Sunday, January 23, 2011

Trial and Error

How do most of our greatest inventions happen? With great minds of course, but also quite by accident or pure trial and error. So with that in mind I took a different approach to a cookie recently. It was for a baby shower and the request for a monogram. I had given monograms a go before and the result was eh...ok. It pleased the customer and received oohs and awws, but I was disappointed in the result.

With that in mind, this cookie was going to get a different approach. Insert superhero dantadah music here.

My first attempt was using royal icing. (You know the cookie that was only eh..ok.) the medium I normally use to decorate. I knew it had the "firmness and strength" needed for the cookie but wasn't sure on looks.
I tried to make "monogram O's" out of royal icing on wax paper. However I had trouble transferring the O's to the cookie without a lot of breakage. And because I get enough stress from my "real" job, the cookie business needs to be a stress free zone. Thus, I tried two different techniques. One being wet on wet (green cookie), it was probably the best of the two. I had to do something different with the onesie shape because the yellow was dry. So I tried just scripting the O. Both of these did get the job done but I wasn't happy with it. 
Since those cookies I'd moved onto other shapes and designs until a week ago when I got a call for a baby shower and guess what: Monograms! EEEK.
Secretly I was thinking oh can I talk them into something different, but knowing that I need to keep "the customer is always right" in mind I stayed positive.
Needless to say the brain went on overload and I began to think what else could I do? I do tend to do things the hard way most days, and I was pretty sure other cookiers out there had already mastered this, but for me I had to learn by doing and thinking it through. This was a growing moment. With great hope I decided to try melting chocolate wafers. It was taking a risk as I didn't really have a back up plan and had a short time to get them done...but here is the result.

Let me start with yes this pleased me. I was very happy with the overall "look." I do have to say though that these M's did not have the durability I was looking for. There was some breakage while trying to fix the platter, but with a soft touch they melted back together.

This was an awww ha moment as Oprah would say. I'm pretty sure I will keep this strategy the next time I need monograms and may even try almond bark because it might have the strength that the baking chips didn't.

So back to the title: some of our best creations come from trial and error. Happy Baking and if you don't succeed the first the cookie and try again another day!

1 comment: