First off I’d like to take a minute to say thank you to Paula for putting together Frosting for the Cause. It is such an important fundraiser and helps bring to mind those suffering with the awful disease called cancer in all its many forms. As you are aware, I am not the only blogger participating. Paula is coordinating it all. The mind boggles thinking of the behind the scenes work going on at her home to fully support this cause.
Unlike most of the bloggers participating I do not have a person to focus on when writing this post. I must count myself very fortunate to not have a loved one battling cancer. I have lost a friend recently to ovarian cancer and she has helped me decide who I needed to focus on for my post. Cynthia called on my husband numerous times for help in dealing with not only her illness, but also her husband’s own declining health.
The cookie above says it all. I believe the most important thing we can be in life, before anything else, is grateful. The ability to have gratitude for the our daily life is so important. The ability to reach out and say ‘thank you’ is so very important. So my focus is to extend an arm of gratitude to those people who are in the trenches with the dying. The Medical Social Workers. My husband is one. He and his colleagues have spent their lives aiding the dying and infirmed. I can’t begin to count the number of people who they see die during their career tenure. The number is hard to imagine for most of us. But they willingly go to work every day alleviating the suffering of others. Without a lot of fanfare or flag waiving the medical social workers just do their jobs day in and day out. I for one applaud them. I recognize I could never do what they do. Words can never say enough about the gratitude I feel for each and every one of them.
I decided to bake my cookies and dedicate them to the Social Workers at the local hospice where I live. I baked up the ‘Angry Birds’ theme because everyone needs a bit of comic relief when dealing with cancer. Humor has been shown to have a positive effect on mood, especially with sick patients. Angry Birds has been such a huge hit this past year I knew most of the people would be familiar with the game and enjoy the levity of the theme. Just as the birds battle the pigs, the social workers fight, along with their patients, battling cancer.
I baked 18 chocolate sugar cookies and 18 regular sugar cookies. I used Bridget‘s (Bakeat350) sugar cookie recipe and Everything Nice‘s Chocolate Rolled Cookies recipe for the chocolate ones. Both recipes were very similar and went together easily. The chocolate cookies instructed to chill the dough, but being the cookie baker I am, I went ahead and rolled them out, put them on the cookie sheet, then refrigerated them to chill them prior to baking.
Once baked, I could start the task of icing them. I didn’t have anything but pictures of the characters to use as a design. I sketched them out on my sheet, as best I could, to have a base to work from. The colors! Oh the colors. The hardest part of doing a decorated cookie is getting the royal icing made, then mixing up the colors you need. I used a basic royal icing made with meringue powder.
4 Tablespoons of meringue powder
1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon of clear vanilla extract
1 pound of confectioners sugar
Place meringue powder in your mixing bowl on your mixer. Add water. Mix the meringue powder and water until stiff but not dry. Add extract and powdered sugar. Beat on high on your mixer until stiff peaks form. Thin with water for flooding icing.
Then begin the process of icing your cookies. I chose to cut rounds for the cookies as I had to freehand the characters. I made a few illustrations of how to approach each figure checking my game for each bird and pig along the way. Yes, that was a distraction! ;o)
I began by outlining and flooding rounds or oval, depending on the bird and pigs, for the base of the character. Once the icing on the flooded round was set I could then build the scene up. Adding pig noses and beaks for each cookie. I did 3 red birds, 3 blue birds, 1 each green, white, yellow and black birds. For the pigs I did the king pig, the teen pig, and a pig with a mustache, with another assortment of five other pigs. I also did a slingshot scene, a nest with three eggs and an empty nest on a pallet. There were a dozen cookies left when I finished with the ‘Angry Birds’ portion. (picture above)
Time for the Thank you cookies. A simple white flooded round and while wet added drop of color. While the dots and the white icing are wet drag a toothpick through the center of each dot to form a heart. Once the icing is set then wrote out Thank You on each cookie. See picture at beginning of post.
When the cookies were delivered this morning there were well received and the social workers were pleased to be honored. More importantly they stated what a great endeavor Frosting for the Cause was and how they were glad to be a part of the fundraiser. Thank you Paula, once again for allowing me to participate in this great cause.
p.s. I am taking order for Angry Bird cookies. All cookie sales will help me get closer to the ranch in AZ!