One of the first sets of cookies I ever decorated were Christmas cookies. I did a set of Christmas trees and even then I knew they weren't exactly great. I'm pretty sure I was over thinking the design. I felt like I had to think of some fancy design which of course means my mind went completely blank... what I have learned about myself since then is that that sort of thing is just not my style. Decorating cookies is just so much more fun when you are happy with your design!
Because of that first set I've shied away from trees ever since. This year I had to give them another try, and I'm much happier with the result. Simple, and they remind me of snowy Christmases in New Hampshire. I always feel the need to add some slight variety in but, instead of over complicating it this time I just chose a variety of tree shapes and did the same design on each...
As you can see there is a break between each layer of tree. If you let the icing dry a few minutes in between, you'll end up with that small ridge. I like the layered effect it gives the trees.
The snow was done with white icing, and then dusted with regular sugar. I used regular baking sure instead of decorative sugar because, at least to me, it gives the snow a slightly more powdery look. Decorative sugar is just too grainy looking in my opinion.
This is the sort of feel I hoped to achieve...
not sure if I did, but I'm happy.
And on another note, I get people asking me about deep colors in the icing. As Christmas colors are particularly difficult ones to mix (red and dark green) I thought I'd talk a little about that! I'd like to do a post just about that sometime, but until then I'll say this: mix them ahead of time. If you mix red with the intention of using it immediately, you will have to use practically an entire bottle of color. If you mix it with the intention of using it tomorrow or the day after, you can make a sort of salmon-y pink color and then just let it sit and it will deepen over time. This goes for all colors especially reds, greens, and blues. Black of course is the same, but if you want a decent black that actually tastes good then there is only one answer: CHOCOLATE. I never - ever - make black icing that isn't chocolate. But more on that another time.
More to come tomorrow!