Sometimes a story is told better backwards, so let’s try that today and work our way from the end.
I had just completed these tulip cookies and I wanted to gift some to our German neighbors. We haven’t really gotten to know them yet, as they only know a little English and our German is well barely there. Cookies, well, they are understood in every language. And you don’t exactly give cookies out to your enemies so I figured this was a great way to say hello, and “I apologize in advance for all the times I will be hanging out the window in my pajama pants, standing on random objects, all while photographing whatever sprinkle covered treat I’ve come up with that day.” In short, “Hello, I’m crazy but I DO make cookies and share!” So I packed up these pretty little spring tulips in a pink bakery box and a bow. The girls decided they wanted to deliver so I sat at the window like a total creeper and watched as the kiddos and their friend ran across the street and proudly shouted “Guten Tag”, one of 5ish German words they know, as they neighbor opened the door. They handed her the package and then it occurred to them they had no idea what to say next. Between the language of cookies and a few gestures the sweet neighbor lady was delighted they were a gift for her. And she asked the girls if they would like “schokolade” (chocolate). Another one of their five German words came rolling out of all four little mouths, “YA!” And before you know it the girls were headed back home toting 4 full size Milka bars.
I spend an entire day baking and preparing cookies. And they spend 30 seconds delivering, and they get amazing German milk chocolate. Wait a minute…
Now this bring me to a few thoughts. Of course the obvious happy feels from sharing with neighbors. But a lesson on when you bake something, present it your darn self! And the most important issue here…what kind of superhuman has 4 large size Milka bars just laying around their house unconsumed?! I mean you guys…watching these 4 chocolate Easter bunnies just sit idol on the counter all week since Easter has practically killed me. When it comes to chocolate there is no self control. I can barely resist a Hershy kiss…but 4 huge amazing German milk chocolate. It’s just not happening guys. And now I’m convinced my neighbors just might be robots. Which explains why they are go go go all day keeping the tidiest of houses, doing all the chores, all the time….
Ok now I’ll go back to the begining. I’m pretty much obsessed with Tulips and only tulips. I’m a one kind of flower girl. I scope out all the local groceries for tulips to fill our house every week. Last week I got in an eyeball match with an old man for the last bouquet. (spoiler alert, he won I mean he obviously had somebody sweet to take them home to darn conscious). I haven’t baked up any tulips since the beginning of my baking days and I’ve reallllyyyy been itching to do just that. And now was the time. Why? Because this weekend we’re headed to The Netherlands! Holland! Yes that’s right we are going to the world famous tulip fields. #2 on my bucket list and I can hardly wait.
I’m planning on bringing back lots of bulbs to plant for next year. Assuming I don’t kill them all in the process…no more grocery store match downs for me. All. The. Tulips. Will. Be. Mine. Sadly, I can’t take you all with. But that doesn’t mean you can’t bake a field of your own. And who knows maybe you’ll be encouraged to share with your neighbors. But you’ve been warned, deliver them your self ok? We’ve decorate so many cookies together on MBC so I tend to keep the instructions pretty simple. But if you’re just starting out here are some pages to read all about royal icing cookies!
Here’s what your going to need:
Sugar Cookie Dough (my favorite one HERE)
Parchment Paper (key to baking pretty sugar cookies!)
Tulip/Flower Cutter & Egg Cutter (or an oval)
Paring Knife Or Rolling Cutter
Gel Food Coloring
Small Round Tip (Wilton #2)
First let’s talk about the cutters I used. I love to use common cutters and change them up a bit. For one, it’s less baking clutter I have and easier for you the reader to follow along. These cutters are basic Wilton Easter cutters that come in many of their cookie cutter sets. If you don’t have these exact cutters don’t worry just look around for something that will work. Get creative!
I wanted to show several stages in a tulips development. For the pre-bloom flowers I simply used an egg cutter. For the middle stage I used the tulip cutter then went over it with a large egg to make it less wide and more curved in. I also cut off the bottom stem. For the largest one I simply used the Wilton tulip cutter and once again removed the stem with a knife or rolling cutter. For the little tulip leaves I know I wouldn’t find anything in my stash that would come close. Because I really dislike hand cutting cookies I decided to use a wonky Wilton football cutter and then slice them in half with a little curve with a rolling cutter. In the end I got brave and cut a few long leaves by hand and I am so glad I did, they were my favs!
This is what they looked like all baked up and ready to bloom!
Next I mixed up my royal icing. Remember if you’re new to royal icing read up about here here first. For this batch I made a 6 cup (6 cups of powdered sugar and 6 Tbsp. meringue) batch of royal icing. Next I divided the frosting into six bowls and turned them into six colors. To get these particular colors I used:
Light pink: 1 Part Orange 1 Part Rose Pink
Bright Pink: 1 Part Orange 1 Part Rose Pink 1 Part Burgundy
For each color I thinned it down to a piping consistency (think toothpaste) and put 1/3 in a pipping bag with a Wilton #2 tip. Then thinned the rest down to a flooding consistency (10 seconds) and put the remaining 2/3 into another piping bag with a number 2 tip.
Next up is decorating time! Although these cookies look awesome together they are really very simple as usual. The key here is doing each section in layers. Most cookies have three sections to the tulip. You will need to flood and fill one section then let it dry long enough to crust over (about 20 minutes) before filling the next section. I work with two colors at a time. First I divide up my cookies so I have an equal amount for each color. Then I begin by outlining and filling the main section on each cookie for that color. Then I repeat with the second color and it’s cookies. By this time the first color of cookies is usually ready to take on the second section. Then I move on to the second color second section, and so on and so on. When both colors have a full set of cookies I set them aside and decorate the other two colors. Breaking it up helps me move along but not get to far ahead of myself. Just remember make sure you give each section ample time before adding the next section of you will find your icing blurring together.
Well that’s it! I’m off to the tulip fields! Won’t you bake along with me?