I have this wonderful book at home, Cooking for Kings: The Life of Antonin Careme. Antonin was a pastry chef (and so much more) during the era of First Empire Paris. He crafted room-sized sculptures from pastries and spun sugar to delight the likes of Marie Antoinette. He’s the guy that the phrase creme de la creme was modeled on. He was the first Celebrity Chef.
If Antonin Careme saw what I wrought in my kitchen this past week, he would cry.
There is only one Antonin Careme, and, while I love to putter in my kitchen, I will never be him. I mess up… A LOT. Here is one such story. This is the Day That Frosty Died.
Melted Snowman Cookie Fail
Newb | Apprentice | Journeyman | Master
They looked so cute! But oh my gosh some basic misinterpretations made this a train wreck.
3/4 C butter
1 C sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 1/4 C all purpose flour
1 C powdered sugar
2 Tbsp cold water
Colored icing, from package
Orange sprinkles, from package
While there is no direct connection between The Flight Away’s final release ‘Goodbye EP’ and screwed up snowman, I figured there should be at least ONE thing involved in this article that ended well. I will miss this artist. The Flight Away was one of the acts that got me into chiptune.
Oh how hopeful I was as it all began! All I had was an internet picture and a dream…
I started out with a basic sugar cookie recipe. I wanted them to be buttery and crisp, so I made a tasty-looking refrigerator cookie from one of my favorite cookbooks. Start with your butter and sugar…
… and blend until smooth and fluffy. In goes your egg (slightly beaten) and vanilla.
And finally the flour goes down the cute a scoop at a time until the batter becomes a thick dough.
This goes into the fridge for about a half hour. Me, I ate some taco soup, but if you want to get in a few ’rounds of Halo, you do you.
The icing is super simple: powdered sugar + water + stir = icing.
You can vary the ratio to your liking until your icing is the correct consistency. This will become key later in our adventure.
Flattened into 1/8 inch thick puddle-like shapes, in the cookies go into a 350*F oven for 9-10 min.
At this point in the recipe it started to get fun. And it also started to go wrong. To make melted snowman heads, you have to draw them on with icing. I cut the tip on my icing way too big so now I had an over abundance of the stuff, making the detail hard to control. Oh well, I told myself and President Hoodie, it’ll be ok. They are supposed to be melted, right?
Armed with half a dozen experimental heads, out came the cookies from the oven, golden, crisp, and delicious.
After cooling on a parchment-lined rack, I drizzled my home-made icing on top to form pools. Where it promptly dripped everywhere but on the cookie.
Ooohhhh kaaaaayyy. ROLL WITH IT!
One prefab head, three buttons, and two arms later…
OH dear. Uhm… THICKER ICING ON BOTTOM!
Improvement but, OH JEEBUS FROSTY I’M SO SORRY WHO DID THIS TO YOU??? So I tried putting the cookies with the thickened icing in the fridge for a while to mitigate any spreading with limited success.
At this point it was 10 pm and I was ready to pitch a fit. At least by the end the snowmen looked more melted than murdered, but I was still super unhappy. The icing on icing was not holding any of its shape. I referenced my picture again and realized that the buttons and scarves were made of frosting and not icing.
I think I will try these again in the future, but I will do it on a Saturday instead of a weeknight. I also be sure to be armed with proper artistic instruments. Regardless, I hope you enjoyed my tale of folly. If you take away anything from this oddball article, let it be this:
We all goof up. We all fail. Take it as a sign that you’ve stretched your limits and learned something. Failure isn’t a bad result, its a necessary part of growth and change. It is inevitable. And no matter what, Chip Mom loves ya!