Daily Culinary Quote: Or possibly marbles made of oatmeal cookies…

This was meant for December 18th, 2017. Apologies for being late:

“On more than one occasion, the camera has cut to me after a break as I’m still trying to swallow the last bite of cookie. Those of you who have thought to yourselves, ‘That guy talks like he has marbles in his mouth,’ should know that they are not marbles, but oatmeal cookies.”

~ Lester Holt (news anchor for NBC Nightly News and Dateline NBC)

Webcomics and baking

All New Issues:  Food, fashion accessories, AND science fiction. I want my own scarf now!

Sheldon: A step-by-step guide to walk you through the decision-making process of whether you should have a cookie. The artist also sells it as a print that I’m planning on ordering for my kitchen. (Bonus Sheldon comparing cherry tomatoes to the Three Stooges.)

Head Trip: An Inception cake

Two of my favorite strips from Questionable Content that are also rated G: Cookies and Pies (the artist sells a t-shirt with this quote on it – I ended up wearing it to the first day of the Austin cake show this year)

Odori Park: WHY WON’T YOU EAT MY LOVE?!

2011 Cake Show: Adult Intermediate Division, part three

Adult Intermediate

Developing skills. 2 to 4 years cake decorating experience; 30 to 60 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction. Open to all styles.

And finally it’s time for the one category that I actually entered this year (I was supposed to also enter the Buttercream Only category and the Tasting Division/Soda Category–my recipe for rootbeer cake turned out fabulous–but there just wasn’t enough time to finish either one).

Confections Not-On-A-Cake: Cupcakes, cookies, candy, chocolate, etc. An individual entry, not on a cake.
 
 
All the Confection Entries for Intermediate

This year, there were seven entries in the Confections Not-On-A-Cake category.
 
 
Butterfly Garden

Title: Butterfly Garden
by Leah Tackitt
 
 
Truth, Justice, and the Cupcake Way

Title: Truth, Justice, and the Cupcake Way
by Irma Arenivar
 
 
Spring has blommed

Title: Spring has blommed [sic]
by Irma Arenivar
 
 
Jungle Babies

Title: Jungle Babies
by Rachel O’Kon
 
 
day of the dead cookies

3rd Place
Title: Dia de los Muertos Cookies
by Kelly Guerra
Blog Name: Billa Cakes
Another Day of the Dead entry, and it’s one of the better ones too. She was the one I was worried about since everyone already knew who would place first.
 
 
The Crimson Chin Multi-verse

2nd Place
Title: The Crimson Chin Multi-verse
The comic book superhero from Nickelodeon’s Fairly Oddparents’ cartoon–voiced by Jay Leno.
“Let’s get mandibular!”
by Somara Maggi

That’s me! Last year they awarded third place to Maggie Somara, so this year I made sure to label which part of my name was the first name and which part was the last name on my entry form. It worked.

I had originally planned on doing a time-line of Wonder Woman’s design changes in cookie form until I watched a Fairly Oddparents’ episode that had quite a few different versions of the Crimson Chin (each one was a parody of standard comic book character designs throughout the decades). I couldn’t resist. Steve was worried that Crimson Chin cookies would be too obscure for the judges, but they really didn’t care. Besides, there were already way too many Wonder Woman entries at the show this year.
 
 
From a Fairys Perspective

1st Place
Title: From a Fairy’s Perspective
by Peggy Higgins

I will be perfectly honest here. My first thought about this entry was that this should have been in the Special Techniques category, because it looked like the only cookie used was the white and green base. So here was a gorgeous entry that was going to kick my entry’s ass and it shouldn’t even be competing against me to begin with. But you know what? I was so very, very wrong.
 
From a Fairy's Perspective - close

If you take a closer look, you’ll see that the leaves are cookies. So are the mushroom caps and stepping stones. I don’t know about the fairy house, but after all the rest, it really doesn’t matter.

So yeah, Peggy definitely deserved first place, and I didn’t mind losing to her at all.
 
 
Now for more photos of my work…
 
Outlines

Piped cookies, but not flooded yet.
 
Ready to travel

Crimson Chins packed up for transport.
 
Crimson Chin Cookie

Close up of the current version of Crimson Chin.
 

Cramming for Christmas Baking

It took two and a half days to get the annual Christmas cookies done this year.  Because I was out sick for so long, I had to cut down the variety of cookies and candies to fit them into the shorter time span.  That sucked.  So did having my beaters dye after 7 years of heavy use right in the middle of making divinity (also known as Shiny Ferret Sugar Crack at work).  The divinity was salvaged, but I had to purchase new beaters last night so I could make the gluten-free cake for a family who wasn’t included in the gluten-filled cookie list.

The cookie plates had: Cranberry Orange Oatmeal Cookies, Sugar Cookies Christmas Trees with a lemon glaze, Almond Chai Bark, Divinity, Chocolate Covered Coconut Balls, and little bags of the Peppermint Popcorn I blogged about last month.  I was rushing it so much that I forgot to take photos until after the last of the deliveries went out today.  Oh well.

The final family in our list of cookie recipients is the gluten-free family.  Instead of trying to sort out the whole cookie issue just to juggle one family, I decided to try out the Betty Crocker Gluten Free cake mix that our grocery store now carries.  A word of warning.  Not only is the box of gluten free cake mix twice as expensive, it also makes half as much.  So it ran almost $6 for enough mix to make a two-layer 8 inch round cake (Target has it the cheapest around here).

The batter had an odd whipped and grainy texture, and it took a hell of a lot longer to bake.  The baked cake has a very fine crumb and it’s a little dry, but that’s fine since it will be sliced into four layers with fruit spread and ganache filling…maybe even buttercream.  Thankfully, it doesn’t taste bad at all.  In fact, it came out better than I expected after some of my recent experiments with gluten free pastries.

I’ll remember to snap a photo after decorating it tomorrow night.