Does anyone else think a certain pop song whose name rhymes with, uh…Tire-Jerk….playing during fireworks displays is in fact becoming quite lame?
It’s so predictable. Yawn. I mean, surprise me during the fireworks, Whoever’s In Charge. Play Stars and Stripes Forever or something crazy like that.
For the record, no, I’ve never felt like a plastic bag. But I do kinda feel like putting one over my head every time that song comes on. Just saying.
Anyway, the 4th of July weekend is upon us! And it’s actually a long weekend this year. Score! Is there anything worse than when the 4th falls on a Wednesday and there’s this one random day off in the middle of the week? There’s no time for parties and the possibility of losing ones eyebrows in a freak firecracker incident if there’s only one day to celebrate! Not enough hours in the day, I tell ya.
This year…three whole days of pure summer perfection. Sleeping late. Sunsets after 9. Cold beer and hot grills. Now that’s more like it.
The best thing about the 4th falling on a Monday this year is you have plenty of time to whip up a batch of these to take to your pool parties and BBQs and gatherings and what not…you’ll be a true American hero…
Colorful! Festive! You’ll be the envy of the neighborhood, I promise. Soak up the glory as people are as dazzled by your mad cookie skills as they will be by the actual fireworks. The best part? They’re actually really easy to do and super forgiving. Even for those of us with exactly zero artistic talent.
Oh, royal icing. What is there to say about it? That’s it’s a royal pain in the… Um. Never mind. But with this easy decorating method, you can look like a Royal Icing Rock Star. If you’ve never taken the plunge and given decorated sugar cookies a try, this is a great place to start.
I don’t know about you, but my decorated sugar cookies go from neat and tidy to toddler art project right about when it’s time to start piping additional details. Like dots. And lines. Dots and lines. Easy, right? WRONG. With this wet-on-wet technique, the need for piping additional details is completely eliminated – saving you a ton of time and much of your sanity.
This fun design is brought to you by that Perfectly Perfect Perfectionist and Expert Entertainer Ms. Martha Stewart. I happened to catch these over at The Dainty Chef and Krissy’s came out SO amazingly great, I just had to jump in and give them a try myself. Please be sure to click on over and take a little looky-lou a her’s as well. :)
So, you ready to do this? Come on, it’s easy! Just think bullseye. Yup. That’s all you need to know. Here’s the 411:
- 1 batch of your favorite sugar cookie recipe, cut into desired shapes (circles for the firework cookies, then I threw in some stars for good measure, but you don’t have to.)
- 1 batch royal icing (one batch makes about three cups, so plan accordingly if you plan to do a lot of cookies. You may need to double this. For the cookie recipe linked here, 3 cups is just the right amount.)
- Gel food colorings in red and blue (Honestly, if you want really true, deep, jewel-toned color go for the AmeriColor in the little squeeze bottle. So much better than…that other brand.)
- Pastry bags fitted with couplers and small round tips (Like Wilton #2 or #3.)
- Plastic squeeze bottles (These really are a lifesaver. And they’re cheap. Pick some up at a craft store.)
Then let the fun begin:
First you’ll need to get your royal icing all prepped (tinted and thinned to two different consistencies.) You’ll need to outline the cookies in a stiffer icing first and let that set. This is where you’ll use your pastry bag/tips. Then you’ll be ready to fill in to create your fireworks.
**Note: There are some wonderful tutorials out there for making, tinting, thinning, piping and flooding royal icing – check out this one at Annie’s Eats for step-by-step photos, or these great how-to videos from Bridget at Bake at 350 for some great tips. These ladies are experts and so much better at explaining the technical stuff than me, so head on over for an awesome lesson! :)
After you’ve outlined your cookies, fill your squeeze bottles with your thinned red, white and blue icing. Fill in your outline with the thinned white icing, and use a toothpick to push it all the way to the edge. Then quickly, don’t wait, grab your colors and start piping concentric circles of red and blue icing on top of the white. This is where the bullseye comes in.
Start with a dot in the center and then just pipe circles around it. You can go all the way to the edge…or not. Mix it up for different looks. Then take a clean toothpick and, starting at the center, go around the cookie and pull the icing out toward the edge of the circle.
Look! A gorgeous marble effect in no time flat! Because all of the icing needs to be wet to produce the desired outcome, do the cookies one at a time. That is, flood in white, make your colored circles, and marble on each before moving to the next cookie.
Now don’t freak out if you’re circles aren’t perfect (hello, that’s impossible anyway) that helps make each cookie it’s own unique creation. Just like snowflakes. :) Considering you are using the same technique over and over, you’ll be amazed at how many unique looks you can create. Try varying the distance between your circles (closer vs. further apart.) Or vary the colors of your circles – alternate red and blue, or do two red then two blue, or all red until the last one and then BAM! blue. Things like that. Pull your toothpick straight out to the edge, or throw a little curve in there at the end. Pull just a little or pull a whole lot. The possibilities are endless and every cookie will come out perfect.
Lather, rinse, repeat with each cookie! Ta-da!
So there you have it! I hope you’ll consider giving these a try this holiday weekend. And to you and yours, I wish you the happiest of Happy 4th of July’s. Whatever you have planned from absolutely nothing to time with family and friends to driving across state lines to procure illegal goods, have fun and stay safe. I want to see you all back here next week with all your appendages still attached. Unlike this unfortunate little fella…
See, this is what happens when you’re careless with
fireworks food blogging. ;)
One Year Ago: I got nothin’. I must have been busy. ;)
Two Years Ago: Rosemary Lemon Sandwich Cookies
Three Years Ago: Asian-inspired Macaroni Salad with Chopped Cashews