What’s the best part of Bountiful Baskets? Is it the incredible savings that you can see adding up….Is it the healthy food it’s bringing to your home….Is it the ability to get fresh produce when before, that wasn’t an option. Those are all major reasons I continue to enjoy the Fruits of Bountiful Baskets. But, the main reason is most definitely the people involved with BB. I have made friends who I would have never crossed paths with in normal social circles. I have met people who I now consider my family. I have shared early morning coffee, late night secrets and everything in between with these people. We came together with what seemed like one thing in common only to find out we weren’t so different after all. The peoples’ lives who I saw as so different from my own are actually struggling with the same things I was. And the people who I idealized, were also human just like me. Why did it take Bountiful Baskets to bring us all together? Maybe Bountiful Baskets made our hearts more bountiful as well!
I didn’t create these beautiful cookies, that would be my great friend Chris M! She is beautiful, talented, hard working and the sweetest woman in the world. She makes everything she decorates in works of art! She is one of the people who I would’ve never crossed paths with if not for Bountiful Baskets! And for that, I’m thankful….So here she is, Chris!
- 1 Package Bountiful Baskets Valentine's Cookies
- 4 tbs. Meringue Powder
- 4 cups powdered sugar (sifted)
- 6 tbs. warm water
- #2 Wilton Decorating Tip, #1 will work as a substitute (not necessary if you don't have them)
Flood Consistency Royal Icing
- Mix on high for about 10-12 minutes until it's light and fluffy. This will make a lot, so place into bowls small amounts for the colors you're going to use (i.e. like 3/4 cup in a salad bowl). Cover the mixing bowl with a wet paper towel to keep it from drying out. If you're not a quick worker, have a wet paper towel handy to cover your smaller bowls. This icing can dry out quickly!
- What you have right now is considered stiff Royal Icing. You can outline cookies so you have a border if you choose. Sometimes I do, sometimes I don't.
- To get flood consistency, you need to add water, about a half tablespoon at a time. Once you stir the water in, take you spoon and let some of the icing fall back into the bowl. As soon as the drop hits the icing in the bowl start counting... One thousand one, one thousand two etc. You're watching for the drop of icing to have "melted" back into the icing in the bowl.
- To get flood consistency, the icing needs to have melted back in between 14 and 16 seconds. If it's not melting in, keep adding water in small amounts. If you add too much water, DO NOT ADD MORE POWDERED SUGAR!
- Add some of the stiff icing remaining in your original bowl. Tint the icing whatever colors you want to use. For these cookies I did red, (to get a real red color, add a titch of brown to your red, then it won't be an orangie red), pink and then white.
- To frost, if you have tips and bags that's great! (Just make sure you haven't used a butter cream type frosting in your bag before. ) You'll need a Wilton #2 tip. A Wilton #1 tip will work, but takes a bit longer. If you don't have tips and bags, don't worry. You can use the corner of a plastic zip loc type bag. If you're using the plastic bag, snip a very small amount off the corner.
- If you snip too much, no worries, just get another bag, squeeze the icing through the too big hole into a new bag and start over! Once the icing is in the bag, get a wet paper towel to cover the open ends. I use rubber bands to close up the larger ends otherwise when you set it down it may run all over.
Decorating the Cookies
- Now to the cookies!! Pick a color you want to be your base color. For one of the swirl pattern cookies I did red as my base color. Start with outlining your cookie. Go around the border and then go around the inside. It doesn't have to be perfect.
- Once you get it mostly covered, then take a pin/toothpick/scribe and swirl the icing around to cover all of the open areas and get rid of any air bubbles.
- Once the cookie is covered, pick it up and drop it onto the counter - from a short distance. This will help to smooth the icing as well as release any of the air bubbles.
- Next, take your pink icing and place horizontal lines across your cookie. (Leaving enough room between for a white icing line too ).
- Repeat with your white icing. Your cookie should be striped with red/pink/red/white/red/pink etc. Again, tap your cookie on the counter.
- Next, take a clean toothpick, pin, or scribe and start at the top of the cookie in the middle. Gently drag your scribe directly down the center of the cookie. Wipe off the scribe (or whatever tool you're using) Each drag needs to be with a clean utensil. I usually have a wet paper towel in my hand and wipe the same tool off each time.
- For the next line, scoot over a little bit and do the same thing. Keep repeating until you have covered the cookie.
- Next, turn your cookie upside down. In the middle of the lines you've just drawn, draw another line but going the opposite direction.
- Ta Da! You're done.
Heart Shape Decorations
- Complete above steps.
- To make the heart shapes on the cookies, once again pick your background color. Fill the cookie. Tap the cookie. Next, place dots of your contrasting icing on the background. I start in the middle and done one line of dots from top to bottom. The next row, put the dot centered between the two dots running down the middle. Or, you can do it however you want! Once all the dots are on the cookie, again tap the cookie. Take your scribe and just above each dot, start dragging and pull all the way through the dot. This will give it the heart shape.
- Use your imagination! Possibilities are endless!!
All of your utensils need to be free of oil/grease/butter. If your icing won’t come together, it may be that you had an oil residue.
Copyright 2007 - 2012 Tanya Jolly & Sally Stevens