Southwestern Christmas

The annual girlfriends Christmas party had a southwestern food theme this year.  I asked the hostess if she wanted Christmas or southwestern themed cookies.  Both? she inquired.  Why, yes, we can.

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Wanted to make something “on point…” (or at least pointed.  Looking sharp, eh?)SW Xmas 3.jpg

Who doesn’t think of cow skulls with festive garland when Christmas comes to mind? I mean, really…SW Xmas 1.jpg

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Succulent

Oh succulent.  Adjective v. noun.  Dessert v. desert…. A prickly topic to be sure.  Hopefully you think it is a win-win!

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These cookies started out with a basic white coating, including some dimension.  The shapes were hand drawn on to card stock and then cut out of dough by tracing those shapes with a knife.

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To get the sandy effect, I used a microplane/zester to gently trim up the sides (or spare cookie scraps); these trimmings were later sprinkled over the still wet icing of the base cookie. Thank you Rebecca Weld aka TheCookieArchitect for this “fitting” tip.  I ‘zested’ each cactus until perfectly flat on the bottom, so they could stand without the aid of icing/support on the base cookie.

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After the cacti were painted and dried, I used stiff royal icing (colored with ivory and a dash of egg yellow) and a butter knife to coat the long base cookie.  The cactus were quickly set in place and sprinkled with the “sand.”

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I did place toothpicks behind the cactus for support (but they stood on their own without).  I had to transport them upright and I didn’t know if I needed that assurance…

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The Cactus flower is also edible.  I painted some edible wafer paper yellow, let that dry, & then cut a continuous inward circle  (tons of how-tos on the web).  Little dabs of water made the edges stick together as I wound it into a flower.

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