Monday, March 11, 2013

Keep Calm & Carry On Cookies

A few days ago, I gave my driving test. The evening before the test, I was desperately thinking of ways to soothe my jittery nerves when it came to me: Keep Calm & Carry On. I'd been seeing this everywhere of late, online, on t-shirts, on trays & mugs too. I repeated it a few times, and found that it worked: I started feeling calmer. To carry the positivity forward, I began thinking of what I'd bake to celebrate passing the test. After racking my brains, I thought, why don't I just cookie up my new mantra (with the emphasis on 'car', because well, that's how my sense of humour works!)

At that time though, I'd no idea how important this quote would turn out to be. The test was a harrowing experience, more so because it was my second attempt and to top it off, I messed up bigtime straight out of the gate. I think it was just the grace of God and this mantra that helped me hold it together for the rest of the test.

After I got back home (and got over the shock of actually passing!), I threw myself into baking; the other project to follow here shortly. These are regular chocolate sugar cookies, recipe from Glorious Treats. To decorate these, I used royal icing and two methods. I filled the red ones and left them to dry overnight before piping the text and white outline.

For the others, I used a technique that's called 'wet-on-wet' icing, which is as the name suggests: you pipe one colour over the base colour while the latter is still wet so that it blends in with the base instead of being raised above. With wet-on-wet icing, you can do one of my favourite things, which is to swirl the icing around with a toothpick.

1. Outline the cookie as desired (you can leave out the inner lines, if you wish; I was just trying out a different pattern).
2. Fill in one section (or entire cookie), and immediately pipe lines over.
3. Take a clean toothpick and drag it down through the icing from top to bottom.
4. Wipe off any icing on the toothpick and now drag across the icing in the opposite direction.

Keep going this way till you've finished that section (or the entire cookie). Remember to clean the toothpick on a damp paper towel after every swipe.

For a different effect, try piping one circle, or two concentric circles, and then dragging in and out with a toothpick. That's what I did for the flower cookies on this platter.

Even though you have to work quickly here to finish swiping before the icing starts hardening, I still find this a relaxing style of decoration. I'm always awed by how just a few simple strokes with a humble toothpick can create such lovely, swirly magic. Especially after coming through a stressful experience, decorating these cookies was the perfect way to unwind.


  1. Anonymous4:02 PM

    The calm after the storm shows in your work. What a sweet treat to celebrate your 'license to thrill and drive'.

    Here's praying that you always stay calm at the wheel and thrive.

  2. hey..why dont you write anything else now..I want to read that..

    1. Yes I surely will when inspiration strikes :)

  3. Keep calm and carry on. A very beautiful and timely mantra. Congrats on passing the test. And thank you for taking time and sharing steps on decorating cookies. :)


  4. Congrats on the DL:-))

    And the cookies are lovely.

    p.s: All ur pictures dont load for me :-(

    1. Thank you! And oh no, let me look into the picture not loading :(