Basketball & Jersey Numbers Cookie Set

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This set of cookies requires a relatively basic icing skill set, but because of the basketball texture, jersey number icing technique and edible ink logo, took several days to complete.  I selected my cookie cutter sizes around the basketball cutter size, so all cookies were the same scale.  I used my basic vanilla/almond sugar cookie dough recipe for these.  (TIP: a little trick for those new bakers, if you roll out your cookie dough (¼” thickness) between two layers of parchment and chill for 30 minutes, you will save yourself a lot of time and frustration.  Otherwise, your rock hard, ball of cookie dough has to come down to room temperature in order to roll it out. If you’re like me and want to get down to business once the dough is ready, this will make your cookie baking days so much brighter. Fortunately for me, I had the experience of baking cookies for a few years when I had to buy a new refrigerator so I bought one with a middle, slide-out drawer. It’s perfect for holding a sheet of freshly, rolled cookie dough!

If you’re using plastic cutters, I find having a plate of flour to dip the cutter in with each cut prevents the cutter from sticking to the dough, when your dough is not firmly chilled.  Of course this works well with metal cutters too.  Place each cookie 1 “ apart if they’re small, 2 “ apart if the cookie is larger than 3”.  You really do need that space around the cookie for it to bake evenly.  I baked each pan of cookies at 350 degree for 7-8 minutes, on parchment paper.  Parchment is great for stopping the baking process once you remove the cookies from the oven. I use a small pampered chef metal spatula, which is thin enough to easily slide under the cookie and not tear it when lifting.  (TIP: if you’re working with a larger cookie, let it cool for a few minutes on the parchment before attempting to move it to the cooling rack.  Again, the parchment has stopped the cookie from baking so you’re not going to overcook the cookies by leaving them there).

While the cookies are cooling I make my icing. When making a order of 30 medium + sized cookies, I always make a full batch of icing following the standard Wilton royal icing recipe.  Lately, when planning to ice, using the wet on wet technique or have drastically contrasting colors (i.e. black/white, black/orange), I add a little bit of color flow mix to the meringue and powdered sugar mixture.  It make your icing crust faster, which means less bleeding (more on that later).  I portion out my icing based on what colors I’m using the most of so I’m not making too much or too little of one color.  For these, I used AmeriColor Electric Orange, AmeriColor Black, and AmeriColor Black, Wilton Gel Violet and Royal Blue were mixed to make navy blue.  Using a ramekin to mix the icing colors, I fill my Kuhn Rikon bottles and top with a Wilton No. 1 icing tip. I outline each of the balls with orange, letting the icing crust just enough so will I flood the icing in the center it won’t run out. Once I’ve finished all outlines, I switch to a Wilton  No. 2 tip and flood the icing following the same circular pattern I outlined with. After I ice each cookie, I put it in the dehydrator for 5 mins to dry the top layer of the icing.  This makes the icing super shiny so I highly recommend it!). But be careful to not leave them in too long because I’ve found the process of removing the air, causes the icing to cave in, become convex.  I follow the same practice for the blue jersey number cookies, from start to finish. Both sets dry for several hours on cooling racks then I put them back in the dehydrator for 8 hrs or overnight.  Icing should dry for 24 hrs before attempting to ice on top of the base layer or you risk it caving.

To finish the basketballs, I draw the black lines and let them all dry for a few minutes in the dehydrator. Lastly to add the dots for texture, i thicken my orange icing and switch back to a No. 1 tip. Ice all the dots, then back in the dehydrator.

To finish the jersey numbers, I found a sports number template on Pinterest, printed and cut each number out with an xacto knife and placed on each cookie to trace with a metal tool.  I etched the outline and with a No. 1 tip, iced white icing to fill in the numbers.  One all were done, they spent some time in the dehydrator.  Lastly I thickened the white icing to outline each number (which hides any uneven lines).

For the 3rd and final cookies, I iced each base with white icing, which I add AmeriColor White to brighten the white. After they’ve spent the night in the dehydrator I created and printed my logos on www.toppero.com (edible image software used with kopykate frosting sheets).  I cut each logo with an xacto knife and place in the freezer for about 5 minutes.  This make it super easy to peel the frosting sheet from the backing. Before removing the frosting sheet from the freezer, add a small layer of edible glue to your cookie surface.  (TIP: get yourself a large, wide knife so that when you pull the frosting sheet away from the backing it has a flat, metal landing place). Have your cookie close by so you can transfer the frosting sheet to the cookie, allowing you time to lift and reset its placement, if necessary, before it get warm and floppy. Smooth it out and pop it in the dehydrator.  I use my xacto knife to trim the excess frosting sheet away, giving it a nice smooth edge.  I then pipe over the edges so you can’t see the frosting sheet.  Allowing the piping several hours in the dehydrator so that all edges are shiny like the rest of the icing.

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