I have a friend, who happens to be the editor of my horrible photography, who also redesigned this blog; you see her name on the contributor list as thribb. She is graphic designer by profession. She does amazing work. She is also very efficient and can turn around things with amazing quality, very quickly. I think the quality of my blog has grown by leaps and bounds all thanks to her. How much is this type of work worth? Probably more than I could monetary afford, or a lifetime of goodies.
My friend also loves cookies, cakes, and most sweet things. A few days ago, she turned around some photos in mere hours. (Sometimes the photos are ready before I even start drafting the blog post words.) Upon thanking her for her awesome edits, I told her “I am glad you let me pay you in baked goods :-)” She emailed me back saying, “Will work for cookies.” This has pretty much been our unofficial arrangement/understanding (as an attorney not having a concrete piece of writing to refer to kills me, but what is a few pounds of butter between friends?).
As part of my continual supply of baked goods in exchange for services (not really, as I would bake cookies without consideration), I made these cookies for her nephew’s birthday. She said that he wanted Angry Birds. After working out the details--when, how many, etc… I said sure I could do it. Notice that I did not do my research before saying I could do something.
I did a quick search and could not find angry bird shaped cookie cutters. What to do? I examined the shape of those little critters to determine if I had something of similar shape at home. I did not at first glance. More internet searching yielded these two blog posts (1 and 2) from bloggers about how the formed the shapes with cookie cutters they already had. Between those blogs and my own ingenuity, I had the shapes ready to go.
I set down and constructed a detailed plan for decorating these cookies. Drawing something in 2D is not the same as applying and layering icing in real life. From drawing out the birds I realized 1) planning and timing are going to be key; 2) I am not artist; and 3) I may be in over my head, lacking the necessary talent to make these.
Nonetheless, with a lack of faith and confidence, I set out to make these cookies. Day 1 was making the dough, cutting out the cookies, shaping them prebaking, making royal icing, coloring all the icing, and doing my background flooding. Day 2 was drawing and placing all the first level details like eyes, beaks, brows, and noses. I mentioned, I am not an artist and this was definitely something that required a drawers hand to place correctly. Day 3 was placing in the final details, like pupils and nostrils, and trying to cover all the sink holes that inexplicable formed in the eyes. Day 4 was pictures, packaging, and getting those little monsters out my house.
The positives: I think the cookies are mildly recognizable and kids can related them back to what they are supposed to be. The negatives: These cookies were probably the most detailed thing I have ever done, requiring more days, icing colors, gel color, and steps than any other cookie I have ever made. I took the pictures and sent then to my friend, still cringing any time someone said a word that even sounded like icing or angry birds (I even deleted the app of my ipad).
P.S.- I had extra sugar cookie dough and frosting, so I made cookie pops and decorated them with my favorite embroidery technique.