It's actually a post about my 4th of July cookies! And it's still July!!! That's amazing.
I have this gusto for every holiday and Independence Day is no different. For every holiday, I change the decor around my house, inside and out. As the seasons change and a new holiday approaches my mind travels back to all the wonderful memories I've created on that particular holiday.
I've been fortunate enough to celebrate the 4th of July at the beach numerous times, on a pontoon boat overlooking Cinderella's Castle in Disney World, at Richmond Braves and Flying Squirrels games and at Dogwood Dell more times than I can count. I've always loved the 4th of July, but in 2003 its significance grew when Paul and I became an official couple. This past 4th of July I had the opportunity to celebrate the birth of our nation in New York City. I'm not sure I would have ever made time to head to NYC for this particular holiday, but Paul's cousin got married on Saturday, July 2nd and I knew if we didn't stay for 2 extra days, we may never bear witness to those gorgeous Macy's Fireworks.
Making cookies for the 4th of July was inevitable, especially since we were seeing family in NY who actually wanted to try some of my creations. Luckily for me, I also got my first official paying order! I made 13 baseballs and 13 stars for an All-Star baseball team. I was originally apprehensive about the baseballs. Putting red icing on white icing can cause a bit of anxiety as the darker red can have a tendency to bleed into the white. But then my anxiety quickly became focused on writing the names and numbers of the kids onto the blue stars.
I made between 50-60 cookies for these two batches. Because my colors were limited to red, white and blue and because I kept my designs simple, these cookies were completed relatively quickly.
As apprehensive as I was about making the baseballs, I was more thrilled than any other feeling.
I love baseball. The Yankees to be exact. In fact, it's usually knowing that baseball is right around the corner that gets me through those two months after football season has ended. Somehow it helps me muddle through when only basketball is on TV.
There's just something about a hotdog at a ballpark. You can't get much more American than that.
First I made my icing using a variety of gel pastes. I bought the Duff gel pastes when they were on sale at Michaels and have always thought they were easier to use than the bottles of Wilton gel paste. I can simply squeeze out one perfect drop. My favorite brand of gel pastes is AmeriColor. The colors are so rich and perfect. I bought a huge bottle of the Super Red since it takes so much to get a rich red color. One of my newest tricks is actually dying my white royal icing white. You may not see a noticable difference until you compare regular royal icing to white dyed royal icing.
In the beginning, I always used bags and couplers. But I think I prefer the bottles. Although the bags are much easier to clean up (I'm not a fan of washing out those bottles time and time again), the bottles are easier for me to hold. I find I can get a better hold on the bottle than the bag which makes writing and fine detail piping alot easier.
Then I began outlining.
Then flooding. The baseballs I did in steps to help create a seam. I flooded the outer two sections first, then came back about 30 minutes later and filled in the middle section.
That way when I piped on the red stitching it gave the cookie more depth and detail.
For my 4th of July stars, I flooded in sections as well. First, I did the blue.
Completed baseballs. I was so happy I researched baseballs, despite how simple they seem to be.
I never realized the stitching went opposite directions.
I first piped the red stripes, let them set, then piped in the white stripes.
(Whatever happened to that band?)
I added the stars after the blue had dried over night.
I wasn't thrilled with the way this writing turned out. The icing was just a tad too thin.
Here they are all packaged and ready to go!
Then I got to do make some fireworks!
First I used the wet on wet icing technique.
Then I used a toothpick to drag through the stripes, creating various designs.
I also made some wedding cakes and included them in the gift for the bride and groom.
I absolutely loved the simplicity of the red, white and blue colors.
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