Thursday, May 31, 2012

Here Comes the Sun (flower)...

 
Sunflowers always make me smile.  I love that they are big and showy without being pretentious.  I love the contrast of dark and bright.  I love that they shout "SUMMER" but without making me think of putting on a bathing suit.

So, what better cookies to help ring in summer than sunflowers?!?  You might want to know where the cutter came from.  I don't know.  If I remember correctly, this is a cutter my neighbor gave me when we lived in Alabama. It was hers and she thought I might be able to put it to good use.
{She probably didn't think it would take 7 years.}
If you still have a few more days of school left, these make really sweet teacher gifts...at least, I hope they do because it's what kiddo's teachers are getting. ;)

First things first, sometimes it's hard to pipe a good circle.  (Actually, it's always hard for me.)
So, before these cookies baked, I lightly pressed a circle cutter into the dough to help with outlining.

Oh, and a deep brown color is sometimes hard to achieve without vast amounts of coloring.  I added just as *smidge* of black coloring to my brown...but just a smidge, though.  It can go from brown to black very quickly. 

To make the sunflower cookies, you'll need:

Use a #2 tip to outline the center of the sunflowers with brown icing.

Use a #2 tip to outline the petals in yellow.  Don't worry about doing each on individually now, you'll pipe over them later.  Plus, small filled spaces can sometimes collapse and crack. (Reserve some of this piping consistency yellow icing.)

Thin the brown and yellow icings with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin.  Count of 2-3 is good.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed.  Pour into squeeze bottles as needed.

Flood the centers with brown icing.  Use a toothpick to guide to edges and pop large air bubbles.

Flood the rest with yellow icing.  Use a toothpick to guide to edges and pop large air bubbles.

Let the cookies dry for at least one hour.

Use a small star tip to pipe green detailing around the center of the cookie.  Use a pulsing motion going around the cookie to create the "ruffle."

Use a #2 tip to add details to the flower petals.

Let the cookies dry uncovered 6-8 hours or overnight.

The next day, mix together equal amounts meringue powder and water.  Brush on the center of the cookies and shake on the chocolate sprinkles.  Shake off the excess.

{My original thought was to use chocolate covered sunflower seeds for the centers.  Do you know how hard it is to find BROWN chocolate covered sunflower seeds?  Well, it's hard.  Therefore, Chocolate Vermicelli. I kind of love it, too.} 
{They're like thin, delicate jimmies...and they taste really good and chocolatey.}


I hope your summer is filled with sunflowers...the real AND the cookie versions!


57 comments:

  1. I LOVE sunflowers and these are beautiful! Too pretty to even eat!!

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  2. Wow! These look incredible!

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  3. Just LOVE these. I can totally see doing Indian Blanket colors.

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  4. These are beautiful! We love sunflowers.

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  5. Sunflowers are my fave and these look super cute!

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  6. These are so happy!! I just absolutely love them! :)

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  7. Beautiful cookies, if I were I teacher I would love them as a gift.

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  8. I love Sunflowers! Ylook pretty and I am sure they taste super chocolatey!!!

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  9. Beautiful flower cookies!

    I've never made cookies of this caliber before and am very new to cookie decorating.
    Is flooding something that takes a long time to "perfect"?

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  10. I love that you finished these off with sprinkles! So pretty.

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  11. Bridget, These are absolutely GORGEOUS! I am completely in love with them!

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  12. Those vermicelli are awesome! Gorgeous cookies. Funny the small difference between jimmies and vermicelli can make!

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  13. These are gorgeous. My grandma LOVES sunflowers, I think I may have to make a batch of these this summer! I buy the chocolate vermicelli from King Arthur Flour. It is way better than any store bought jimmies (although I've never used the brand you show there)! Yum.

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  14. Wow, I love your idea of making a circular indentation in the cookies to help guide your decorating! I'll have to give that a try!

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  15. Love them! Lucky teachers!

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  16. you can get chocolate covered sunflower seeds here:
    http://nuts.com/snacks/sunflowerseeds/chocolate-brown.html
    other wise i think that even using different color sun flow seeds in the middle is a creative way to bring the colors of summer

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  17. these cookies make me so happy :)

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  18. I have been working to improve my cookie decorating, and I wonder if you'd be so kind as to answer a couple of questions on these guys...

