Today is a great day. Why? Because I said so, that's why. And because today happens to be my Dad's birthday, and he's great. Here, everyone join with me: "Happy Birthday PinstrosiDad!" Thanks. My Dad see's himself as Mater. You know...Mater:
No one can drive backwards as good as Dad...seriously, he's awesome. He taught me and I'm decent, but nowhere near as good as he is. He even had a truck named "Dadgum" (he named the truck that as soon as Cars previews started airing, before we even knew Mater's name). A while back I found the perfect cake to make for Dad:
So...that's my project for today. I contemplated waiting to post today to see how it turns out, but I decided to do my regular post this morning and then I'll do a mini update post when I get the cake done. I've never even attempted anything like this...it could be interesting. So check back later for the results.
Today's Pinstrosity is also a Birthday treat, only this time Jessica was making stained glass sugar cookies for her mother-in-law.
The Original Pin
I'd seen those before and at first thought, "OOoohhh! How pretty!". Then the thought struck me...that's a sucker in the middle of a cookie. How does that work when it comes time to eat it? Jessica ran into that bump in the road with her cookies, but she had a few more bumps along the way.
"This story begins with a birthday party. For my mother-in-law, in fact. I desperately want to impress the family since my last baking experiment (delicious meringues) didn't go over so well."
"I thought, 'Wow! That looks awesome and so easy!' Make sugar cookies. Cut out middle. Insert Jolly Rancher. Bake. Magic!"
"Luckily, I started baking a week before I needed them to test out the recipe. I also worked in tiny batches for the first round."
"And seriously...I'm so glad I did."
"Everything started out great! The Good Housekeeping recipe for sugar cookies is delicious, and since I am definitely not a baker (this is important), I thought it would be foolproof."
"As you can see in the first three pictures, the idea is simple. And when I checked on the cookies with 8 minutes remaining in the oven, they looked just like the picture. I couldn't believe my luck! Pinterest hadn't led me astray like it has so many others."
"So overjoyed was I with my success that I checked on the cookies with 6 minutes remaining. And....well...that's when things started to head South for the winter."
"How odd, I thought, that they were bubbling. But, eh, sugar bubbles when it gets hot. I'm sure it'll settle down and end up just as pretty as when they started."
"But something that they didn't teach me in college, or in the original pin, is that the colors don't stay nice and separate like in that picture."
"Oh, no. They blend. And mix. And while the blue/green Jolly Rancher combo looked pretty...the rest looked kind of like vomit. Bubbly...chunky vomit."
"I think I'll call them hangover cookies."
"But it doesn't end there! Nope. I figured that they still probably tasted good, and with the next batch I would use just one Jolly rancher (to keep them from bubbling over the sides of my cookies) and I wouldn't mix colors. No problem, still a cool cookie."
"Right, but then they cooled. And suddenly, that delicious, sugar candy center turned into brittle glass. Like...break your teeth glass. And the problem is that if you bite anywhere close to the candy center, the glass cracks and suddenly you're covered in sticky, sugary crumbs. Then it's stuck to your teeth and you feel like a moron for grinding your teeth to get rid of it."
"These are cute, sure....but definitely not something I would put in the category of easily edible. And not party food, either. I think I'll just stick to tinted egg washes from now on."
"It did lead to some cool art, though! So at least there's that!"
"Thanks for giving me a place to vent my (hilarious) frustration."
It's always a bummer when your project doesn't turn out. It feels like a disaster though when you're trying to impress someone and it goes south. Don't worry Jessica, I'm sure your Mother-in-Law loves you regardless of how your stained glass cookies go over.
So let's address the problems Jessica faced here.
1. First, the mixing of colors and the bubbly goo. This I think can actually be solved by changing the same thing. Don't leave the candies in the oven as long. Do you remember the suckers I made last year? I found that you watch them, checking on them every minute or so (because when the candies start to melt, they melt fast!). You want to pull them out as soon as the candies are melted. This will give you the pretty glassy look. If you leave the melted candy in for longer, it will start to bubble and the colors will have time to mix as the mixture boils. You can always add the candies in partway through the baking so the cookie is cooked all the way and so the candies melt, but don't bubble.
2. Two hard candies was just too many, but with one you don't get the nice color combo. I'd stick the candies in a bag and hit it with a rolling pin to break them up some. Then you can get as many colors in there as you want. This way too you can get a more thin layer of candy which might help with the next problem.
3. The crunchy, sticky sucker center. It's just hard to eat the cookie (and what's a cookie that can't be eaten?). If your candy layer is thin, it won't be so hard to chomp through it. But, it still will probably leave sticky sugary crumbs.
Those are my thoughts on these pretty cookies at least. Any Stained Glass Cookie experts out there have any extra tips they'd like to add?
I hope y'all have a great day today! Stay tuned for the Mater cupcakes...this could be interesting.