I love getting a glimpse of other people's themes for their parties. This time, an UNO first birthday party! The request was for cookies that looked like UNO cards. I used my DIY rectangle cookie cutter - I know, it seems ridiculous, but I think it actually is faster!
The UNO card is simple enough, but it translates differently onto a cookie... I looked online to get some inspiration, and maybe some pointers, but I only found a small photo of one that I kinda liked, but I still had to figure out how the different steps. Remember when I said I have a love/hate relationship with Royal Icing? Well, it was the answer to the equation of how to make the card work as a cookie- different royal icing consistencies.
There were three consistencies and also carefully selected tips for the best results - and by carefully selected, I mean my best guess!
PREP: bake cookies and outline using a template (see picture below)
ICING the cookie---
Step 1: White outline and oval
Step 2: Black outline of the number 1
Step 3: fill with color
Step 4: small white number 1
So all in all, after getting those steps straightened out, it really wasn't that hard after all - it was repetitive... and time consuming... but not hard. And of course I made time-lapse videos - to be posted later, of course. ;) Enjoy the slideshow!
Update April 29, 2015:
Here it is, the timelapse video of the cookies... So in the video it says that 52 cookies took about 4.5 hours to ice. What you didn't see was the time mixing the colors, organizing the piping bags, making sure we have the RIGHT CONSISTENCIES! so it did take a much longer time to complete these cookies than just the time showing the timelapse :)
AND the music on the video is from me and 3 other altos from the Oakland Interfaith Gospel Choir that i've sung with since 2005! We covered the Jones Sisters' You Gonna Make Me Love Somebody Else for a Choir Showcase to raise money to go on our European tour this summer. I hope you enjoy!
My friend Mary asked me to re-make the top tier of her wedding cake as a surprise for her husband for their 5th year anniversary. I said, of COURSE! Though, to be honest, I was nervous. It's nerve wracking enough to do someone's wedding cake, let alone re-create a cake that someone else made. And, she only sent me one picture which was hard to see the details on it. That, however, turned out to be a blessing, because I didn't have to create it exactly ;)
I was lucky enough to see his reaction when I went to deliver the cake - he recognized it right away, and said it brought back memories of their wedding day. What a wonderful compliment!
Happy 5th Anniversary to Mary and Chris, one of the most loving and inspiring couples I know - I love you both!
I love it when clients give me free reign on designing their cake. It also helps when clients have a VERY CLEAR idea of their design, as is the case with this next cake from my favorite cake family from across the street. B is turning 6 years old, here is her drawing she did with mom:
It couldn't be any clearer! Orange ribbon-like squiggles, green diamonds clustered at the bottom and a few throughout, pink and purple little hearts, with a base color of pink fondant. So, here's the cake, how did I do?
A friend found it rare that such a young person could be so clear in her instructions. Being an educator of young children myself, I think the only limit these little humans have is us adults telling them that it can't be done, or telling them how to do it, and not giving them the space to explore! I can confidently say this is the awesomest original design of a cake that I've ever made!
On another note, it was also MY birthday! I turned 34 (does that mean mid-30's?), and Buu made ME a cake! (Talk about giving the space for people to explore) He ended up making just half a box of cake mix, so here I am on Chu On Cakes presenting the first ever, open-faced cake:
It's a brand new year! 2014 marks the 2nd year of Chu On Cakes, and 4 years since I made my first decorated cake. It was for my friend's birthday, and I wanted to try to make a chocolate collar. (It turned out ok, it is cake after all, so it was cut into, and eaten and everyone was happy!!!)
2014 starts off with my 2nd easiest delivery, back to Rachel's house for her birthday party! She wanted a whimsical cake, primarily orange with the colors hot pink, lime green and purple. Whimsy to me includes diamonds, polkadots, random pattern, etc.. I wasn't sure how the colors would work, so I did a mock version on windows paint, went through a couple of versions and settled on the one I liked best. Fortunately, Rachel did say, "surprise me" in her instructions, so I was able to have some freedom of design. I've always wanted to try my hand at these polka dot/whimsy design, and I was so happy at how it came out! :)
I also experimented with some new recipes, a 1-2-3 recipe for shortbread cookies: 1 part sugar, 2 parts butter, 3 parts flour by weight. I think I prefer mine with a bit more butter, sugar, and a bit less flour. It's a nice little batch to test different flavors though.
I tried two different flavors: first, I wanted to do a little taste test for my Chinese New Year cookies, so I did one with All Spice. It smelled awesome, and it tasted pretty good. I'm not sure if i super liked it though. Will have to do further testing!
Second, a orange cardamom cookie - I think I put in too much orange zest, my tongue is tingling, but i'm also a bit allergic to citrus, so maybe it's that? Ended up making little buttercream sandwich cookies with them. You can see the orange zest and the little specks of cardamom in the cookie. :)
Some these photos will link you to a whole album I used to dedicate to one project. I so rarely take step by step photos anymore!
So this isn't a purely Chu On Cakes post, but it's part of my series of posts about Halloween celebrations. I love halloween!
Last night, I had my first official dinner party at my new house. It was an experiment to say the least! how many chairs? dining room configuration, living room configurations, need to get more non-alcoholic drinks... (oops)..
besides my eyeball casserole, i made some pumpkin-y cake truffles. It was a pumpkin spice cake with little fondant stems I had formed the day before. When they were sitting in my pan drying, i thought they looked a little like the "poor unfortunate souls" in Sea Witch Ursula's garden.
I had ran out of time, so I was making them the cake truffles during the dinner party. On one hand, it was nice to have people see some of the background work of what goes into the cake truffles. On the other, it was a different thing to have my BIL around, and eating the treats even before I could plate them. I ended up having to put them in the fridge to hide them while they cooled! I also made a little boo-boo and put too much chocolate chips in with the orange candy melts, and turned the whole batch brown... =( I only did it cuz the orange was too orange, and i wanted to tone it down with some brown. I probably only needed no more than 10 chips, instead I put in half a handful. Still turned out tasty!
Also had my first experiment with dry ice. it was a very cool eerie scene. When my nephew was asked what he thought it looked like, he said, "science!" i just bought some vases of different heights at the dollar store, which looked like beakers, or containers that potions might be brewed in. I love 99c stores. Dry ice from Smart & Final, and voila - witches brew. I also had a cauldron of beer, and put dry ice into the cauldron and it looked so awesome... i didn't take a picture, cuz i was so in awe myself... and yes, that is a jar of gummy worms. Marinating. In vodka. Pick your potion!