Sunday, May 15, 2016

Prom Cookies 2016

Even though I no longer have any kids at Dexter High School (my nest is empty) I was asked to make prom cookies again this year.   I enlisted my friends Julie and Jen to help; both of their sons are seniors this year.  The theme was "Candyland".

I'm not a great designer of cookies, but I do a pretty good job of execution.  I keep a Pinterest board of cookie decorating ideas and when I see something I like, I pin it there to try later.  For these cookies, I adapted an idea I saw for peppermint candy cookies.  Since I got a late start, I didn't have the chance to order a cutter so I just went with round cutters.   A drinking or shot glass could also be used in lieu of a cutter, too.   I tried to capture the prom committee colors as best I could with colors I had on hand.   It's a good time to share a lesson I learned last year when making high school graduation cookies: the purple and maroon colors often are finicky for reasons I don't fully understand.   Our high school colors are maroon and gold, and I found out the hard way that maroon color seems to change the royal icing texture in unexpected ways.   I asked my friend Heather who decorates cookies and cakes professionally at her lovely cake boutique in Ann Arbor Sweet Heather Ann and she told me this is common and so she very often will hesitate to take on requests for purple colored wedding cakes.    She recommended I use Americolor soft gel pastes for best results.  Nothing I have ever tried equals the coloring strength of these amazing colors. They can be found locally here at Baker's Nook in Saline.  

So I was nervous about the purple, but it came out just fine.  We made about 100 cookies this year using this recipe - my tried and true best tasting sugar cookie recipe I've ever found in an old Taste of Home magazine.   The ingredients are relatively inexpensive and it has an excellent texture for rolling out and cutting.  The flavor is superb on its own, or flavor oils can be added.  Last Christmas, I added anise flavor and it was delicious.   We piped out the outline and white lines with Wilton #2 tip and flooded with a ketchup bottle.

I was happy to stay home last night instead of chaperoning the prom; It was 34 degrees F and it snowed this morning.   Insane!  But the cookies looked good in Candyland.