Confession - I like superhero movies! Ok, maybe it's the appeal of the actors that play the superheroes, but anyway - I'll watch them ; )
The one series that hasn't caught me, though, is Spiderman. But what do I find myself entrenched in this week? You guessed it - I'm getting ready for a very spidery party. There are so many little boy themes that I'd love to do, but my son is determined to celebrate his 5th birthday in Spiderman style. And who am I to argue!?
So, a few dozen Spiderman and related cookies later, I thought I'd share some tips with you on how to deal with a long cookie decorating session...
Give yourself enough time - cookies take time to dry, and not all details can be done in one session. And factor in the cookie dough having to be refrigerated at least 4 hours/ overnight before baking! (See this post for cookie baking basics)
Give yourself enough space - mental, and physical. It's hard to be creative when you are juggling too many balls, so clear the decks. And clear the table - lots of cookies need lots of room to dry if you want to avoid smudging and elbowing half-set icing.
Set up in advance. If I want to get cracking in the morning, then I will do a lot of the preparation the night before - colour the icing, get bags ready, glasses to hold the bags, etc. Then it is just a matter of filling the piping bags in the morning before starting. (See this post for cookie decorating basics)
Make enough icing! - judge how much you'll need of each colour, and have enough mixed. If you run out and have to colour more icing, you may not get the exact same shade, and royal icing is also best left for some time for the colour to mature, and for bubbles to rise to the surface. (Royal icing recipe here).
Have everything you need close at hand, apart from the cookies and icing: paper towel, toothpick, image inspiration.
Take a break. Once you've been going for a while, you'll need to stretch, snack and re-focus. Have some tea and an apple... ok - coffee and a cupcake - before start to lose the plot.
Make extra cookies - just in case you don't realize you've lost the plot until too late!
And if you're having a really bad decorating day, there's always tomorrow... unless the party's tomorrow, in which case there's always Oreo's and Iced Zoo's!
If you want to see a great tutorial on decorating a cookie with a Spiderman face/mask, visit www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2012/08/simple-spider-man-cookies/