Yesterday, Mike defended his Neuroscience thesis, so I made these cookies to celebrate. I love using Food Writer markers because they make me feel like a kid again. I get to play with food and draw on it too! I made lab coats, scrubs, brains, neurons and bandaids.
I'm not really a science person, so I had to research what neurons look like, as well as anatomically correct brains. My version of a brain is the cookie with brown squiggles. Royal icing can be quite finicky. I found that piping an outline beforehand and then letting the colour flow dry for a day did the trick.
(my original sketch)
I baked the cookies a few days beforehand to let them cool and to make sure I had enough time to let the icing dry. I didn't have cookie cutters, so I just cut the cookies into shapes before baking. The shortbread was pretty good at keeping its original shape after baking.
However, I did have a reject batch, but it made for great snacking.
Then, I made the royal icing again using the Wilton recipe. Mix together 4 cups of icing sugar, 3 tbsp of meringue powder and 6 tbsp of water. Store the icing on top of plastic wrap in a tupperware. The icing dries quickly, so I made sure to cover or refrigerate it was not in use.
I added another 2 tbsp of water to the icing and divided it into colours. The icing was almost like the consistency of condensed milk at this point. I put some in a piping bag with a #2 tip and piped an outline on the cookies.
I let the outlines dry for a few hours. Then I made the colour flow icing. I added a few more tablespoons of water. For the right consistency, Wilton suggests dropping a small amount of icing into the mixture. If it takes ten seconds to disappear, then it's the correct consistency. I cut a tiny hole in the bottom of a disposable piping bag and used that to fill in the outlines.
I let the icing dry for about a day, so it could be completely dry and smooth for drawing. After they were dry, I drew the designs on with the Food Writer markers and made sure not to press down too hard on the icing. For the brain cookie (in the first picture) I piped a squiggly design with the #2 tip and buttercream icing.
The cookies were a big hit and Mike's lab group loved them. Only scientists would enjoy eating edible brains. If you like science cookies, you should definitely check out the monthly Science Cookie Roundup on Not So Humble Pie.
Also, today I find out if I advance to Round 3 of Project Food Blog. Thank you everyone for all of your amazing comments. If all goes well I will be hosting my first dinner party ever this weekend!