Welcome Little One

No, I don’t have a baby on the way, but a friend of a friend who fell in love with the hummingbird cookies I did for my best friend’s wedding asked if I would do some cookies for her baby shower, and a cake too if I was up for it. The theme was elephants and the colours were yellow and grey as she wanted it gender neutral. They are waiting to find out if they are having a boy or a girl. Much more patient than I would be I tell you!

Whenever I remembered I took a photo so let’s take you on the baking journey.

Ok, four batches of vanilla sugar cookie dough, yum. Am getting better at not eating dough while baking, I believe I only tried one piece before starting to make sure it was tasty…how else can I know? 🙂

4 and a half hours of hand-cutting elephant cookies and baking them, they are all done and cooling on the racks, except that lot on the cookie tray as apparently six cooling racks are now not enough.

A small army of sugarpaste hearts for the cookies. Way more than needed but they store well and can always use hearts.

60 cookies plus a few spare are now all base coat iced and drying for the next day.

The next day I iced the ears and the following morning the little sugarpaste hearts were stuck to the ears. As you can see it’s a bit of a process to create royal iced cookies as there’s time to do it and time to dry, then time to do the next step…but it’s well worth it. Here they are all ready to package. Managed to not need my spare cookies by not shoving a finger or hand or elbow into a drying cookie. First time for everything!

It’s the day before the party and the cake must be made. 2 x 10inch/25cm square chocolate cakes are cooling on their makeshift cooling racks – one of our cheeseboards and the back of a cookie tray. Don’t worry about the crackles in the top, we shall trim them off.

The cake has been put together with vanilla butter-cream which I left natural coloured as it fit with the theme colours (pale yellow) and royal icing is ready in the bags beside. I read a few days ago when trying to figure out how to get white butter-cream, that Australian butter is more yellow because our cows eat grass rather than grain. More fascinating was that our butter used to even be dyed more yellow. Ok tangent over.

My first idea for the cake side decoration didn’t work, my icing just wasn’t strong enough so I went with some stringwork (yellow) and some pressure piping decoration (grey) all the way around the cake. I think it worked really well, a simple yet pretty design.

And there’s the finished cake, ready in its box! I put more of the sugarpaste hearts around the edge to tie in with the cookie design.

A closeup of the royal icing message. I was terrified doing this. I was starting to run out of time so I had only done two sets of the “welcome little one” that morning, so they hadn’t dried for as long as they should have. I figured if I broke them all I would hand pipe but I managed to only break one of the “welcome’s”. Would have been less heartache for me if I had done each letter separately but I liked this font.

I am skipping back a few days here, because the elephant cake topper was started while I was icing the cookies as it needed time to dry. It took a couple of days to get to this stage, but here’s our little ellie ready to have the details added.

Ta-da! Ellie complete. Little rose, frangipani and daisy to fill in the white space in front of ellie and continue the yellow and grey theme. Petal dust on the ears and trunk tip, and in the ellie skin creases, sugarpaste bases on the feet and I mixed a little petal dust with vodka and painting on the eyes and toenails (restraining the urge to take a shot or two because I was freaking out about my ellie because I hadn’t done a figurine before). I used a food colouring pen for the eyebrows.

The packaged cookies! The package topper is taken straight from the invite design.

 Just wanted to acknowledge that the mother-to-be found this elephant cookie design on pinterest, created by Marian at Sweetopia. http://sweetopia.net/2011/08/elephant-baby-shower-cookies/

Wow, that was long wasn’t it?

Until next time, have fun.

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