and added a bit of the Princess Cake/Cookie Emulsion I discussed in my last blog post.  Makes a really tasty cookie! I'd considered making a Meringue Powder Butter Cream icing (the mouth feel is so much nicer than royal icing) but remembering how long it took to dry last time I did that...I knew I'd have to stick to RI this time.  I was lucky to get everything done in the short amount of time I had...didn't want to stack the cards against myself!

The order was delivered Tuesday for the Wednesday party and Mary seemed happy.  Woo Hoo!  One of the reasons I don't sell cookies in general is the stress I feel over worrying if the customer would like my cookies or not.  I'm my worst critic!  However, she said they were beautiful, I felt a warm glow, and I know she got a good deal getting bigger-than-mini cookies for a mini price.  I really think her guests will be pleased. Still, I cleared enough financially to get myself a nice I consider it work well-done!

The cookie on the left is a pumpkin cutter and the cookie on the right
is an apple cutter.  I think it worked out well and was more in-tune with
the size of the other cookies in the set.
I will share more cookies as I progress through my Autumnal baking endeavors.  By the way - I found a cute little set of graduated leaves and acorns at Michael's I'm good to go on all-sized acorns!  LOL!

I'm already starting to think about Christmas baking...are you?  I was slightly irritated when shopping yesterday...I could barely find any Thanksgiving stuff because Target, Michael's, Wal-Mart, and Kohl's had shoved over anything to do with Thanksgiving and were busily stocking Christmas stuff.  Christmas music was blaring in the stores.  It made me sad (but I still bought some Christmas baking morsels and a few other Christmas baking items because they'll likely be sold out if I don't get them now).

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!


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