Monday, March 31, 2014

Balloon Cookies on Sticks!

Balloon cookies on sticks!

Wow, I am on a baking roll this week! My oven churned out cookies on sticks, a macaron tower, two Monster High cakes and one football cake just in the past month. Unfortunately, I am starting work next week so this should be the last batch of orders - at least until I feel comfortable enough to juggle two boys and baking at the same time.

This order was for a friend's one year old baby. The theme was balloons and she wanted the cookies to look like balloons on sticks. I used my favourite butter cookies batter for this. The good thing about the recipe is the rich buttery taste, like my favourite Kjeldsens cookies. But the bad thing about a rich butter cookie, is the cookie senang masuk angin and cannot stay crunchy for long. If you want something that stays crunchy, gingerbread cookies can stay crunchy for a longgggg time. But gingerbread cookies reminds me of Christmas, not daily cookie consumption. And yeah, I love butter!

Cookie dough cut to size using a balloon cookie cutter (erm actually an Easter egg cutter), with sticks shoved in the middle of the dough.

It was my first time baking with lollipop sticks but I was not too worried about it. I did my research early, just cut the cookies and push the stick into the back - how hard can it be right? Well, wrong. Hubby had actually reminded me to do a test batch before I cut all of the cookies. I was halfway done when I remembered his advise, so I popped a whole tray (yes a whole tray) into the oven just to see how it turned out.

All the cookie sticks melted! 

I was absolutely dumbfounded. All the baking sites I visited claimed that lollipop sticks are oven safe. So why did mine melt? I panicked and called a fellow neighbour for advise. She offered for me to try her lollipop stick (purchased at a different baking shop) to see if it would make a difference.

Meanwhile, I threw away the whole tray. I ended up making indents in the cookie so that I could glue the cookie sticks with royal icing after the cookie baked. This meant that I had to recut each and every cookie so that I could make an indent in them. Kerja dua kali namanya! And even then, you couldn't wave the baked cookie around (as kids would probably do), without the cookie flying off. *sigh* Can't really expect the royal icing to be able to stick such a heavy cookie to a lollipop stick. *double sigh*

Sticks glued to the baked cookies with royal icing.
Then my neighbour's sticks arrived, and I tried a little experiment. From left to right, my neighbour's bare lollipop stick, my lollipop stick wrapped with aluminum foil and my neighbour's lollipop stick wrapped with aluminum foil.

In the end, the bare one melted as well (it became even worse than mine!) but the ones wrapped with aluminum were fine. So for the remaining batches, I meticulously wrapped each and every one of the lollipop sticks.

Hard work, I tell you!
Decorated with pastel coloured fondant.
While prepping the last tray of cookies, I suddenly had the idea to "patch" the back of the lollipop stick with cookie dough to reinforce the stick. Definitely a good idea to be replicated for the future!

So here are pictures from the birthday party. Happy 1st birthday, Maryam!

Balloons everywhere! I burst out laughing when my friend wanted to manually pump a whole room of balloons. Talk about being optimistic! I ended up loaning her my neighbour's automated balloon pump.
The dessert table and my balloon cookies on sticks in action.
Contributed my Tiffany Blue rock candy and candy sticks to match the pastel theme.
Loving the cake pops! I had a bad prior experience with cake pops (the chocolate seized - long story), so I admire multi coloured cake pops! Also a vegan birthday cake, since the birthday girl is allergic to dairy. 
The BBGS gang. Check out my long hair. Going to cut it to a more reasonable length before I start work!
Last but not least, Aiden won first prize for "wrap the mummy" contest. Last two years we played the same game and Aiden couldn't stand still. This year he can listen to instructions, so he stood still while Hubby wrapped him up. 

Note: Aiden had a blast at the party. Since he was so "vocal", the magician picked him to assist him in the magic show. Oh he absolutely loved the attention! He even gave a thumbs up sign to Danya when he was standing beside the magician, to which Danya responded with a big smile - so adorable! I think, by the end of the party practically everyone knew Aiden's name, because the next day we went to another birthday party and an adult actually said hello to Aiden as he recognized Aiden from Maryam's party.

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