Sunday, March 28, 2010

Save the Date Cookies

A while back I started thinking about creative and thoughtful ways to ask people to be a part of our special day. Many of our wedding party are located in different states and I wanted to do something more than just a phone call. Plus it’s hard to say no when there’s a small gift involved ;)

Since I love baking and sweet treats I thought I could use cookies to ask. It’d be easy to adapt to the variety of wedding party ‘positions’ and they ship much better than cupcakes.

My vision was dress shaped cookies for bridesmaids, a ring shape for the ring bearer, flower shape for the flower girl, gift cookie for the gift table attendant, book cookie for the guest book attendant, etc. But I needed something for the groomsmen and ushers…

Then I remembered that a long while back I came across a link to a small bakery on the east coast that made ‘Save the Date’ cookies for couples to use in place of standard ‘Save the Date’ stationary. I LOVED the idea! I knew I couldn’t afford to send every wedding invitee a cookie, but I didn’t want to give up on the idea entirely. So, I thought it would be a clever way to let the wedding party know the date we selected and a not too girly cookie design to give all the guys. (Sadly I lost the link to the bakery that inspired me and cannot find it to give them proper credit…if anyone comes across it, please let me know so I can add it to this post.)

I didn’t really want to pay shipping to get the cookies from the east coast to my house and then pay shipping to get the packages sent out to all of the wedding party at their various locations. So I started thinking about other options.

Life has been a bit busy lately, so I thought I might go the outsourcing route. I remembered that there’s a chain cookie bouquet place in the area and they already offered a variety of wedding shapes and I thought they might be open to doing some custom cookies…

It started off well; they said they could make custom cookies…then it took a dive. Each individual cookie (even the standard designs they already had on their ‘menu’) would be almost $8! I’m sorry, but I’m not going to pay that much for a cookie when I can make it myself.

So I made sugar cookies from scratch for the first time in my life.

Then I got started decorating. I used the Wilton recipe for royal icing.

I used stiff royal icing to outline a border around every cookie. Then I thinned the icing out and completely filled in the outlines. I let that set-up overnight.

I also colored some more royal icing to make puddle dots. Basically, just squeeze out the royal icing onto wax paper until you get the size you want. Then just let them dry overnight. I tried to make red…but it was taking too long, so I gave up and made some purple dots also.

The next day, I used this sparkly gel in black for the month and year…however, I didn’t take into account the consistency of gel and so it didn’t exactly hold its shape, plus I was worried that it wouldn’t set-up so I went over it with gray royal icing…the same icing I used to make the calendar lines and the numbers on the dried puddle dots.

Once the writing on the cookies had set a little (a couple hours or so) I used extra icing to attach the puddle dots.

I think they turned out great! I was so excited about them.

Then I packaged them up and shipped them off.

Initial responses thus far have been overwhelmingly positive...and so far everyone that we have asked to be in or help with the wedding has said yes!

First wedding project = success!

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