I have an Aunt. A fabulously interested in this blog, Aunt. Who also has exceptional taste. Go figure! (;
Last summer, I had the supreme pleasure of reconnecting with her at our once every three-year family reunion. While we walked around a pristine scoop of water resting in a granite cup, otherwise known as Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park, I told her about my fourth pregnancy and the coming arrival of what will be my parents last grandchild. With the excitement that brims only with this kind of news, she told me that her son and daughter-in-law were expecting their first child, due to arrive in the spring. The first child for everyone, whose arrival would bring Aunt Laura and Uncle Kenny to grandparenthood. There’s no turning back from that giddy granny smile, I’ve heard….
For the rest of the weekend, our conversations were peppered with baby talk. Aunt Laura noted our top five “baby essentials” on her phone, and we talked names and birthing choices. So it came as no surprise, six months and a fair number of thoughtful comments on this baking blog, later, that my Aunt would make the ultimate request of a hobbyist cookie decorator.
“Would I, could I, ever be interested in making cookies for the baby’s shower?” While the cookies needed to get across the country days before my own due date, I couldn’t resist the opportunity to shower some love on these lovely people with baby cookies.
BABY COOKIES! In my experience with this baking obsession, baby shower cookies tops the list of themes. All that dreamy, cloud inspired frosting and cuddly baby animals for the nursery must provide some insurance for a wonderful life! Or at least down payment on those rose-colored glasses!
For direction, Aunt Laura asked that I work from the mama-to-be’s love for polka dots and the nursery bedding she chose from Pottery Barn Kids, “the Penelope,” a sweet combination of spring birds fluttering about a backdrop of soft pinks and greens, stitches and polka dots.
Delighted by the possibilities, I got started on three cookie favor bags: a pink bird, watery daffodil chicks and polka dot baby bottles. For the baby bottles, I tried to incorporate some of the patterns from the quilt, including the strips of color, white contrast stitches and dots. For the birds, I covered egg shaped cookies in white, with a barely there light pink line. The next day, I drew a template of the birds’ bodies and drew around the self laminated templates with a food marker on the “white slate” cookies. Then, I outlined, filled and added the details.
My one concern and margin note for future projects is to leave the beak out of the template of the pink bird. Beaks are details that should be added at the end, to accommodate the shape of the cookie and the design. Also, they add character, and need to be right, like eyes or a smile on a face. Because I had to cover the black marker beak, some of the “cute character” you want to strike with nursery animal cookies was lost.
Fortunately, I didn’t make that mistake with the yellow chicks. I started with just a little “comma” shaped body and it gave me the freedom to place the beak and other details later in the process, when I had a better perspective on where they might look best.
Well, that should cover it for teetering on crazy obsession talk for one day. Stay tuned for Beaks 202 on another day, hopefully in a galaxy far, far away.