This months Daring Bakers challenge is probably something I should have tried in the past but never have -Decorated sugar cookies using royal icing. If you have never used royal icing it is basically just sugar and water and you can mix it to a consistency so that it kind of flows onto the cookie. When it sits for a little while it become hard. It normally has a glossy look and can make some very professional looking cookies if done right.
Part of the challenge this month was the theme. We were supposed make cookies in the theme of September - that is whatever September means to us. Well I chose motorcycles both because in my opinion Septemeber is one of the most beautiful times for riding (unfortunately also one of the last months here in Minnesota) and it is also the month of our CMA State Rally. I just got back from the rally last month and had a wonderful time.
I pictured these in my head as looking a lot better but I can say it is not as easy as it might seem. When I made the first set of colors (red/yellow/blue) I had issues with my icing and it never got hard - it would also separate when it sat. I did some searching on the web and people suggested that it was because of some contamination with oil - I didn't think that was the issue. I also saw that it was maybe too much water. When I made it I did have to add almost twice as much water as the recipe said and it was still stiffer than the recipe said. I happened across one article that suggested not beating it for as long as most recipes say - just until combined. I tried another batch doing that (Black and White) and it turned out great.
I still have no idea how some people get it them to be so perfect - maybe it would help to be able to draw - but at least I learned something and will hopefully do better next time. It was a good skill to learn with a three year old.
Thanks to Mandy at What the Fruitcake?! for this months challenge. Go take a look at her beautiful cookies.