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Friday, January 23, 2015

Is Blood Spatter Too Much? The CSI Cookie Project

I'm so excited to be participating in the 2015 version of Mystery Week at Paragraph's on South Padre Island.  This year they hosted book signings during the week and are culminating with a Meet the Mystery Authors discussion on Saturday from 1-4 p.m.

The grand finale of the day is a special event from 4-6:30.  We will be conducting an Investigation into Murder at the Crime Scene Investigators Convention... sort of a take-off on a mystery dinner.  Tickets have been on sale since the 14th and I imagine they are sold out...but you can call and check if you want to know.  Meeting our great mystery authors Pat McGrath Avery, Bob Doerr, Joyce Faulkner, and David Harry (Tannenbaum) is worth your time spent, whether you make it to the Murder Mystery or not.  They always make for an interesting discussion group!  I love it when they are all on the island together - something exciting always seems to happen!

I, of course, always need to bake cookies.  Griff and I talked and he suggested "CSI - type cookies".  Uh, OK, I can do that!

Admittedly, I had a load of fun stretching my wings a bit with this set of cookies.  I hand cut my own stencil so I could use their little "man with a magnifying glass" from the event flyer, I learned to make fingerprints on cookies, I used the white tissue paper transfer method I learned from various tutorials online, and I made blood splatter by flicking liquefied red petal dust off of a paintbrush onto base coated cookies (kind of creepy).

To begin with - the stencil making is not that easy by hand.  I bought stuff to do just that a couple of years ago and they just sat in my cookie supply closet staring at me.  It was so easy to order stencils on-line, once I found the vendors, that I really never had cause to consider such a thing as "DIY stencils" after that!  Self-healing cutting mat and a supply of sharp X-acto knives got me through the project.

All would have worked out better had I used my airbrush instead of being lazy and using canned spray.  I had a lot of under-spray as I couldn't "dial down" the pressure.  Lesson learned.

The fingerprints...I tried several different "ways" of doing it...the best results were yielded by coating my thumb/fore finger with corn syrup then dabbing it down to just a little stickiness.  Applied the finger in a rolling motion  (just like they used to do it at the DMV) to thoroughly dried royal icing and let it sit for a few minutes.  Using a dry paint brush and dry dark silver luster dust, I basically copied what you see on the CSI shows.  I lightly brushed the powder across the "prints". and viola!  Well, a bit shiny, but silver was all I had.  Not going on an expedition in search of black petal dust!

The DNA helix was easy, using white tissue paper over a printed picture.  I traced the outline with a food color pen and then placed it on the, again thoroughly dried royal icing, and re-traced with the food color pen.  It bled through, leaving lines for me to follow, and I just piped blue icing on top of the lines with a 1.5 PME tip.  Then, with a size 1 PME tip, I piped the little lines free-hand while looking a the picture.  I reallly liked how they turned out.

I had not used my food markers a great deal, but I must say I am very fond of the FooDoodler brand.  Good color and nice tips.  I used Wilton and AmeriColor brands as well...but, the FooDoodler reigned supreme.  Granted, I hear great things about the Rainbow Dust pens.  I ordered a black one to try out - but it is enroute from the U.K. so it will be a while before I get to try it out.

All in all, I had fun with this project.  Hopefully, the blood spatter, fingerprints, and EKG going flatline won't gross anyone out too badly.  (Mr. Flip Flop is a nurse and I made him explain how an EKG might look...although he said I didn't have enough room... I got the baseline, with Ps and Ts with the qRs in the middle, then V-tach, then flat line demonstrated.  More than I ever want to know - and still not likely all that accurate).

Hopefully, despite all the visual ick on top, the cookies will taste good.  I used my Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie with minimal leavening so they'd be flat for the stencil and I used LilaLoa's Chocolate Cookie recipe.  I sampled one of each - they tasted quite delicious!

I really want to eat this one... kind of an all-in-one CSI cookie!

Black and White - mystery noir!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!!


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