Not a Cookie Maker – Part 2

Yesterday I started the saga of our polar bear cookies. My tips and techniques should dissuade anyone from even trying this project.

We counted on icing to disguise the flaws of the scraggly bears.
We counted on icing to disguise the flaws of the scraggly bears.

The next step was to frost the cookies with royal icing. Royal icing, much like facial cosmetics, hides flaws on the cookies.

The royal icing was fluffy but stiff after 10 minutes of beating.
The royal icing was fluffy but stiff after 10 minutes of beating.

We made the icing following Sweetopia’s recipe which included lots of instructions for a first-timer. I tried to follow the directions exactly but I thought I didn’t have enough powdered sugar. So I reassessed the proportions then I found more sugar in the pantry and reassessed again. I added white food coloring to the icing even though it was white to start with.

I outlined the first 2 cookies and decided the work was too detail-oriented and tedious for me.
I outlined the first 2 cookies and decided the work was too detail-oriented and tedious for me.

Getting the icing to the right consistency was the tricky part. I added water to the mixture until it was thin enough to squeeze from a pastry bag through a #2 tip.

All the cookies were outlined through a #2 tip with royal icing.
All the cookies were outlined through a #2 tip with royal icing.

My friend outlined the cookies with the royal icing.

When the icing consistency was right the finish was smooth and shiny.
When the icing consistency was right the finish was smooth and shiny.

The recipe made a lot of icing and since I only needed one color (white) I removed a few small containers and stored them in the refrigerator. With the remaining icing I tried to pipe (#7 tip) smooth tops onto the cookies.  Unfortunately the icing wouldn’t smooth out so I thinned it down even more.

A celebration of iced polar bears.
A celebration of iced polar bears.

When the icing was thin enough it flowed on evenly and easily smoothed out by shaking the cookies from side to side. I piped on the thinned icing while my friend shook the cookies.

The black icing is a little thick to control easily.
The black icing is a little thick to control easily.

We used premixed black icing with a #2 tip to add noses, eyes, and ears.

A polar bear with personality.
A polar bear with personality.

We let them dry out overnight and then put them in cookie tins between wax paper sheets.

Sweetopia's polar bear cookies.
Sweetopia’s polar bear cookies.
Knock-off polar bears.
Knock-off polar bears.

We are happy with our polar bear cookies but we’re never making them again!

How’s your holiday baking coming along?

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Author: Jo

Welcome to The Glade, where the second generation of renovations has just begun and the mania about our home, music and other passions fill our days and nights. We’re Charlie and Jo in the music world; Mary Jo and Charles to family; and JoJo and Charlie to each other. We are renovating a midcentury house in a Victorian historic district where we want to live there the rest of our lives. It's a 1946 house located in Maryland. We were married in this house. Thus far (pre-blog) we refinished cabinets, added a window seat (still working on the cushion), rearranged a wall in the guest house due to sink/vanity replacement, planted a vegetable garden, and other quick and not-so-quick fixes. So this latest zeal for construction is the result of my having lived here since 1997 and feeling a need to ready the house for the next chapter and beyond.

4 thoughts on “Not a Cookie Maker – Part 2”

  1. They look very sweet even if they were pretty high maintenance. I need to get cracking if I want to get my lefse made (lefse is Norwegian – looks like a tortilla but is made from riced potatoes, spread with butter and other things if desired, rolled up and eaten – wonderful!).

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