Mad about Cookies

Butterfly & Daisies

I’m starting work at a new place on Monday. The plan was to take it a little easy for a couple of days before that, i.e. no baking, no running errands, no anything. BUT it figures that things rarely ever go as planned when it comes to rest.

Decorated Cookies

A week ago, my cousin SL texts me with a request for 20 custom cookies for her marketing course project to be collected on her 21st birthday.

I’d stopped taking orders for a long time now, but I couldn’t, in all good conscience, disappoint her, especially when I knew her to be all stressed out about her coursework and that she probably didn’t have much time to search for other alternatives.

How much work could 20 cookies be? I factored in about 8 hours of baking and icing, taking into account the various designs and colours.

Hearts

20 disposable piping bags and 5 hours into cookie decorating, all the while dealing with rapidly softening cookies and icing that refused to dry completely even in an air-conditioned room (oh, how I loathe this humid weather!), I remembered why I’d always limited cookie orders to a maximum of 3 designs with a choice of 4 different colours. Note to self: bake cookies longer and limit choice of designs and colour.

Happily, I was done right on schedule and stored the completed cookies in an airtight container, together with 2 small packets of desiccant.

"I'm a litte teapot"

The next morning, I was dismayed to find that some of the darker icing had bled into the lighter backgrounds. This was most apparent with the dark brown and red icing on white. My guess for the unslightly bleeds is that the darker icing had absorbed moisture overnight and proceeded to stain the lighter icing below, despite the airtight container and desiccant.

I was equally annoyed to find that the cookies had turned even softer, after just 1 day. There was nothing I could do to stop both the staining and softening process. I only hope the cookies survive till the time of SL’s presentation!

Birthday Cake Cookie

On the upside, SL has given me new cookie decorating ideas and a lesson in cookie decorating. I even managed to make her a celebratory cookie (and try out a couple of new designs for myself) for the all-important 21st!

Packed Cookies

I’m optimistic that I’ll still find time to bake when I begin my new job tomorrow, but for now, I’m happy that I got to do this just once more. :D

34 Responses to “Mad about Cookies”

  1. Mia Says:

    Prettiness!

  2. Evan Says:

    karen, i think you’re reallyyyy amazing! i will never do anymore iced cookies, after bad experiences of having to handle so many colors, achy fingers and colors smudging! my dark colors always smudge, i dunno why :(

    anyway you’re really good, so talented and just born to do these!!

  3. Fen Says:

    If only they can be framed… so colourful and pretty to be admired by many…

  4. Stef Says:

    stick to the scone-experimenting for now, Karen!

    the cookies still look really good though…lunch was fun that day…have a good week ahead, since we’re now close to each other workwise, I’ll text you one day for a 1-hour express lunch adventure!
    =p

  5. Karen Says:

    Mia: Thank you! I hope you had a good trip in HK with WL. :)

    Evan: Thank you, Evan. I actually like cookie decorating, but I dread having more than 3 colours because I only have 3 nozzles and have to change the bags so frequently.

    Fen: Thank you!

    Stef: Yes, scones are good pretty quick to whip up, so I should still have time to try that recipe you sent me. Let me know anytime you’re up for lunch!

  6. lilyanette Says:

    Hello. Your cookies are magnificent! Really admire your intricate piping work.

    Pretty & Awesome works.

  7. Corynn Says:

    Hi there! I was looking at your pictures on flickr, and then somehow got here. I really like your blog. Love the pictures! The cookies are my favorite. I was just wondering, are you from Malaysia? (You don’t have to answer that if you don’t want to :P) Anyway, thanks for sharing your pictures!

  8. Katie Says:

    Wow they look stunning. They must ahve taken you ages. Your piping skills are amazing.

  9. Karen Says:

    Thank you, Lilyanette & Katie!

    Corynn: Thanks! I’m from Singapore. Does it matter? :)

  10. Stephanie Says:

    Hi, I’m amazed with the skills that you have.. not only you’re good in science (computer, software, etc).. but you’re superb in art too (culinary, photography). I’m amazed with your photography & cooking skill.. they’re stunningly beautiful.. :)~

    btw, do you take orders by any chance? :)

  11. Sue Says:

    BEAUTIFUL cookies!

  12. vincent Says:

    Hello,

    We bumped into your blog and we really liked it - great recipes YUM!!! YUM!!!.
    We would like to add it to the Petitchef.com.

    We would be delighted if you could add your blog to Petitchef so that our users can, as us,
    enjoy your recipes.

    Petitchef is a french based Cooking recipes Portal. Several hundred Blogs are already members
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    To add your site to the Petitchef family you can use http://en.petitchef.com/?obj=front&action=site_ajout_form or just go to Petitchef.com and click on “Add your site”

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    petitchef.com

  13. Corynn Says:

    Oh no, I was just curious because I also found this site through another Malaysian blogger.

