Last night, in the interest of culling the herd to make room for the new arrivals, it was one of the Snow Dudes' turn to...you know....take one for the team. Imagine our surprise when it soon became apparent that this dude wasn't going down without a fight. He was almost bullet-proof!! While the Christmas Birds and the Santas had a pleasantly sweet and crunchy layer of icing, this Dude's coating was pretty much inpenetrable. Since Mr. Coco still has all his own teeth (and we'd like to keep it that way!) we decided some detective work was in order.
So, in the name of science... (Karen and Paula, you may just want to look away)...... Please don't call the SPCC (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Cookies). Snow Dude gave his life for science. There is no higher calling.
We know we covered the cookie with a base coat of pale turquoise Royal Icing which we distinctly remember we spread with a spatula (as opposed to flooding them with a runnier consistency of icing). Then, we piped and flooded the white layer of the snowman's body and THEN we put the scarf details on top. We were so pleased with the way the scarf stood out. So sculptural. So arty. Now, we think we just used too many layers of too stiff icing. That resulted in a rock hard finish. We could mail these babies to Zanzibar and they'd arrive all in one piece!!!
There is a reason that the Great Masters painted with egg tempera. That stuff lasts. And if you ever tried to wash dried egg off a plate, you'll know what we mean. Royal Icing is made from egg whites. We use those pasteurized ones in the carton just to be safe.
One of the problems with book learnin' is that there's no one to step in and tell you when you've made a big goof. You have to find out on your own, through trial and error and experimentation. With luck, you find out before someone breaks a tooth.
And now, we know. Good thing the seventeen cookies we iced yesterday are only going to be painted.