Drunk Snowmen (Meringue Cookies)

Browsing around the mall before Christmas I walked into William Sonoma and saw these adorable meringue cookies.  They were cute, perfectly shaped Snowmen and Christmas Trees made entirely out of meringue.  Such a great idea!  Up until now I had only ever done a swirl, never had I thought of creating something, I loved it!  So of course I had to give it a go and this happened….

Meringue Snowmen
Go home snowmen, you’re drunk

Complete failure in my eyes at first.  I made these VERY quick not really thinking things through.  Made too fast these guys were off balanced and fell over in every direction possible! Instead of piping the first snow ball, letting it set, and piping another.  Well I just tried it all at once and this happened.  I showed my friend to which she replied, “They’re drunk!”  And therefore my title was born.

Funny enough these snowmen got the most attention ever out of all my baking posts on my personal facebook page.  People who never comment were telling me how much they loved them!

So just when you think something is a failure, they can turn out to be a huge hit!  A delicious hit.  I love meringue cookies. Click here for the recipe and simply omit the crushed candy canes.  And now a few more pictures of my drunk snowmen.

Meringue Snowmen Meringue Snowmen Meringue Snowmen I am looking forward to making these again next year. And it’s nice to know I don’t have to make them perfect.   Even better if they are not.
Thanks for reading!

Gingerbread Biscotti

Best Gingerbread Biscotti
This is my favourite biscotti recipe by far!  It’s been a Christmas staple of mine for years.  Packed with flavour, this biscotti is delicious to eat by itself, or dunked in a hot drink.  I suggest not skipping the step of dipping in white chocolate.  It really does complete the cookie!

This recipe is all done by hand, you do not want to use a mixer. Another critical step is using “Blackstrap Molasses” not “Fancy”.  Blackstrap gives this biscotti its flavour kick.  The one time I used Fancy I was very underwhelmed.  So pick up some Blackstrap Molasses and let’s get baking!


Ingredients
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 cup white sugar
3 eggs
1/4 cup blackstrap molasses
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon + 2 teaspoons of ground ginger1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
2 teaspoons ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
White chocolate molding wafers (optional)

Directions
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, mix together oil, sugar, eggs, and molasses.
3. In medium sized bowl, whisk flours, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg.
4. Pour dry ingredients into wet and mix.  I like mixing with a spatula.

ginger
5. With floured hands (to avoid sticking), divide dough in half, and shape each half into a roll the length of the cookie (about 12 inches long each). Place rolls on cookie sheet, and pat down to flatten the dough to 1/2 inch thickness.gingerbread-6 copy
6. Bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven, and set aside for 5-10min.
7. When biscotti is cool enough to touch (but still warm), cut into diagonal slices.  Place sliced biscotti back on the baking sheet, and bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
8. Once cooled, dip in white chocolate molding wafers and set on parchment or wax paper to harden.  As biscotti is quite crumbly, I like to dust off the extra crumbs before dipping.
9. Eat!

Biscotti will last weeks in an air tight container.

Best Gingerbread Biscotti Recipe
Thanks for stopping by!

Royal Icing Consistency

Decorating sugar cookies is more than having the right recipe.  Your icing needs to have the correct consistency.  This is what gives cookies a perfect, smooth, hard finish.

Whale Sugar Cookies on sticks

Icing that is too thick will…
-Be too difficult to work with
-Take longer to dry
-May slide off of your cookie

Icing that is too thick will…
-Dry quickly
-Dry lumpy

To avoid this I use the ‘10 second rule‘.  Upon dragging a knife through your icing you want the line to disappear by around 10 seconds.   The sooner your line disappears the thinner icing you’ll have.  I like to use this icing consistency for outlining and flooding as it is fast to work with.  When I am working with smaller detail, I will make my icing thicker.  In this case I will want the icing to come back together in 15 or maybe even 20 seconds depending on the detail I’m doing.  Furthermore, if I am doing large cookies with one colour, I will outline with a 10 second icing, and flood with a thinner (5-7 seconds) icing.


Icing consistency takes lots of practice.  I am still nowhere near perfect!!  This is the general rule I follow when I am making lots of cookies.

Upon making my icing, it always tend to be too thick.  I will add a teaspoon of water at a time to my mixer until my icing is around 10 seconds.  (A new trick I’ve learned is to use a spray bottle!) If you add too much water you can thicken the icing back up by mixing it longer or adding more icing sugar.  I definitely suggest mixing as a first step before reaching for the sugar straight away.

This is probably the most time consuming part when decorating cookies.  And I have to think if I need various thickness of icing in the same colour.  It can take a long time, it can hurt my brain and I don’t like doing it.  But! If I do it correctly the cookie decorating process is a lot faster and easier.

This may sound more complicated than it is, but the more you do it the easier it will be.  There are many AMAZING cookie gurus out there (sweetsugarbelle to name one) who explain this process in greater detail.  Sweetopia even has a video explaining it!

I hope this helps you in your cookie decorating!  Even if you’re making the most simple cookies, a smooth finish will make your cookies look that much better.

Happy decorating!