Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cherry Blossom Shortbread Cookies

While the judges are “still out” on the Intermediate Division Overall Winner title, I am going to hold off on the post for my cakes.

I know, I know. A little frustrating, but it is what it is. Until then let us talk cookies!

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So for anyone reading who may not be familiar with some of the big events in Washington, D.C., we are currently in the peak season for the Cherry Blossoms. Thousands upon thousands of people travel from all over to visit the D.C. area to see the Cherry Blossom trees in full bloom. The entire Tidal Basin is engulfed in a baby pink. It’s beautiful.

Below is a picture that The Boss took, it’ll give you the idea if you’re not familiar.DCRainmaker

So due to the Cherry Blossom season I felt honored to pay tribute to our beautiful flower!

These Cookies were a bit of a process, so I’ll take you through my thoughts step by step.

I love big canvas panel art works. Even more so when there are several pieces of canvas that line up and the scene carries on across the many pieces. That was my thought here, I just had an internal struggle with how I wanted to cookies to line up. Straight and clean, or jumbled and modern.

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Eventually I went with clean lines and a level set of cookies. Then it was time to sketch out how this was all going to come together.

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After playing around with the paper, icing, flower style, etc. I decided it was time to get going on the real deal!IMG_9464

I decided to initially pipe the outline of the tree onto the cookie set before airbrushing. I did this because I didn’t want to be guessing how low and high I wanted the sky and grasses. Essentially, this way my tree design drove the decision making while I had the airbrush in hand!

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Once I was happy with the heights of the sky and grass, I filled in the tree with my brown royal icing. I loved the way this turned out, and even considered stopping here! The texture of the trunk was well beyond my expectations.

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From here I started to spackle on the baby pink royal icing as well as piping in tiny red beads for more dimension.

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That was supposed to be it. I was going to stop at the spackling and beads. But as I sat there and hemmed and hawed, I decided that the cookie could actually benefit from a third level of pink dimension. So I punched out the tiniest flowers that I had a cutter for.IMG_9480

While I really liked the extra “pop” of the pink flowers, they were almost too plain, and even took away from the detail of all of the red bead work I piped into the pink. Hmmmm

So I took all of the flowers back off and one by every stinkin’ one, I piped with royal icing and my 00 tip 3 little yellow and two black beads. Wow, my neck still hurts thinking about this.

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This was only a fraction of the flowers!

Then I started to build the flowers back onto the tree.

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Finally I was finished!

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Like I said in yesterday’s post. I really had a soft spot for these cookies, I figured I had the best chance at taking an award with these.

Well, let’s see what the judges had to say about that:

Judges Score Card

I have several opinions about some of the comments made…but I’m going to keep them to myself. Well except that for the next time I cut out several hundred flowers tinier than the butt of a pencil eraser, shape them into 3D flowers, and pipe five different teeny-tiny royal icing beads into each and every one of those 250+ flowers, I’ll be sure to be more precise  and detailed than that and also get out my ball tool and “soften their edges”???

Fear not, my feelings aren’t hurt. I loved these cookies, and I learned a lot from this whole process. Also, whether or not I agree with all of the feedback from the judges, it is always helpful to see my work through other peoples’ eyes.

These are the cookies that won overall best cookies. This was for everyone who entered a cookie set; ages 6 to master sugar artist. These were submitted by a professional (and pretty crazy impressive!).

IMG_6866 The cookies that took 1st in my Division are below, the elephants.

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And finally mine:

Cherry Blossom Cookies

I hope you enjoyed my photo story of how I created these cookies! Did you get a chance to look through the album of Cake Entries that I posted yesterday. Did you have any favorites? Personally “The Flying Arnolds” was my absolute favorite!

Stay tuned for news on the cakes hopefully tomorrow!

15 comments:

Molly said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Robbed!!! You were totally robbed! Your cookies kick those elephants' asses.

Tami said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

You should have gotten the blue ribbon, your cookies are gorgeous.....did you eat the cookies? What happens to all the entries? Our country fair auctions off all the goodies at the end of the weekend...my pricing winning pumpkin whoopie pies went for $25!?!

Jayne said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

SO beautiful!!! I love the panel style, and of course, love the cherry blossoms everywhere. Great job!!

Alli said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I love elephants, but those judges are looney. Seriously, "soften the edges" on those microscopic flowers? Ugh...some people. Apparently I am blind b/c I don't see what they are talking about on the tree trunk. And the elephants are more difficult then what you did? PSSHHH!!! :) Great work, and I caught your cakes in your slide show, which made me happy for the "sneak peek"

Dorothy @ Crazy for Crust said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Those are unbelievably gorgeous!

Canterbury Cakes said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

What a labour of love - truely a work of art. I agree with the others above, you should have got the first prize. Thanks for sharing the step-by-step of how the design evolved. It's great to get an insight into your thinking.

Beth said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Wow, that is so intricate! Beautiful work!

gajkelley said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Yours are much better than the elephants! Congratulations!

lizy b said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Hm, well, not to take anything away from the lovely elephants, but YOU TOTALLY SHOULD HAVE WON!!! A seven for difficulty!! That's absurd! I've always been wary of entering these types of contests since the judging seems to be a bit skewed. The fossils were neat but.....I'd go with cherry blossoms any day!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I totally agree! you were robbed! The elephants are pretty but no where close to what you did!!

Carrie's Creations said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

These are gorgeous!

Robyn said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think you should have won

Sue said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

SO GORGEOUS! I love the process too:) Though the elephants are very cute, your stunning cherry blossom set is so much more unique and BEAUTIFUL!!! What were the judges thinking?!?

Bren Young said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

I think your cherry tree was more detailed than the elephants and would have awarded you 1st place!

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips[Reply to comment]Best Blogger Templates

Read the comments from the judge....all I can say is if you won Second place with these beautiful cookies then there is no hope for any of us out here.

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