Sunday, October 28, 2012

When Spiders Go a Little Preppy...

I mean, really, who said spiders and spiderwebs have to be black & orange anyway?
This is the second year that kiddo has decided he's not going trick-or-treating.  I miss Halloween costumes.  I'll be honest, Mr. E made a lot of them.  One of my favorites: a traffic light. He made it so the red and green lights really lit up and the yellow light could be pushed out from the inside to retrieve the candy.  (Would it surprise you to know that Mr. E has an engineering degree?)

That same year, Martha Stewart asked readers to send in their best kid's costume pictures and it made it onto her website!!!  Yes, kiddo is on Martha's website.  You never could be framed in her office, too.  Or in her wallet.  (Stranger things have happened.)

That picture was from 4th grade.  Kiddo is now in 8th grade...and looks like this.
{{Hug your babies, you guys.  Time flies.}}

I *do* love seeing the little ghouls & goblins come to the door for candy, though...and so does kiddo.  Looks like we've moved from the trick-or-treating phase into the "opening-the-door-for-trick-or-treaters, eating-more-candy-than-we-give-away" phase.  It's not all bad.

So, the cookies.  I knew I wanted to make some spiderwebs.  I wanted to use some different colors, but all I could visualize were black, orange, purple,, orange, purple,, orange, purple, green.  Don't get me wrong, I like those colors.  Then, it came to me in a flash of 80's nostalgia...preppy.
The cookies are super simple, and even though these are sprinkled with disco dust, you can totally leave that off.  You can see I was having some issues deciding whether or not to dust...

One note about the navy color.  I mixed AmeriColor Navy with AmeriColor Super Black.  You'll want to bring the color to a deep blue, but it won't look navy until it dries.  (You'll see from the how-to pictures how much the color deepens.)

To make the sparkly spiderwebs, you'll need:
Use a #2 tip to outline the cookies in the base colors.

Thin the base color icing with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin.  Count of 2-3 is good.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed.  Pour into squeeze bottle.   

Fill in the outline with the thinned flood icing, using a toothpick to guide to the edges and to pop large air bubbles.

Let the cookies dry for at least one hour.

Use a #2 tip to pipe a spiderweb outline in a contrasting color.  Start from one corner, or from the top center.

Use a #5 tip to pipe a spider body and a #1 tip to pipe the legs.

Use a #15 star tip to pipe a border along the edge of the cookies, using a pulsing motion.

{This is one of the easiest ways to make your cookies look fancy.  You'll need a fairly stiff icing to hold the design...I always test my icing on a plate first.  If the ridges fall, just stir in some sifted powdered sugar.}

Let the cookies dry uncovered 6-8 hours, or overnight.

If desired, add the disco dust.  Details on applying it are here.  I used a very thin paintbrush to go over the web and legs of the spider.

After the dusted cookies have dried about 30 minutes or more, use a dry paintbrush to brush away the excess.

Let me live vicariously through you.  What are your kids, grandkids, nieces, nephews going to be this Halloween?!? 

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