My next three months are booked solid. I have FOUR holiday parties, a birthday, a Halloween Party, Trunk-or-Treat, 3 visits to theme parks, one visit to the zoo, work, sports and more all tangled up in the next 90 days. I also want to make Gingerbread pirates with my youngest son, have my brothers-in-laws over with their wives/girlfriends, visit my mom across the state and more. After all, it’s a time for family. But it seems hard to fit the little family stuff in with all the big family stuff.
Baking and decorating cookies this time of year is a thing that lots of moms love doing with their kids. I bake cookies pretty much every Friday with my youngest, but they are usually not the ones you have to decorate with icing. That takes extra time, and eventually I have to fight my oldest son for my youngest son’s attention. Big bro often wins out with gaming. By having cookies ready-to-decorate I can quickly get to the fun stuff, though, and make fun memories with my seven year old.
Cookies to Decorate from Dolce & Biscotti Fine Italian Bakery helps you with that. They send out kits with almost everything you need to get started. We wanted to get in the Halloween Spirit, so we received a Halloween Spooky Kit to review.
The Halloween Spooky Kit came with:
- 12 Sugar Cookies in a air-tight bag – 4 pumpkins, 4 Frankenstein & 4 Circles for Spiderwebs
- 4 Food Coloring Bottles w/Food Coloring Color Chart
- 4 Disposable Icing Bags
- A variety of Sprinkles and decorating tidbits
- 2 Meringue Powder Packets
You need to supply your own powdered sugar. We needed 2 pounds of it. And you supply your own water.
We brought out our Big Boy mixer and started making the icing. I am not too experienced in making cookie icing, so I made it too thick when following the directions. I added the extra 1/4 cup it needed, and even then it ended up too thick. By the end of the decorating I realized it really needed to be watered down more and my last batch of purple ended up just right. So don’t be afraid of adding extra water, if needed.
I needed more colors than pastry bags supplied. I technically needed an extra bag for a darker green, I needed black and I needed a darker shade of orange. I ended up forgoing the darker shades, because a 7-year old boy just didn’t care. And I used a zip lock bag to make an impromptu white icing option. So if you need more bags, grab zip lock bags.
Then we started decorating. I showed my son the pictures and … he did what he wanted. He made blobs, mutant spiders, monsters. I tried my hand at a Frankenstein (not pictured – it actually came out cute, though), Pumpkins (which also were nice and easy) and spiderwebs (which were fun). The icing, although too thick for good detailing (remember, I needed to add more water) all blended together nicely when set. I could see how with more practice I can make better cookies. And my son honestly just loved decorating.
I also never made icing with Meringue Powder. This kit gave me the confidence to try it THIS way again, rather than putting cake icing on cookies to decorate.
And the cookies were delicious. They were soft, yet sturdy enough to withstand A LOT of icing and decorating tidbits.
Overall, we had a lot of fun making our cookies. Are they up to the decorating precision of Dolce & Biscotti Fine Italian Bakery? A big, resounding NOPE. Could I have had 12 delicious cookies and time spent with my son decorating cookies without them. Of course. But what I couldn’t have had was the EASE of getting (almost) straight to the fun stuff with decorating cookies and bonding with my son over his crazy concoctions. Plus, it gave me the practice I needed to actually tackle some improved-for-me holiday cookies!
The only “trouble” we really ran into was that the sprinkles didn’t match our cookies. The eyeball pieces were great, but we received red, green and pink sprinkles. Orange would have gone nicely with the Pumpkins. And maybe next time spider sprinkles for our webs? But honestly, my son did not care.
If you want to squeeze in a new holiday tradition at YOUR house, I do suggest Cookies To Decorate. They ship the cookies and kit to you. You mix up the icing and provide your own powdered sugar. This is also great for Cookie Decorating Parties and School Parties. Learn more at CookiestoDecorate.com.