Hoppy Easter everyone! These sweet things were actually made about a week ago. Since then these lucky cookies have traveled across the sea with my mom and sister to my loved and lovely relatives in Japan. Yoroshiku!
These were my first serious attempt at decorated sugar cookies. I wanted a vintage yet refined colour palette and looking back at the pics I am super happy with the results. The lavender was initially meant to be a deep peach but one drop too much black colouring and I ended up with this deep mauve. A happy mistake.
One issue I struggled with on these cookies was the royal icing. I new in my gut that I had it wrong but I had whipped up the batch and just had to go with it. The icing did not set very quickly or well and I was left with a crystallized surface on the tops of the heavily flooded cookies. I hemmed and hawed about their lack of perfection but in the end was left with... too bad, deal with it. I had used Sweet Amb's recipe which I purchased from her site. Her cookies are a huge inspiration. They are perfect! And I just had to have her secrets even if it cost me a whole $1.99. The recipe itself is simple and straightforward, like all royal icing recipes there are only 3-4 ingredients. But the directions with the recipe were not very in-depth and so the technique did not work for me. Since these cookies I have found a recipe that works fantiddlyastic and will be posting it soon.
The cookies with paint-effect flowers are made using a "brush embroidery" technique. Two great videos can be found here and here.
The little bunnies were made using a transfer technique. You can use this print out of wee rabbits under a piece of waxed paper and then trace over the bunnies with pipe consistency icing. I provided a few sizes of bunnies but I used the smallest. You will need to use a tooth pick to coax the icing into the tiny details of the feet and nose. Cute! I then painted them gold using Wilton luster dust mixed with a little vodka and let dry. Once I added a second flood layer of icing I set the transfers on top to dry in.
Some other inspirations were the lace technique, thanks to Sugarbelle! And the marble technique, thanks to Sweetopia!
Along with my serious decoration of cookies I need to have the seriously perfect sugar cookie base to go along. So I made two different batches. One was Sweet Amb's Orange Cardamom (purchased along with the royal icing recipe) and the other was Sweet Sugarbelle's basic sugar cookie recipe. The recipes were very different in ingredients and technique.
Sweet Amb's recipe you chilled thrice! Once after the dough was formed, again rolled on a cookie sheet and then again once cut out! Whew! Too much I say! The flavour was nice and paired well with the sweet icing but the texture I found a bit tough. They are however a very durable cookie with nice sharp edges and I'm sure they can take a knockin' if being shipped.
On the other side Sugarbelle's involved no freezing but they spread quite a bit during baking and had softened edges.The flavour however was delightful! And the melt in your mouth texture from the icing sugar was amazing and got a big thumbs up from the boyfriend. But the icing sugar also made the cookies delicate and a little disintegrate-y when given the slightest rub. Hmm. The cookie trials continue, along with the running, the yoga and the vigorous shopping trips.
And now onto some other springy things...
I visited my childhood home in beautiful Victoria on Vancouver Island the other weekend. I hopped out of the car when we arrived and tried to catch a pic of this wee deer as he was walking thru the yard.
This adorable deer was popping up all weekend. His name is Kenny. Although I think he may be a doe.
When I was there I kept exclaiming how green the grass was be it lawn or highway median and my mom thought 'Well, maybe you don't see much grass in Vancouver'. Hmm, a bit true, but I still swear the grass is greener on the island. Ha! Pun!
While I was over, my mom and I drove up to Point no Point. I struggle with telling people about this secret spot so I usually only tell people I love or think are cool enough to enjoy it. Currently only my boyfriend reads this blog so we're safe.
Point no Point is located just past French beach on the windy and rugged west coast of the island. A beautiful drive all year round and one of my favourites. It is a small resort which I have not yet had the pleasure to stay at, it's a little pricey and well, my mom's house is an hour and a half away. The restaurant however is an absolute gem. The food is made from local ingredients and is delicious! The best parts of Point no Point are the quaint atmosphere and the view! I love seeing the grey, choppy waters and chilly windswept trees while warming up with some tea and hearty soup.
I highly recommend asking the front desk for the gate code and taking their meandering path down to the beach. Its just enough to get the blood pumping and oh, the views.
I should also mention the wonderfully exposed west coast of our island is cold, windy and wet about 90% of the year but it is a very special type of gorgeous.
I hope where ever you are your spring is sprunging too.