Saturday, July 7, 2012

Royal Icing Sun Hat

I decided yesterday's flip flops really needed an accessory: a sun hat! All you need to pipe sun hats are the same tips and colors from the flip flops (round tips #12 and #3 or #2, and star tip #16), parchment paper squares, and a dusting pouch filled with a 50/50 mix of cornstarch and powdered sugar. Start by piping a flattened ball with the #12 tip; hold the tip just above the surface and perpendicular to the center of a parchment square. Squeeze briefly, and pull the tip away straight up while stopping pressure. Touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and tap down the peak that will probably form; you'll be left with a relatively flat dot. 
 You may want to use a flower nail for this next step; I wish I had. Holding the tip just to the side of the dot and just above the surface, pipe continuously while moving the tip around the outer edge of the dot. When you reach the starting point, stop pressure and pull the tip away.
 Tap the ending edge down smooth with a dusted fingertip.
 Allow this disc shape to firm up for a while, then pipe the center. Hold the tip at a 90 degree angle just above the center, and squeeze until the icing meets the edge of that circular seam in the middle while moving the tip upwards. Stop pressure and pull the tip away. Stop here if you want a witch hat…
 …or touch a fingertip to the dusting pouch and tap it down into a smooth, rounded shape.
 Allow it to firm up for a while, then start decorating it. First, I piped a #3 band around the crown (I really wish I'd used the flower nail to get this line perfectly smooth; my pressure wasn't exactly steady while I was rotating the parchment with one hand and piping with the other).
 Then I piped a couple of little tails to make the band look more like a scarf tied around the crown.
 Then I decided what I really wanted was a #16 star flower with a #3 dot center to match those on the flip flops.
 I have absolutely got to get to work on some summer-themed cupcakes; maybe next I'll pipe a tiny bottle of SPF 50 sunblock…

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