Piping Cookies Is Hard On Your Hands.

Piping designs onto cookies is very tiring for your hands...I've seen some really incredible cookies made by people who must walk around with their fingers curled up into claws as the result of hand cramps from too much piping.

When you make cookies that are decorated, you need to do them in stages so that the icing has time to dry in between steps, and that basically gives you time to make your hand tired while piping, rest long enough to just start getting stiff, then start over again on the next step.

Last week I made cookies (see my last entry) for wedding favors, and this week I had about twice as many to make for another wedding. Cookies are definitely a process, and the royal icing that you use to decorate them is stiffer than buttercream icing, so my hand is stiff and tired today! Ahhh...I'd complain to the boss, but that's me, so I guess I'll just whine to my husband instead.

The way the cookies came together...First, they were baked, and allowed to completely cool off.

Next, they got one coat of thinned royal icing in a technique called flooding.
The icing is spread out on the cookies, sometimes with an outline to contain the icing, sometimes not. I do it without because I like the way that the outline looks when I put it on after the flooded icing dries. I then piped on the monogram based on the couple's wedding invitation, and an outline of the shape.
After that dried, I piped on the flowers to mimic the cascade of flowers that will go on the wedding cake, they I left the cookies to dry overnight.

The next morning, after the icing was dry enough to not be smashed flat, all of the cookies were put into individual bags, then the bags were tied shut with custom ribbons that the bride had ordered, printed with the couple's names and the wedding date.I'll take the cookies to the reception tomorrow, so right now they're waiting in their box until I deliver them. If all goes well, they'll be eaten much faster than they took to make.

 Kara Buntin owns A Cake To Remember LLC in Richmond VA, and cake supplies online at www.acaketoremember.com and www.acaketoremember.etsy.com