Ok, so I realize that these Bingo Cookies may not be traditional birthday cookies, but one of the things that attracts me to making royal icing decorated cookies is the ability to make each gift especially meaningful for, and relevant to, the intended recipient. These cookies were made for my mother-in-law’s 87th birthday, and playing Bingo is one of her current amusements. BINGO!! I found my idea for her personalized gift! (Did you hear me shout that word, Bingo?)
I mixed up a double batch of Antonia74’s Royal Icing and divided it into two lots in glass bowls with lids. I placed one lot back in the mixer and tinted a light violet colour, using 1/8-1/4 tsp of Wilton “Violet” Gel food colouring. I cleaned the mixing bowl and tinted the other half light blue with Wilton “Sky Blue”. It only took a little on the end of the handle of a plastic spoon. (It took much less gel to get the desired blue than it took to get the violet.) The “blue” cookies actually ended up an aqua colour. I guess I should have used Wilton “Royal Blue”. Lesson learned…
There was a little bit of “shifting” of the flood on one of the large plaque cookies. I have noted previously that there was a bit of sagging in the trays of my Excalibur dehydrator. In future, I will try to remember to place the largest cookies towards the center of the trays in an attempt to minimize shift. Also, I did not let the flood icing sit long enough in the inverted squeeze bottle and I ended up with a lot of air bubbles. I am never very successful at breaking them with a toothpick. I have much better success if I just let the flood sit for 30-60 minutes before using.
The “face” pictures were made by finding a good representative image, cropping a “head shot”, and tracing the photograph onto tracing paper. Then using the Camera Lucida iPad app, the drawing was transferred to a previously flooded cookie for piping. I piped the black outline of the crown, hair, neck, sides of face and eyebrows using a Wilton 2 tip, then left it to dry for 24 hours. On the following day, the skin, crown and hair were flooded. After about 4 hours the glasses, nose and mouth were added with a PME 1.5 tip.
The piping on the speech bubble “BINGO” cookies was created by selecting fonts and printing off words to transfer, again with the Camera Lucida app. This app only cost $4.99 CDN and is soooooo useful. I do crave a Kopykake, but so far cannot justify the purchase.
I hand cut the Bingo cards to get the right proportions, but I think I was a little crooked on one short side. I had decreased the amount of baking powder in my standard recipe to only one teaspoon per double batch to decrease spread, so it wasn’t due to that. The numbers on the Bingo cards were made using food markers; I just couldn’t get my head around piping all those numbers and potentially messing up on the last one.
Cookie Connection had a “Practice Bakes Perfect” Challenge #9 announced at the time I was planning this set, so I incorporated the challenge features into the set so I could enter the challenge. The challenge was to “make a cookie(s) with hand-piped lettering. They can be individual cookies or part of a set. All I ask is that you create at least three cookies with one or more font styles OR one cookie with three or more font styles. And no painted, stamped, or stenciled lettering, please!” The fonts that I chose to use were Boingo, BrainWasher and Helzapoppin. Some parts of the fonts were piped with a PME 1 tip and some with a PME 1.5.
The yellow star royal icing transfers were some that I had on hand. I made them for Father’s Day last year, but ended up not using them.
For a change, a contrast bead border was made using flood icing and CK 2 oz. squeeze bottles which come with a coupler and tip. The tip appears to be about the size of a Wilton 2. My blue flood was a little too loose, but I just couldn’t make myself pour out the bottle and stiffen it up. I’m sure my mother-in-law won’t even notice.
The part of this set that I enjoyed most was immortalizing my mother-in-law in a cookie. I have never tried to make a likeness of someone before and it’s not toooo bad…okay, actually, other than the glasses and the short white hair, it really doesn’t look like her, but it will give her a laugh, I’m sure, and that’s what it’s all about!