I’ve come to the conclusion that the Daring Baker’s organization must be run by a band of wizards. Ridiculously talented, cookie-frosting, cake-baking wizards. They use their magical powers to bend the elements of the universe to their will, enabling them to flawlessly decorate sugar cookies with intricate designs while spilling nary a drop of royal icing.
If you’re able to do this as well, you’ve obviously been endowed with some of their wizard powers and are refusing to tell me how to get some for myself. That’s okay, because I have a secret weapon up my sleeve for those of us who are not artistically inclined (read: wizards).
That is the top secret tip. Abstract.
When in doubt/when not possessing artistic talent, go with abstract. Trust me on this one. Abstract got me through many years of art class, leaving stupefied classmates and teachers under the false impression that I could paint. The same principle applies to these cookies. Because I cannot decorate cookies to save my life, I went with abstract.
This was my attempt at a watercolor effect.
Okay, actually I turned to abstract after my first idea didn’t pan out. You see The September 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Mandy of “What the Fruitcake?!” Mandy challenged everyone to make Decorated Sugar Cookies based on recipes from Peggy Porschen and The Joy of Baking, specifying that they had to deal with the theme of September. At first, I thought about fall foliage and back-to-school, but then I thought, “Naaah, that’s what everyone else will be doing. I want to do something quirky and unique!”
Oh, my youthful naiveté.
After a bit of deliberation and thanks to some valuable input from my little sister, I decided that what September meant to me was…hurricanes! Living on the Gulf Coast, hurricane season hits its peak in September, usually bestowing us with a storm or two along the way. September of 2005 was when the first major hurricane that I could remember hit—Hurricane Rita. After being without power for 17 hours, I was going stir-crazy, flipping through the pages of a magazine like an attention-deficit hummingbird. However, the power soon came back on and I got an extra three days off from school to boot.
As you can see from the story above, while I can prattle on about hurricanes for hours on end (seriously, I didn’t even tell you about Ike, and that one was truly the worst—like 4 days without power worst). My point is, while my somewhat twisted sense of humor found it momentarily hilarious to decorate sugar cookies with flashlights and cans of soup, the idea didn’t translate well into the harsh light of reality.
When people walk by and ask you, “What is that?” about every cookie you’re decorating, it’s time to launch Plan B.
Plan B for me was the aforementioned abstract. I can draw about two and a half things very well, and by “very well” I mean “you can recognize what it is.” Therefore, I decided that September for me now signifies random splashings of red, orange, and yellow—the colors of the changing leaves.
Truth be told, I’ve actually written and erased about three different paragraphs of pointless, unrelated recollections now, so I’ll just leave you with the links for the sugar cookies and the royal icing and go on my rambling, icing-stained way.
I can’t explain this.