On to the plate

Experimenting with flavours, colours and style of food served at our place

Happy Birthday, Yvonne

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Sorry to for the absence. Last weekend we headed to Hanmer for the long weekend. I got stuck into making sugar flowers and there’s not really much to show for it, or to say without the accompanying cake (not that I know how I’ll use them yet!). You’ll have to wait another week when Mother’s Day is all over with.

Since returning home I’ve made several batches of cookies, some using my new alphabet cutter set, but predominately the cookies have been for two events, Mother’s Day (next weekend!) and for my very best friend’s birthday.

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Yvonne

Happy Birthday to my dear friend Yvonne

I believe I’ve mentioned Yvonne before. Yvonne and I worked together when we were both at the bank working different areas of the Credit Card division of a bank that since been gobbled up by a bigger Aussie bank.

Yvonne was my Matron on Honour (and I can’t find any photos on the laptop) and I was her witness for her wedding some years later.

Life has taken Yvonne on many journeys to Holland and back, and currently she’s in Holland.

I flipped the cut out cookie to get a Giraffe to face the other way.

I flipped the cut out cookie to get a Giraffe to face the other way.

What I didn’t know about Yvonne until fairly recently is that she really loves Giraffes. Once I heard about that I ordered two Giraffe cookie cutters. I couldn’t find any in New Zealand, so these have both come from American, one from an Etsy store, the other from a big online cookie store.

PME 1 and stiff black icing.

PME 1 and stiff black icing.

I also got to use my Eiffel Tower cookie cutter.  The plan had been (and I don’t know if it eventuated) that Yvonne and Den would head to Paris to celebrate her very special birthday. So the Eiffel Tower cookie seemed fitting to me.

Thanks to SweetSugarBelle for her Giraffe tutorial

Thanks to SweetSugarBelle for her Giraffe tutorial

The hardest thing about the Giraffe (other than my constantly misspelling it!) was getting the cookie dough out of the cutter. It was a bit fiddly, but I persevered. The technique to decorate was wet on wet, though I was a bit late in tapping the cookie to get the brown spots to settle in, so one cookie has nice raised lumps in it ;-) The Giraffe heads were also wet on wet, but I piped the eyes last and again my black icing sunk into the white. I know it’s the amount of water in the black but it wasn’t that thin, plus I put the cookies in front of a fan heater to assist the royal icing to crust over quicker.

I’ve seen lots of cookies recently where the Helvetica alphabet has been used. But do you think I could come up with a number of different styles of design that were unique for each letter? I managed, but I wish inspiration came easier.

A little too much "detail". At least I don't remember the Eiffel Tower being this cramped.

A little too much “detail”. At least I don’t remember the Eiffel Tower being this cramped.

As for the Eiffel Towers, I started with the black on Friday night and was pleasantly surprised at how it came together. I first drew with an edible marker to get the beginnings of the framework and then I piped lots of lines and crosses. I wasn’t sure if I was brave enough to do a second cookie. That piping with a stiffer consistency icing makes you hand hurt with trying to be so precise. I flooded the second cookie in white and cheated by using the edible marker to draw the Eiffel Tower. Because I had much more control over a pen I got a bit carried away and added a few too many crosses. The tower is looking a bit busy and cluttered.

So there we have it. I would have dearly loved to send the cookies to Yvonne, but the distance, the time to travel and the bulkiness meant it wasn’t an option. Instead the best I could do was post a photo to Yvonne’s Facebook page.  Mr Fussy will be eating the cookies. He is a bit appalled that he’s expected to eat the cookies spelling Yvonne’s name :)

And for good measure, here’s a few of the other random cookies I decorated. Not nicely set out photos, these are photos taken on my phone as I was decorating. There’s a couple that I’ll leave until next post where I have the cake, the flowers and cookies all out for afternoon tea.

Another technique that doesn't come naturally to me. Teardrops.

Another technique that doesn’t come naturally to me. Teardrops.

Although the lines are closer than I've ever managed (I've tried only twice before), they could still be a bit closer yet.

Although the lines are closer than I’ve ever managed (I’ve tried only twice before), they could still be a bit closer yet.

First time trying the snail piping. Possibly ok for a first attempt but more practice required.

First time trying the snail piping. Possibly ok for a first attempt but more practice required.

My icing was a little to stiff to allow for the icing to fall into swirls and curves. And I'm a bit challenged at them too!

My icing was a little to stiff to allow for the icing to fall into swirls and curves. And I’m a bit challenged at them too!

I finally found a brush amongst all my brushes that gives me the right look for Brush Embroidery. I was really pleased how this turned out.

I finally found a brush amongst all my brushes that gives me the right look for Brush Embroidery. I was really pleased how this turned out.

A few silver cachous to give a little bling

A few silver cachous to give a little bling

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2 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Yvonne

  1. How lovely for you to have a “bestie”. I don’t have one, although I wish I did. I know someone whom I thought would end up my bestie but she wants to just hold everyone at arms length. You are both very lucky to have each other – sometimes you really need a girlfriend who understands – as much as you love your man there are times when you feel he won’t understand like a bestie would.

    Lovely cookies – counting the days to your trip?

    • Hi Alison. Mr Fussy is definitely counting down. I know the number of weeks because he tells me. And I find myself with just 7 weeks to go and not really having planned very much at all. So now my evenings are busy looking at attractions, rail travel and trying to collate everything nicely. I’ve been very laid back this time round. Perhaps a sign that I want to relax about it, but I better not relax too long or I’ll be scrambling at the last minute.

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