Sunday, April 1, 2007

Baby Teeth

Okay. Not a baker. We've been over that.

So when I was arranging a surprise shower for my friend Jen M. at school, I had this idea to bake cookies in the shape of teeth and brushes with cutters that I got at RDH Novelties and Gifts, use them for favors, and put a little card on each bag that said "A New Set of Baby Teeth!" But I don't even like making the sugar cookie dough from a box mix, let alone from scratch (and let's face it, I'm not very good at it either way, see "Christmas Cookies in L.A.") so I went to the store in search of the pre-made kind that comes in a tube. See, I'm more interested in the crafty aspects of cookie making... the decorating. But lo, when I arrived at the store, I saw that Pilsbury has at last produced cookie dough already made, and already flattened into sheets of the perfect thickness. They seem to be a seasonal item, just for Easter, I think. Just another reason why it is so, so great that Jesus rose from the dead. Let's just say I felt saved... for a second time. Oh, and they were on sale!

I knew I had to make enough cookies for 40 people, so that meant 40 toothbrushes, and 80-100 teeth (I put two in each bag.) And, oh, have you seen the size of my kitchen?

I turned the little space into a busy little factory. But, you're thinking, I took a shortcut. It should have been easy, right? Well, yes. But a bit time consuming. The little pieces on the molars took some finesse.

I had to figure out, also, how to elevate the cookies a bit, or at least place them on something that I didn't have to bake them on... Because I knew there would be run-off from the icing. I also didn't use the icing that came with the cookies, because I wanted it to harden nicely. So I used powdered sugar and a little milk.

The necessity of all the types of surfaces I would need was almost too much for the little alley kitchen I've got. The cookie dough, however, came with little cardboard trays and wax paper, so I transferred them to those for frosting. (I only have one cookie rack that we registered for, for crying out loud).

I mixed blue food coloring with the frosting for the toothbrushes. Jen was having a boy (she has now had the boy, Brandon, and I already love the boy), so I wanted a nice soft blue. For all this, I used a cake/pastry decorating kit I'd gotten at Jewel some time ago... But I think trimming the corner off of a plastic bag would have worked just fine.

It was a gluey, mortar-like mess by the end. The frosting hardens on your hands, the bowl, the spatula... And I wasn't sure if the blue was going to come off of everything. (I mean, the blue! My god, the blue!) But it all came out with machine-like precision (thank you again, my Lord and Savior). And Chris very much enjoyed eating my mistakes. And mugging with them, as well.

The cookies dried overnight, and I put them into bags the next day. I may have just bit off more than I could chew with the whole shower... I also had the task of getting two enormous wrapped strollers upstairs, and sweet-and-sour meatballs in a crockpot. But I had a lot of help, and all the other girls at school really went the extra mile, too. They all said the cookies were delicious. And I think Jen was at least mostly surprised. :) It was a blast!

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