My daughter attended a week-long basketball skills summer day camp and this gave me a chance to make Cartoon Basketball Cookies! The camp was for 9-12 year old girls, so, given the younger age group, I had a chance to have a little fun trying a new approach to basketball cookies. (I suspect teenage boys would consider these to be too “babyish” for them, especially if any of their friends were around.) These cookies were shared by the participants and coaches on the final day of the camp.
During the week prior to the camp, I made lots and lots of Royal Icing transfer eyes of different sizes, using Bearfoot Baker’s templates. (I had leftover icing from the soccer cookies I made recently.) I saved the extra eyes for future projects. Unfortunately, it was very humid here, and the black beads and pearls bled into the whites of the eyes, but not so badly that they couldn’t be used. (I did not use the dehydrator when I made them; perhaps next time I will. Either that, or I will wait for winter to make more, when I can count on there being lower humidity.)
I used gingerbread dough as my husband is helping to coach and gingerbread is his favourite.
I sketched out faces to plan the layout and size of the features, onto a tracing of the cookie cutter. Of course all the players want every single shot taken to be successful, so every cookie needed to be going through the hoop. Here is a pdf template for Kopy Kake use: Cartoon Basketball Cookie Template for Kopy Kake by Cheerful Momma
First the cookies were outlined and flooded with an orange icing tinted with a hint of brown, and allowed to dry overnight. Then using a Kopy Kake, the eyes were “glued” in place with a little RI. The eyebrows and mouths were painted on using a small paint brush and black food colour gel, which was thinned with two drops of vodka. After all 48 faces were complete (12 of each design), I ran the dehydrator for 10 minutes, then left them to dry some more. After approximately 3 hours, the ball outline, red hoop rim and black seam lines were piped, in that order, on each cookie. I had decided to not pipe the seam lines below the rim (covered by the white piping of the net) as I was concerned about how much the net might be distorted, in those areas. Secondly, I was concerned that it would create another potential area for bleeding. (I did those three steps on a single cookie, then put it in the dehydrator and moved on to the next cookie. I was concerned that the eyebrows and mouths would bleed into the orange base, particularly in areas where the black piping crossed those features.) The cookies were left over night to dry further. Some bleeding did occur, but not as badly as I had feared would happen.
On the following day, the nets were piped. I used a no. 2 Wilton tip. I tried a few different ways of piping the lines. The order of piping that gave what I found to be the most pleasing result was to start at the center of the rim and pipe a line at a 45º angle towards the right, down onto the edge of the cookie. I then piped more lines parallel to this starting line, working from the center to the right side, taking care to try to evenly space the rim attachment of the piping lines. I then returned to the center and piped a line which was 90º to the first line piped, and worked towards the left side of the cookie.
Next I returned to the line just right of the center, and piped a line connecting to the rim attachment which was 90º.
Here is a view showing the net wrapped down over the edge of a cookie:
Thoughts for future batches:
- If I were to make these again, I will consider piping the seams on the basketballs in brown, so that there is more contrast between the seams and the black facial features.
- I would also pipe the rim wider. I absentmindedly stopped piping the rim inside the black piped ball outline, whereas the rim (hoop) should have extended beyond the outside edge of the ball. Silly me. 🙂
- Consider extending seam lines under net with a food writer, or at least doing a trial on a cookie or two.
Aren’t these cookies fun?!?! They cookies were given to the players on the last day of camp. They were packaged individually with a bag topper which included a list of ingredients and a best before date on the back side of the topper.
Adding a face to an inanimate object gave it a charming, quirky appearance. This is a design technique to keep in my repertoire!