These aren’t exactly words you’d expect to read in a post about cookies. Certainly, they’re de rigueur in posts about charcuterie or butchery. But not cookies.
And, that’s the point.
It’s the ‘I’ve never seen a cookie like that’ idea that is my Mt. Everest. What technique will I use to transform this idea into a cookie that, intellectually, you know you’re supposed to eat, but, emotionally, want to hold onto and save in a safe place forever? Will it be as funny to others as it is to me?
These are just a few of the questions I always ask myself when evaluating a project. And of course, nothing moves me forward faster to a swift resolution than knowing I’ve already said “yes” to the client and a completion date is on the horizon.
Such is this cookie. My sweet oncologist by day/food blogger by night friend presented me with my latest challenge. ”Can you make something in a blood cell for my hematologist friend?”, she asked as though a blood cookie was a best seller of mine. ”White blood cells are really beautiful, you know”.
I took the bait and googled away. The cell really is kind of pretty, particularly if you have no idea what you’re looking at. And, the idea is much better than any I pitched. I heard hematologist and thought ‘bloody vampire teeth after feeding, blood spatter, blood smear, knife dripping with blood.’ Too ordinary. Too ho hum. MJ couldn’t have been more right on with this idea.
The deep colored blob in the middle looks like some kind of polka dotted reptilian head, or one of those early 80′s PacMan video game that gobbles up everything in its path. Surrounding that blob are polka dots, or pomegranate arils, or …let me stop before Dr. Rorschach analyzes me.
After careful consideration, I determined that the best technique I could possibly employ is the ‘dot on a dot in a dot’, or what’s more commonly known as the ‘wet on wet’ technique. For the record, I prefer my name.
You may never make a white or red blood cell cookie, but you will definitely want to use this easy technique to add lots of dimension to your own creations.
I began by outlining the middle blob with fairly runny royal icing. I didn’t want it to set up before I was through adding my dots.
Then, I quickly filled the blob.
Next up, the first set of dots.
Here’s where I let you down. I screwed up the photo of the 3rd dot. But, it’s simple. I just went back with my original dark red color and dropped dots into the violet ones, resulting in what look like floating rings.
Let that dry over night so there’s no chance of unwanted bleeding.
Now, fill one small section of the cookie with loose flood icing. Immediately drop in the first dot.
Add another color into the first dot.
I then added just the tiniest dot of dark red to mimic what I saw in the illustration. Working swiftly, I maneuvered my way around the rest of the cookie to fill it completely.
Voilà! Behold the eosinophil! This Friday night, a group of doctors will be whooping and hollering over these cookies.
A sausage loving, wine-slurping neurosurgeon will be celebrated, too.
Today, blood n’ brains get added to my ‘that’s a cookie?’ category.
And, that’s not offal, is it?