Cue heavenly chorus: I am now finished with these cookies. Total, I spent 12 hours on them from making the dough to placing the final dragee. With 149 completed cookies, that is around 12.4 cookies per hour. I do not plan to make this an annual tradition, because my back and neck are aching and I’ve been on my feet way too long and missed way too much sleep! But it was really fun for just this once, especially today when I got to go crazy with dragees (pronounced “drah-zhays” in case you didn’t know, they are the little gold and silver ball things and are not edible).
Today I started with the green icing. It’s not as deep a green as I would have liked, but I ran out of green food coloring. As a side note, I made all of the icing from meringue powder not egg whites, so it’s safer to eat it and leave it out. First I gave each camel a green eye. Then I piped in a green outline for the saddle and added dragees hanging off the bottom. I had fun making patterns with the dragees, varying the sizes and whatnot. The green icing part took 2.5 hours. Then later after Hannah went to bed I did the red icing, filling in the gaps in the green icing saddles and putting on bridles. Each corner of the bridle has a tiny gold dragee, which was time consuming, but total the red icing only took 1.75 hours.
As a perfectionist, I have to tell you I’m not pleased with today’s work. I didn’t realize how hard it would be to add the red icing later, and I should have kept the saddle designs simpler for that reason. Also, I should have had backup food coloring so the icing would look more Christmas-y. As it stands, the camels look like they are wearing the curtains from a cheesy Florida beach house.
But in all, it was a worthwhile craft, and although it did take all of my free time for three days, it was creative and fun.