The making of a racehorse

    My sweet dad asked me to make some cookies for a charity event he is involved with again this year. Southwest Ambucs hosts Derby Days every year as their big fundraiser, you can read more about it here. It sounds like a wonderful event...hopefully one of these days, we'll be able to attend.

    So, here are the horses outlined and ready for filling with the flood icing. I prop up the tray I am working with on a stool so it's more comfortable...less hunching over the table. :)

    The brown icing has dried for several hours and the purple for a little over an hour. You can see that is looks wet in the picture. It's dry enough to pipe on top of it, though. I used a #2 tip for all of the outlining and piping.

    And, here they are ready to be boxed and shipped to Amarillo! Hope they make it a-ok, Dad! (I know you won't eat one since they're not oatmeal raisin!!!) Thanks again!

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A Taste of Yellow : Yellow Rose Sugar Cookies

    Winos and Foodies is sponsoring A Taste of Yellow event to benefit the LiveSTRONG, the Lance Armstrong foundation. Those yellow bracelets....that's it. I first heard about the event through Tartelette, one of my favorite blogs ever. I just love this idea of raising awareness of the foundation and paying tribute to a loved one with food!
    Cancer, bleeeeccch!...I HATE that word...hate it more than any other, I think. If I see it in an article, on TV, on the radio...the magazine is shut, channel changed, radio turned off. My plan from now on is, when I hear the word cancer, immediately think, "Lance Armstrong."
    One of my favorite pictures of my mom!
    These cookies are a tribute to my mom who we lost to cancer eight years ago. They were her favorite flower and yellow her favorite color, so I think this event would have been right up her alley. This is honestly the first time I've cried making cookies.

    If I let myself go, I'll have a page and a half blog post, so I'll just say, I had a good mom. She was a redhead, drank beer, made homemade cinnamon rolls and really loved life. She and my dad were married 32 years. My mom wasn't ready to leave us, but when I find a random penny or a cardinal flies across my path, I know she hasn't really.
    My mom & I in all of our 1970's glory!
    So, these roses are for Gayle (mom), for my friend Laura who has been battling brain cancer for NINE years now, for Kelly, for big Jack, for my Uncle Ben, for my papa who used to call me "ol' yellow hair" when I was a kid (and would now have to call me "ol' reddish-brown-with-highlights-and-a-few-sprigs-of-gray" hair), for Raquel, and for Kenny who I didn't know, but so many people I love miss him, so I know he must have been incredible.

    The cookies.....I made this rose template from a file folder, (I like open roses rather than the buds.) and cut them with a paring knife.
    Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies

    3 c unbleached, all-purpose flour
    2 tsp baking powder
    1 c sugar (I use sugar that I've stored vanilla beans in)
     2 sticks (salted) butter, cold
     1 egg
     3/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
    1/2 tsp pure almond extract

    Preheat oven to 350.

    Combine the flour and baking powder, set aside. Cream the sugar and butter. Add the egg and extracts and mix. Gradually add the flour mixture and beat just until combined, scraping down the bowl, especially the bottom.

    The dough will be crumbly, so knead it together with your hands as you scoop it out of the bowl for rolling (video on University of Cookie).

    Roll onto a floured surface and cut into shapes. Place on parchment lined baking sheets (I recommend freezing the cut out shape on the baking sheet for 5 minutes before baking) and bake for 10-12 minutes. Let sit a few minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack.

    For the Royal Icing...follow the recipe here for my favorite royal icing. When the icing is beginning to reach a stiff peak, add a drop or two of almond extract and beat until still peaks form.

    Transfer icing to two separate containers and color (3/4 AmeriColor Egg Yellow, 1/4 AmeriColor Leaf Green). Press plastic wrap down onto the icing.

    Using a #2 tip, pipe the outline of the rose in yellow.

    Using a #2 tip, pipe the outline of the leaf in green.

    Thin both containers of icing with water until they reach the consistency of syrup, cover with a damp dishtowel and let sit several minutes.

    Stir the yellow icing gently with a rubber spatula to break any bubbles on the surface and transfer to a squeeze bottle. Fill in the rose with the thinned, flood icing.

    Repeat with the green icing, filling in the leaf.

    Let dry at least one hour, then using the same #2 tips, pipe the detail on the rose. Let dry completely.

    On a final note...if you've read down this far, I have 3 extra LiveSTRONG bracelets, if you would like one, let me know in a comment and I'll send one to you.
    Hi, Mom...and thanks!
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