Making like Cookie Monster

Or maybe not. Cookie Monster just eats the cookies, whereas I spent last Saturday learning how to make them look pretty before eating them.

Now I may be ageing myself but when I was in high school in year 8 and 9? (that’s second and third year of secondary school for US types) you could do various elective subjects. Metalwork, woodwork, home economics. More power to the school that everyone, regardless of gender got at least one semester of metalwork, woodwork and sewing and more like two years of home economics. But after first year, you got to start picking some stuff to do. Now, I remember cake decorating being a thing but for some reason I never did a semester of it, even though I thought it would be interesting. Probably because I did sewing instead. Baby fabric nerd even then. But I always sort of regretted not doing any cake decorating. These days I have a couple of friends who are GUN cake decorators so I am unlikely to take it up now when I can pay friends cash to fix me up should I need a cake of glory. However, I am also a Pinterest user and its impossible to avoid falling over pretty pictures of cakes on Pinterest. And also, pretty cookies.

Cookies. Smaller. Simpler (perhaps). Appealing to my inner baker and desire for a quicker fix. I was intrigued. But also time poor. I did buy some cool cookie cutters because I like to make gingerbread in weird shapes (yes, I’m three, ninja and dinosaur and octopus gingerbread amuses me).

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A few Christmases ago, I decided to try the decorated thing and made some royal icing but because I knew nothing about piping or royal icing it didn’t exactly result in a masterpiece. So I made a mental note that at some point, I probably should watch some videos or take a class or something (I learn craft/stuff involving using the hands better by watching than just reading). And then life got busy. But then a few months ago, one of said cake decorator friends and I were talking about cookies for some reason and I must have said that I’d like to know how to decorate them. Because she promptly told me about a Melbourne cookie decorator who was about to start giving classes. Who turned out to be the lovely Julia of Miss Biscuit. Who makes cookies of glory and is in my hometown. So I signed up for a beginner class. Because I am a short class fiend. And because cookies plus sort of art = combining two favourite things. Win.

So I toddled along last week and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Julia is a good teacher and the class was very well organised and we all managed to make some pretty gorgeous cookies even with zero piping skills to begin with. (Piping is trickier than it looks, people.) Royal icing is a form of meringue so getting the consistency is key. So a class is well worth it to see how it’s all done. Also Julia’s cookie recipe is delicious. I haven’t tried the gingerbread one yet but am definitely going to. So I’m going to keep practicing and maybe do another class down the track. In the meantime, here’s a few snaps of the day (note to self, one day need to find a food styling/photography one day course for fun).

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Anyone a cookie fiend? Or tried royal icing decoration? Any tips to share?

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