20 Nov Social Butterfly
There comes a time in every individual’s life where everything seems to happen at the same exact time. You’re truckin’ along, minding your own business when BAM, life comes and sucker punches you unexpectedly in the face. If you’re lucky, the sucker punch is actually a good thing (if that’s even possible) and brings along incredible changes. The past two weeks have been one long sucker punch for me. Between my birthday, a new job, a couple of cookie orders, and a new video game (yeah, I know… I have to reevaluate my priorities), I’ve had a difficult time focusing and sitting down to write a blog post. Making and decorating cookies can be somewhat time consuming so when I’m busy I tend to procrastinate.
That’s where these butterfly cookies come in. On the suggestion of a coworker of mine, I invested in a Duff Airbrush System, hoping that it would add a level of detail to my desserts as well as reduce my decorating time. I was not disappointed.
Back in 5th grade, I had a teacher that I absolutely adored (and still adore) and coming up very soon I’ll be paying her a visit. I have very vivid memories of her infectious laugh, bright red hair, and her affinity for butterflies. She also really loved Diet Coke but I figured butterflies would make for a prettier cookie.
The first step for these cookies is to bake one batch of the No Fail Sugar Cookies. Since I was also working on a couple of other projects, I split my batch up between the butterflies as well as some Yodas (more on that matter later in the month). While the cookies were baking, I whipped up a royal icing using my New Royal Icing recipe. After thinning the icing down to flooding consistency, I piped the wings of the butterfly in white and let them dry for a couple of hours.
Here’s where things get awesome. Using my handy dandy airbrush and a myriad of Duff Airbrush Colors, I created the gorgeous butterflies that you see here. After allowing the airbrushed color to dry, I piped the white details on the wings. It was literally that simple. I had never used an airbrush before and without reading the instructions (yes, I am one of those people) I was able to create the most gorgeous cookies I have ever made. Everyone reading this should try using an airbrush on their desserts because I promise you will look like a pro with very minimal effort. I felt like a magician and so will you.
I can’t wait to visit my 5th grade teacher and give her these cookies. There’s no way that I could ever repay her for everything that she has given me. I suppose poet Billy Collins can best summarize how I feel (though I like to think that cookies are a better gift than a lanyard at least).
The other day I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room,
moving as if underwater from typewriter to piano,
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
when I found myself in the L section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one into the past more suddenly—
a past where I sat at a workbench at a camp
by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid long thin plastic strips
into a lanyard, a gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard
or wear one, if that’s what you did with them,
but that did not keep me from crossing
strand over strand again and again
until I had made a boxy
red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard.
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted spoons of medicine to my lips,
laid cold face-cloths on my forehead,
and then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim,
and I , in turn, presented her with a lanyard.
Here are thousands of meals, she said,
and here is clothing and a good education.
And here is your lanyard, I replied,
which I made with a little help from a counselor.
Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth,
and two clear eyes to read the world, she whispered,
and here, I said, is the lanyard I made at camp.
And here, I wish to say to her now,
is a smaller gift—not the worn truth
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took
the two-tone lanyard from my hand,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless, worthless thing I wove
out of boredom would be enough to make us even.
– Billy Collins