Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Come Fly with Me...

My baby is 15.  FIFTEEN!!!  Really, that saying that goes, "the days are long, but the years are short" is so, so true.  Although, ever since he became a teenager, it feels like the days are flying by, too.
j birthday with cake photo pilotcookies11of122.jpg
Speaking of flying...that's what kiddo wants to do.  Fly.  Who knows where this will go...he is only 15...but aviation is definitely his passion right now.  His room is strewn with FAA directories, airplane models, and pilot handbooks.  He's memorized the airline flight schedules and knows when the "heavies" are taking off and landing.

Given a choice, he'd be at the airport, plane spotting every day of the week.  I must admit, it's pretty neat.  Even though, most of my spotting is watching HIM watching the planes.


pilot shirt cookies
With that in mind, I made some pilot-themed cookies for his birthday celebration.  I don't have much in the way of tutorials since I wanted them to be a surprise, but I'll walk you through making them.

jet trail / contrail cookies for the aviation lover

To make the Jet Trail or Contrail cookies, you'll need:


  • airplane image to trace
  • waxed paper
  • cut-out cookies, square, round or rectangle
  • royal icing, tinted with AmeriColor Bright White and Sky Blue
  • couplers and tips (#2, #1)
  • disposable icing bags
  • squeeze bottles
  • toothpicks
  • small paintbrush

Make the airplane transfers: (these can be made up to 1 month in advance and stored in an airtight container.)  Place the airplane image on an upside-down cookie sheet.  Cover with waxed paper, and tape the waxed paper down to hold it in place.
jet trail add ons photo pilotcookies1of12.jpg
Use a #1 or #2 tip to trace the outline of the airplane onto the waxed paper with white icing.
(Make extras in case of breakage.)

Thin some of the white icing with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  (Reserve some of the white icing for piping details later.) 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 a squeeze bottle. Fill in the outlines.

Let the transfers dry completely, 6-8 hours.

Outline the cookie in blue with a #2 tip.  Thin the blue icing using the method described above.  Fill in the outlines with the thinned icing.

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

Carefully peel the transfers off of the waxed paper.  Use a bit of piping consistency royal icing to adhere the airplanes onto the cookies.

jet trail dots photo pilotcookies2of12.jpg
Use a #1 tip to pipe small dots down from the wings.
(Um, that paintbrush has seen better days.)

jet trail brush photo pilotcookies3of12.jpg
Use a very slightly damp, small, flat paintbrush to drag the icing dots together making a "contrail."

(Since there are 4 engines on my airplane transfer, I originally intended for there to be 4 contrails, but they didn't look quite right on the cookies.)

pilot shirt cookies

For the pilot shirt cookies, you'll need: 


Use a #2 tip to outline the shirts with white icing. 

Thin some of the white icing with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  (Reserve some of the white icing for piping details later.) 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 a squeeze bottle. Fill in the outlines.

Let the icing dry for at least 1 hour.

Switch the tip on the white icing to a #1 tip, and pipe rectangles to make a collar.

Use a #2 tip to outline the tie and shoulder patches with black icing.

Add the pocket details in white.

Thin the black icing as described above; fill in the black outlines.

Let the cookies dry at least 1 hour.

Use a #1 tip to add the wings and stripes in yellow icing.

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

This is my favorite pic from his birthday celebration:
j birthday jp laugh photo pilotcookies10of12.jpg
Have I mentioned how much I LOVE this child?  I mean, like, with every fiber of my being?  Have I also mentioned how fortunate I feel that he has this great group of friends in his life?   Whatever his future brings, pilot or not, I'm looking forward to seeing it.  But, in the meantime, I wish time would slooooow doooooown just a bit.

jet trail / contrail cookies for the aviation lover
Happy flying!

35 comments:

  1. Has your son listened to the radio show "Cabin Pressure"? If not, I'd highly recommend it... it's a comedy about an airline and it's hilarious!

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    1. No! He hasn't heard of it. Thanks so much for the rec...I'm sure he will love it!

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  2. Such a sweet post. Happy Birthday to your baby boy. I know how fast they grow up. I love the pictures you took. You can see how happy he is.

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  3. Happy Birthday to your baby boy! I can't believe he's 15 already! I've been following your blog since late 2008, so it's been fun to read snippets about him growing up to the young man he's become. These cookies are so fun. I'm an airplane fanatic as well, but I don't think I'll ever understand the dynamics in the working of one, nor will I get how something so heavy can fly. Good for him. In the meantime, when you find that pause button or manage to slow time, will you let me know? Xo

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  4. My husband is an air traffic controller...he would LOVE the blue square ones with the planes. He is also constantly looking up :)

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  5. Beautiful pictures and crafty work! I can't imagen seeing myself doing this as I'm not that detailed! Which is kind of sad :') What kind of camera did you use? X Karine

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    1. Hey Karine! Thank you! :) I use a Sony a230.

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  7. Happy bday to your handsome baby! Thanks for sharing the pics. Those cookies are perfect. The girls are going to fight over him!

