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Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Orange You Glad?

There is so much to say about First Communion, my parents visiting, Baby Sister getting a short hairdo, the sun arriving back in London and much more, but meanwhile, wanted to send you this quick DIY for orange slice cookies.  Our Sweet School was holding a "Cookie Crumble" baking competition to raise money for charity. Baking (in grams and Celsius - my kryptonite!) was on my to do list all day.  And stayed there for countless hours.

The Mister used to say that a big difference in my staying home with the children would be that I would do the things I really love (among them baking and creating) during the daylight hours instead of late into the night after work. That was a good theory and long before England had a shot at taking the European Cup.

Step One. Pull out couch and let children stay up late cheering the England victory over Ukraine. Ignore breakfast dishes languishing in the sink. It is honest, my blog. Kitchen sink and all. And should you be here for some reason looking for kitchen decor ideas, I strongly discourage copying these countertops and the world's tallest back splash which are the precise color of crumbs.

Step Two.  Ponder variety of cookie cutter options. These four boxes were non-negotiable when planning what was important to bring across the Atlantic. Most of the cutters were gifts from friends and lots have stories behind them. But even with all these options, I went for a big, round circle.

Step Three. Survey the cupboards with surprise and glee that so many baking ingredients are already here. These are the little things that make me feel at home. That my "pantry" (really just one sliding skinny cabinet door) has food colors, fondant, caster sugar, flours, and all sorts of baking essentials. Maybe not as much or as varied as I would have had Stateside, but plenty enough. Anyhow, whip up batch of sugar cookie dough from a BBC recipe. Remind yourself you still haven't made the leap to baking with a scale and do rough conversions of grams to cups. Cut out circles and cut them in half.  Bake.

Step Four. Regret that among the baking necessities there are few options among my food colorings. We'd just used blue for royal (!) icing star cookies for the Jubilee Tea Party, so that left only orange. Thus, the orange slices!  Tint bowl of royal icing orange. Reserve some for plain white accents.

Step Five. Place foil (AL - lou - min - EUM, if you will) under cookies on cooling rack for quick clean up. Royal icing hardens quickly. Even on crumb colored countertops. Ice cookies with the back of a baby spoon dipped in orange icing. Let dry and add white trim.

Step Six. Put out for Smalls' admiration in the morning. Save a few for the ladies in the school office and one for Baby Sister's dear porter friend. He will accept his with a big smile even though she has lost the ribbon for its bag and crushed most of the cookie in her enthusiasm to deliver it. But no matter how they look, these little cookies are perfectly sweet. Just like their little delivery people. I even let the smalls sample some over breakfast. Clearly, I'm going for quite the mothering award this week. Dirty dishes, late nights, and cookies with breakfast!  Where'd the Mister and my parents go? This flat needs adult supervision stat!

Here's your merry baker about 12 hours before this project was begun. I am so humored in finding photo essays from Baby Sister on my camera a few times a week. Kind of nice to have a photographer around the house to take pictures for me -  even if she did catch me in that same sweater again!  Now, orange you glad you stopped by?!

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