I was in the dentist’s office the other day (Where I have spent entirely too much time lately. Seriously. Oh my goodness, NO MORE DENTIST. PLEASE!) and as I picked up an outdated, dog-eared People magazine (What’s this about Tiger Woods? I hadn’t heard…EYEROLL!) I immediately started humming along with the radio being pumped into the waiting room.
Ah, yes, the music in the dentist office. It’s special, isn’t it?
“This is DJ DDS spinning your mellow but upbeat 70s, 80s and 90s soft rock hits here on 102.7 THE TOOTH FM. We just heard the Goo Goo Dolls with Iris, and before that, the Paul McCartney/Stevie Wonder classic Ebony & Ivory. Special shout out to all the folks out there in Dental-land rapidly losing all feeling in an entire half of their face. Sit back, relax and let that awkwardly placed blue paper towel around your neck catch the drool while you swing to sounds of one of my personal favorites – hold on to your spit suckers, friends – this is Peabo Bryson with A Whole New World comin’ at ya next!”
The song that got my foot a-tappin’ that afternoon was an old George Harrison song that I hadn’t heard in like 10 years. You know the one. It’s the one that gets insanely stuck in your head. The minute you see it, you’ll be singing it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…
Got my Mind Set on You.
Oh, you’re singing it already, aren’t you. HA! It doesn’t help that it’s pretty much JUST that one line over and over and over again set to crazy catchy melody that just plays over and over inside your brain – slowly driving you mad.
Well, needless to say, that song pretty much cemented itself into my brain for the next week. So when I decided to get in a little royal icing practice, one line from that song continued to play as I meticulously outlined, filled and piped on cookies.
Sing it loud and proud if you know it!
“It’s gonna take tiii-me/A whole lotta precious time/it’s gonna take patience and time. To do it/to do it/to do it/to do it/to do it/to do it right, child!”
Maybe old Georgey boy there had his mind set on pretty cookies. Okay, probably not, but this old 80s tune provides a pretty good lesson when it comes to decorating cookies.
See, I had my mind set on cookies. Beautiful, flawless cookies. I’ve actually never tried to do it/to do it/to do it/to do it/to do it/to do it right and really set aside the time needed to successfully decorate with royal icing. I admit to rushing it in the past. What did I get for rushing it? So-so results. See: Here. Also: Here. Not this time.
Now, I don’t know if my attempt was SUCCESSFUL in a “You’re a rock star, quit your day job and decorate cookies full time” kind of way and I can’t call them flawless, but these are probably my most successful cookies to date. For someone whose hand is so unsteady, she literally cannot cut a straight line with scissors (um. That’s me, in case you were wondering) I think these came out pretty good.
I made the majority of the batch into ice cream cones.
Fun for spring! What do you think my flavors are? Hm. I’m gonna go with strawberry and peach. Two of my personal favorites.
So while I was absent-mindedly singing 80s hits under my breath and making cookies, I learned a few things along the way:
If you’re a beginner/amateur like me, the fewer icing colors you deal with, the better. In the past I have tried to work with 5 or 6 colors at once – this time I stuck to 3. I can’t even tell you how much stress this alleviated from the whole process. Less = more. As in less cursing and more smiles.
Simple shapes are best. The less detailed the shape, the less likely it is to look messy. Take these hearts, for example. One easy shape and two icing colors. Wa-la! Fairly attractive.
You can’t rush the flooded icing drying time. It takes how long it takes. This time I waited until I was 100% sure they flooded icing was dry before proceeding (I hadn’t in the past) and I was 100% more pleased with my final result.
“It’s gonna take time/a whole lotta precious time/It’s gonna take patience and time…”
Oops. See? Still in my head.
Thanks for baking lesson, Mr. Harrison!
Source notes: Sugar cookie recipes and tips and tricks for dealing with royal icing are plentiful on the interwebs! For the cookies, this time I used the Roll Out Sugar Cookie Recipe recipe from this GREAT comparison post by Bridget at The Way Cookie Crumbles. Bridget’s comparison posts are SO helpful and wonderful! These cookies are quite good and probably my favorite I’ve tried so far. I’m not a huge sugar cookie fan to begin with but even I found these pretty irresistible. Big thank you to Bridget for the awesome recipe!! The basic royal icing recipe is available here at the Wilton website.
One Year Ago: Everything Bagels
On a side note – I dare you to check out the video to Got My Mind Set on You and NOT tell me that dance is awesome to eleventy-billinoth degree. I’ll make it easy. Here ya go. Enjoy.