Basketball + Royal Icing

My son played basketball this winter; his first sport! It was an Upward league, and if you can find one of those leagues near you, I cannot recommend highly enough that you join in! I was scheduled for snacks for the last game, and I couldn’t resist the desire to do something special…you know, more than the fruit snacks and juice boxes. Though, I did that too in case anyone else thought I was as silly as my husband. 🙂 I decided basketball cookies with each player’s name on them would be perfect; not an original idea, but a first attempt for me! I’ve only tried royal icing once before, at Christmas, and I was eager to give it another shot. And, what better practice subjects than hungry five- and six-year old boys? They’re just going to devour them and not be concerned about the mistakes, perfect!

I used the recipe for All Occasion Sugar Cookies recommended by The Brown Eyed Baker, as well as all of her tips on royal icing!  The cookies turned out nice and soft (rolled just slightly thicker than 1/4″, as she recommends), and the icing was easy to make and use.  The hardest and most time-consuming part was coloring the icing.  I was using a mix of the liquid food coloring and the gel food coloring in the box found with the liquid coloring.  Next time I’m going to the cake decorating section in Wal-Mart (the only crafty place in town!), where they have Wilton gel colors and I could have gotten orange and black without such trouble.  I definitely recommend doing that!

I made the cookies one day, did the orange outline and orange flooding of the icing the next morning (just see the link above to find out about flooding), and piped the names on that evening.  Spreading it out this way, I wasn’t stressed about them, and didn’t have to panic when it took FOREVER to get the right icing color!  I initially thinned my icing too much for piping the names, and had to take the icing back out of the decorator bag and add more powdered sugar.  It was a pain, but necessary, because the letters were running together!

I doubled the sugar cookie recipe and ended up with 20 cookies of 4″ diameter.  I had to be careful not to break any, to be sure I would have enough!  It was a fun project, and the boys were THRILLED.  Some of the moms thought I was pretty talented, too; I hated to tell them how easy it was! 🙂  My  husband still just thinks I’m nuts.  I resigned myself to that long ago. 🙂

I finally convinced my little ones to pose for me with their snowman apron and elephant apron on; thus the final post with tutorial for those is upcoming!  I also made a 4-layer chocolate cake with strawberry swiss meringue buttercream and chocolate glaze this weekend; the description sounds so impressive, doesn’t it?  The cake doesn’t look quite as impressive as its name, but it turned out well, so I’ll share that as well.

What else am I working on?  Activity travel bags for the two littles, travel blanket/pillow sets, diaper clutches, and the ULTIMATE diaper bag.  As in, looks like the Coach diaper bag, but has better organization.  And doesn’t cost $400!  That one is still in the drawing stage, but I am so excited about it.  Did I mention that two littles will hopefully be three littles in July?! 🙂

Time for school around here…and some cleaning!  That cake destroyed my kitchen this weekend, and I don’t clean on Sundays, so I must rescue the countertops before they collapse :).  I might even post a picture of our living room/kitchen/dining room again today; it’s looking MUCH better than that last picture I posted!  Or, well, it will be in about half an hour at least. 🙂

Linking up to a few parties for fun today.


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