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  8. Happy b-day to your kiddo!!!!!
    I have been reading your blog for a while and it amazes me how fast time has passed by. Thank you for sharing the pictures, he is very handsome, the girls will be fighting for him :)
    LOVE the cookies :)

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  9. That is amazing! Aviation is such a great field and he would love it! If he is already really into it, I can see him sticking with it! Definitely have him look into the University of North Dakota for Aviation! We have the best aviation program in the country and it is such a great school! I went to UND for Air Traffic Control and Airport Management and I loved it!

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  10. These are so perfect! Our 2nd oldest is obsessed with flying. He is just a few hours away from getting his license. He has been doing it since he was 15 also! It's his #1 passion in life, now going to school for aerospace engineering and also wanting to go into the Navy after college to fly. It's an expensive hobby, but it's really amazing, especially when it's their passion, like it is our kiddo and sounds like yours as well! I'm going to show David these cookies and I am sure he's going to expect me to make them! Maybe you could just send some up my way! Oh how I wish you lived closer.. our boys would have tons to talk about!

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  11. So fun! I work for a company that specializes in Aviation! I'm not sure flying is all it's cracked up to be, but there is a whole career in aviation! It's cool that he knows what he wants to do. :)

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  12. Happy Birthday to your boy, Bridgette! It looks like you've raised a wonderful young man! The pictures of him with his friends are so lovely!

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  13. Happy birthday to your son! My husband is an airline pilot...he would love those pilot shirt cookies! So creative and such a great job as always. I'm such a fan!

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  14. Bridget!! Happy Birthday to your handsome 15 year old! Time goes so fast, my oldest will be 12 this year! Love being a boy mom :) These cookies are the cutest!! Love those pics of your son laughing with his friends! Priceless!!

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  15. Happy birthday to your son! Love the cookies!

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  16. Love the sweet sentiment regarding your baby's growing up. My son and grandson's are all grown now, but they all still love the cookies!!!

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  17. Bridget, I've followed you for the past few years and nice to see how your son has grown ... nice young man and handsome. What mother could ask for more! Maybe he's bound for the Air Force Academy someday. My cousin's son wants to fly too and just started his first year at the Academy and loves it. The cookies are adorable and creative ... love the contrails. Enjoy your son; there are many wonderful years ahead. Joan-My Cookie Clinic

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  18. These cookies could not be more fabulous with such perfect, little details! I love all of your flight related cookies (luggage, etc...)! I cannot believe your Kiddo is 15! Such a handsome young man. Bridget, I hate to tell you this, but time only goes faster and faster as the years progress! :)

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  19. There is nothing more precious than the smile of your own child. It looks like he is one happy guy.

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  20. I was trying to remember the other day how old Jack was when we lived with you guys? Wasn't he Mac's age?? Or maybe 8?
    Geez!

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  21. Happy Birthday to your son! I remember my dad telling me at my high school graduation that time was going to fly by even faster for me now. And that it would fly by even faster after I had kids. And man was he right! Mines going to be 12 this year and I swear I dont know when she got so big. *sigh*

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  22. Happy Birthday to your sweet baby boy! (He'll always be, right?!) Y'all seriously need to come visit! He and my husband would have a blast talking planes and flying. Seriously.

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  23. Hello! I've been reading your blog off/on for a few years and after reading this post wanted to first say Happy Birthday to your son, and second offer a conversation between my husband/your son if he's ever interested. My husband is a jet pilot (F-18s) for the Marine Corps and has been flying since 2004. He loves his job, has flown several deployment missions of a USS carrier, and would love to share his insight or mentor if your son ever wanted to speak with someone about flying. No worries if not, just know the offer is out there. Hope he continues to pursue his passion!

    Ashley (ashley.harlin@gmail.com)

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    1. Ashley! That is so sweet of you...thank you! :)

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  24. relly amazed on seeing this..happy flying..during ma childhood i used to say i m gona be a pilot one day..bt tat doesnt come true..nice to read tis event management coimbatore

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  25. I have bookmarked your blog ever since meeting you at Ree's book signing all those yrs. ago! Your talents never cease to amaze me! Your son has/ is turning into a very handsome young man! Looks like it was a great birthday for him!

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  26. Such cute cookies. Your son looks so much like you. Congrats on 15+ years of motherhood!

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  27. Your sooooo talented! I swear..I can already see his as a pilot!

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  29. Bridget,
    My son-in-law is a young pilot these cookies would be a perfect gift for him. Thank you for sharing the picture. Your son has a great smile. He already looks like a pilot!!! Bought your book Decorating Cookies. Love it!! Do you mind giving me a little instruction on the pilot cookie tie. I noticed in your cookies you create definition like in the tie where it looks like a crease. Have been wondering how this is done. Technique that is. I'm new at cookie art and have created some nice cookies but I sure would love to add definition. Thank You

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    1. Hey Darlene!

      That little crease is actually where the icing cratered in a bit. :) It wasn't supposed to do that. Ha! I'm glad you thought it was on purpose, though! :)

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