Last week I had a private cookie decorating lesson with cookie maven Gail Dosik of One Tough Cookie, and it was an awesome day. First of all, her home is one of those gorgeous NYC apartments that, when seen on TV in a fictional show, you snort and say “Those places don’t exist!” Turns out they do.
I even got to meet the cutest, most well-behaved dog in the world, Mitzi.
I’ve been stalking Gail’s blog for a couple of years, and had already learned a lot from her before I ever stepped in to her kitchen. She has the absolute best method for rolling out cookie dough, and tells you how to remove icing creations from parchment without tears. She’s the reason why I throw all of my freshly-baked cakes right into the freezer.
But enough of her blog, I had her all to myself – in person!
Gail had warned me that she was a taskmaster, and after going over the basics of royal icing consistency she put me to work, starting with lines, then squares, then the dreaded circles. At times she had an amazing resemblance to Béla Károlyi (in voice only, of course), standing over me yelling “Come on- come on- you got it – stick the landing!”
Gail showed me how it was done with circles…
And I showed her just how hard they actually were.
But she made me keep at it until I had a handle on it – how to grip the icing bag, how high over the paper to hold it, how much pressure to put on it. Once Gail was satisfied, I was allowed to try it on actual cookies.
Then we moved on to the flooding, and Gail taught me some neat techniques for decorating the cookies while they’re still wet.
She even decorated some cookies especially for my kids.
I learned so much in just a couple of hours, I couldn’t wait to get home and try my new skills out, but I made myself wait until the weekend – otherwise I would have gotten nothing done all week. I could have easily just decorated cookies all day.
I’ll write tomorrow about my first solo attempt at decorating them. Getting the icing to the right consistency is the key to the universe of cookie decorating, and that’s a frustrating learning curve, but I can’t wait for my next project!
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