Happy New Year!! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. Our holidays were great. We always have a lot of fun whenever we are together. There is always a lot of laughing, cooking and eating great food. This year there was the added bonus of several dance parties. Young and old showed off their fancy footwork to the delight of all.
One of the gifts that Santa brought me was a bag of brewing cocoa. You’ve never heard of it? Neither had I but I was about to learn. I love hot chocolate so I was anxious to try this variation. As you can see in the picture it looks more like ground coffee beans than the cocoa we are used to seeing and using. You brew it like coffee or tea in a coffee pot, a French Press or a teapot. It’s really hard to describe what it tastes like. It feels like coffee or tea on your tongue but has a rich chocolate taste. I tried it plain, with creamer and with sugar and creamer. It was good every way I tried it. The first thing you have to do is not think about it as conventional hot chocolate. I have a cold and a bit of a sore throat and it was very soothing on my throat. I can imagine it as a great base for a Hot Toddy type of drink with maybe a shot of rum or brandy. I don’t know much about different drinks. Someone with more experience in that department could probably come up with a wonderful combination which would taste fabulous at a fall tailgate or a cold winter night in front of a fire.
When I saw the bag of cocoa, I had the idea to make some cookies that looked like mugs of hot cocoa with whipped cream on top. I didn’t have a mug cookie cutter so I asked Jim to reshape an old cutter I had. I drew a picture of what I wanted and he bent the metal into shape. After I cut out the cookies I saw Jill FCS’s fun mug cookies so I changed my plan and replaced the whipped cream with marshmallows. She makes the most fun, whimsical cookies I have ever seen. These hot chocolate and marshmallow cookies are my latest attempt to copy one of her whimsical designs.
I still have a lot to learn about this whole cookie decorating thing so it was a struggle trying to figure out where to start on these particular cookies. Normally, I stick with what I know but this is my year to step out of my comfort zone and learn new techniques.
I did the marshmallow shaped cookies first because I knew they would be simple. They were done with the wet-on-wet technique so there was no drying time between steps. I am really just learning how to use this technique successfully. You have to work very fast to get all of the elements in place before the icing starts to crust. You want all of the added designs to sink into the base icing. If you are too slow, it will sit on top of the icing in places.
The mug cookies were done in stages. After I drew my design on each of the cookies, I flooded the mug part of the design first. When that had crusted I added the marshmallows. I only let them crust for a few minutes before I added the chocolate. At this point I let the cookies sit for a few hours in front of a fan. The last step was adding the handle and the rim around the top of the cup. I asked Jill how she did hers and she told me that everything but the rim and the handle was done wet-on-wet. She told me this after I had done my cookies but even if I had known it sooner I don’t think I could have done it that way. I’m not fast enough yet to do a larger cookie with a wet-on-wet technique. All things considered, I’m fairly happy with how they turned out. I can’t wait to choose another new design to practice on.
Until next time,
Barb, aka Nana
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