    1. Is it possible to add the chocolate vermicelli while the brown icing is still wet instead of doing it as a second step? Is it worth the extra step and drying time for the difference in appearance?

    2. What inspired you to do the green border around the center? Okay, that won't really help with my own cookie decorating I guess but I'm just curious!

    Thank you so much for sharing all your ideas :)

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    1. Hi there!

      1. Yes, you can. I like doing it when it's dry so that the icing isn't sliding around when I'm shaking off the excess...and it's not going to fall into and stick on another color. I think it's much easier this way.

      2. I'm not sure...just wanted another little pop of color. :)

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    2. Thanks! I guess I'll try the wet-icing and the dry-icing sprinkle techniques and see what I like better, I see where you're coming from there for sure.

      Also, thanks for sating my curiosity :D

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  19. These are so beautiful! You are truly an artist!

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  20. These just make me smile and I love that you used chocolate cookie dough. It really makes the flowers pop!

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  21. Happy cookies! And so glad it's summer break. So glad. Hope yours is filled with lots of sunshine.

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  22. These are beautiful!! I love sunflowers.

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  23. I want to bathe in those chocolate sprinkles. TMI?

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  24. Well I'm a bit late for this SUNFLOWER party!
    I too LOVE sunflowers!
    So happy you shared a chocolate cookie recipe!
    How much do I LOVE chocolate sprinkles!!!! I know that chocolate sprinkle crunch adds the perfect touch to these
    cookies!
    Whoever got to ENJOY these Sunflowers is going to have the haPPiest summer ever!
    xoxoxo

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  25. so very cute :) perfect for anytime during the warmer months ;)

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  26. Amazing!!! I love the sunflowers!!!

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  27. These are my new favorite cookie of yours. I ADORE THEM!!! Bridget, you are such a genius!

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  28. These are amazing, as usual! I cannot wait to try this chocolate sugar cookie recipe and the chocolate vermicelli look so awesome. The ice cream place near my house uses those and they are one million times more delicious than the average jimmies!

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  29. I adore sunflowers, especially in cookie form!
    You made me laugh out loud with your comment~"I love that they shout "SUMMER" but without making me think of putting on a bathing suit." :)

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  30. Beautiful! Love the various steps so we can see the process--that helps. I need to find me a sunflower cutter now.

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  31. These look too cute to eat! You did a fantastic job ;)

    "Happy Cooking"

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  32. gorgeous. simply gorgeous! so bright and fun! thanks for sharing!

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  33. Yum! I need to try chocolate cookies for decorating. These are beautiful - I'd love to have a student bring these to me!!

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  34. Sunflowers are the happiest ever!!! In cookie form even better. Love how you used the chocolate sprinkle as seeds in the center :) XO

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  35. oh you are SO clever!! LOVE the circle tip!!! These are so pretty B!!

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  36. Your kiddo's teachers are going to love these pretty cookies! I love how some of the petals are rounded and others are pointed - it gives the look of a really charming cartoon drawing.

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  37. they are so beautiful! great work!

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  38. These are such gorgeous cookies, Bridget! I love the way you used the jimmies for the center of the sunflower. :)

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  39. I wanted to say that I was so inspired that I made these cookies, Bridget! I had a smaller sunflower cookie cutter, but I followed it pretty much exactly even going to Whole Foods to pick up the India Tree chocolate vermicelli. Pretty amazing stuff! I also am in love with the chocolate cookie recipe. I gave these to one of my fellow teacher co-workers who is retiring. She loved them. Thanks for the inspiration, as usual!!

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  40. These are really beautiful.
    I've never flooded cookies. Do you always use squeeze bottles, or is it an issue of volume?

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  41. would you mind sharing where you got this particular sunflower cutter? I have a few and none of them really look like sunflowers! Also, where did you get your scalloped square cutter you always use in your posts, and what size is it? I love all you can do with it!!!

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  42. These these look so amazing!!
    I think I'm going to have to find a sunflower cutter!

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  43. First, I LOVE your site!! I am having too much fun looking at it. Also, where did you find your sunflower cookie cutter? I have been looking for one like it & cannot find one.

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  44. http://www.ohnuts.com/buy.cfm/bulk-candy/unwrapped-candy/deactivated-items/dark-brown-chocolate-covered-sunflower-seeds

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  45. Not sure if I could eat these. They are way too pretty!

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Thank you so much for taking the time to comment! Happy baking! :)
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