Friday, December 17, 2010

10 Things Learned While Baking and Decorating 500 Cookies

1) It is good to do a test run of one batch to test the recipe, baking time, technique, and even cookie size.  I was glad we didn't do cookies as large as the ones in the test run.  They didn't look too large when we cut them, but they grew in the oven.
2) Refrigerating the dough for an hour or so before rolling out...Good.  Refrigerating the dough for 7 hours before rolling out...NOT so good.
3) When you have several 5 giant 'loaves' of dough that don't show any signs of softening up enough to roll them out, it works to slice them into pieces, just barely thicker than you want the cookies...Then patch the pieces together, and finish rolling to the proper thickness.  It actually may be preferable to refrigerating the dough a shorter length of time and just rolling to the desired thickness.  A definite case of lemonade out of the self-created lemons, or necessity (and impatience) being the mother of invention.
4) Five double batches of sugar cookie dough make about 510 cookies.  Phew!  Hit the target just right.
5) Reading the internet descriptions of dealing with Royal Icing can be daunting.  The statements that it can take lots of practice to get it right can sure strike fear in the heart of one who hasn't tried it before and has only an evening to decorate 42 dozen cookies.  Maybe this is true when using the flooding and more detailed decorating techniques, but making the icing and piping it on in simple designs wasn't that difficult.
6) This many cookies, spread one layer thick in order to dry, covers a LOT of kitchen surface!
An amateur panoramic piecing of pics to show the cookies across our back counter
7) Having doors to close on the kitchen is very advantageous in this situation, when one also has 4 cats who like to prowl the counters at night.
8) It takes approximately 3 solid hours to decorate 500+ cookies in this manner.
9) Arranging for a massage or chiropractic appointment right after completing the task might be a nice idea.  I have some tight back muscles and a bit of a stiff neck...But great satisfaction after accomplishing this for our friends.
10) Life goes on around and in addition to the task, and it's great to have helpers! --I actually already knew this one.  :-)
Helpful and loving Princess Artiste decorated Princess Eager's birthday
cake for tomorrow while I was up to my eyebrows in cookies
Tomorrow I will learn about any challenges of transporting them all!


  1. Wow! They look great! I can't even imagine piping that many cookies. My hand hurts just looking at the pics. It's a wonder you could type this post out. Make me feel better and tell me you had more than just one of your kids help with the piping.

    Have a great time at the wedding!

  2. Thank you both! Actually, I did all the cookies, while Princess Artiste concentrated on the cake, which was a tremendous load off my mind, and her little sister loved that she wanted to do that for her.

  3. RHome - love the cookies! Although I'm not much of a baker, it's the time of year when I do batches of gingerbread cookies - so I feel (literally) your pain - and satisfaction. What do you use to pipe the icing?


  4. I used a writing tip out of my cake decorating set...Is that what you meant, Liz?


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