  14. ivan Says:

    For this kind of weather, I usually bung everything into the oven with a small dehumidifier. Works like a charm.

  15. Jackie @ PhamFatale.com Says:

    Wow amazing cookies and great color combination. Can I have a bite of these cookies?

  16. tanny Says:

    if you ever start baking macarons again, pls drop me an sms or email =)

  17. Patricia Truel Says:

    shoot. i wish i would have never found her blog page - i too am mad about cookies….

    your photos, as well as your cookies are beautiful

    great page and i am sure i will be stopping by here often.

  18. Patricia Truel Says:

    i meant to say “found YOUR blog page” sorry ;-D

  19. Nora Says:

    Hi Karen

    Am wondering if you are willing to teach me to decorate cookies?

  20. Sharon Says:

    Hi!
    do you make ice cream cake?
    or how do i order customised stuffs from you?
    i’m from singapore, do let me know.

  21. Pearlyn Says:

    Hi,
    I happened to chance upon your website and i LOVE ur creations…
    I love baking but i never get good recipies…
    Can I get from you the recipes for the cookies decorations and how u do it
    also i was wondering how to do macarons?

    thks alot in advance….

  22. faithy Says:

    Hi! I love your creations!! I was searching something and stumbled upon your blog! Love your cakes and all your goodies..soo pretty! :) I love your piped roses! pretty!! :D

  23. Cheryl Says:

    Do you know how to stop the black icing from bleeding into the background icing? I decorated some cookies for my niece’s birthday and my top colour had bled into the bottom colour by the 2nd day.

  24. Nette Says:

    Hi my dear!
    Never seen so wonderful cookies! Especially the roses are so pretty! Truely! What about coming over soon and doing some together? It must be horrible to handel the icing cause of the humidity… Would be a lot better over here in Germany, but I don’t really have a lot of time to bake these days… and especially to decorate them as nicely as u do! But if u come over I take time… By the way… dreames of Singapore tonight! :o)See u!

  25. Karen Says:

    Cheryl: I’ve encountered the same problem and am not entirely sure how to solve it. My suggestion would be to let the background icing dry completely (at least overnight) before piping the dark colours. Also make use that the darker colour isn’t too fluid to minimize the amount of moisture that may seep into the background.

    Nette: Hello Nette! I hope everything is going well for you and that you’ve adjusted well to full-time teaching now. :o) We can definitely bake together the next time Harald and I are in Germany; we’ll certainly be there in May next year! Hear from you again soon…

  26. Sue Says:

    Absolutely gorgeous cookies!!!

  27. Christine Medifast Says:

    These are some truly neat designs. I have been trying my hand out at cookie decorating and ran into similar problems with the color bleeds. Thankfully it is beginning to get colder so I’m hoping the problem doesn’t continue. Hopefully one day my cookies will look this great. How did you start out with decorating and get to be so good at it?

    Christine M.

  28. betty Says:

    these are soooo cute! you’re a fantastic artist :)

  29. Felicia:) Says:

    Hey Karen!
    I’ve tried making the icing, but failed!Can you guide me on how do you do it?It’s so niceeee!:D

  30. Jen Says:

    Hey there. Your cookies look fantastic!!!
    I’m having problems with the cookies softening while waiting for the icing to dry. Is it possible for the icing to dry while being in an airtight container? Need your advice. Thanks so much!

  31. Angela Says:

    Hey , i’m interested in your cookies .
    May i know where do you get your ingredients from ? Mail me , thanks !

  32. bubble&squeak Says:

    Hi Karen,
    Just stumbled across your blog recently and love your work, especially with cookies and macarons. Macarons are definitely nicer than cupcakes. I have a problem with the icing to cake ratio too and I find many store-bought cupcakes really fail in the taste department e.g. cake too dry, frosting to greasy. I think that it’s not enough to make a cake/ cookie look good. It’s ultimately meant to be eaten, right?

    I’m sure your cookies taste as great as they look.

    I especially love your use of colour. So vivid and lush. I’m only new to decorating and was wondering how you get your red so ‘red’! Should I also be buying the No-Taste red? What does that mean?

  33. DeYuan Says:

    Wow, I came across your website through another blog and I am really impressed by your intricate cookie designs!

    Are you selling them?

  34. Malak Says:

    WOW, great cookies.Amazing designs too:D
    I have a couple of questions if you do not mind;)
    do you pipe the royal icing in the stiff consistency then thin it out?how do you get the large ares look so smooth?:)
    I have another problem, when i use meringue powder somehow when the icing dries out im left with raw egg aroma:( ewww! although i use loads of vanilla extract…any tips?
    Thank you so much,keep blogging:D

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