My New Year's Resolution is to attempt to master as many cake decorating skills as possible, and to share what I learn here. I have a wild idea that I might be able to come up with 365 posts by this time next year, but realistically my posts will probably come in fits and starts. Even more realistically, they might have less to do with cake decorating and more to do with the general "icing" of everything domestic; the reinterpretation of a classic recipe, a crafty decorating idea, or a creative method of tackling housework.
Back to cake decorating, my friend Joe cracks me up by regularly asking me, "What's with all these cakes?" The deal with "all these cakes" is in early 2011 I discovered and fell in love with the TLC show Cake Boss, and watching it inspired me to sign up for the beginner's cake decorating class at my local Michael's Arts & Crafts store. I plan to take more classes at Michael's and beyond, but I've found that some of my greatest cake-related accomplishments have occurred when I'm tinkering around in my own kitchen…or even in a hotel room.
On the eve of July 4th I was staying with my family at a Residence Inn, where I made myself at home by covering every flat surface of the kitchenette with paper towels. I proceeded to set up a "Fireworks Cookies" factory, which seems appropriate to revisit tonight on New Year's Eve. As you can see, the cookies were clearly a rip-off of the July cover of Martha Stewart Living; you can get the instructions here: Fireworks Cookies. The main thing I learned from this experiment is it's essential to own at least three each of all the smallest decorating tips for icing. I would have gone insane if I'd had to constantly swap my only #2 tip between piping bags of red and blue royal icing, both of which are threatening to dry out. Oh, and having to clean and dry the tip every time!? I'd have just splattered all the cookies Jackson Pollock-style and been done with it. Come to think of it, that might be a rather stunning cookie…now it's on the "to do" list!