Basketball Shortbread Cookies

Baking date: March 12, 2016

When you live in a small town, you get to know the families pretty well. Especially if you spend much of your free time with those families cheering on your kids who play on the same sports teams.

One of those families has a son who has played basketball and baseball with our oldest son. Their daughter Lana is a great basketball player, having led our high school team to the state semi-finals in 2014. She now plays on a local community college team — the Hagerstown Community College Hawks — that won the Region XX Division II Tournament Championship.

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Winners! That’s Lana with the cut down net on her head.

The team qualified for and was headed to the NJCAA Championship Tournament in Overland Park, KS. So I decided to make the girls and their coaches a special treat for the plane ride to Kansas. A few of the girls had never flown before, so this was going to be quite an adventure.

I decided to make shortbread cutout cookies, just in case there were any egg allergies among the players and coaches. But then, in one of my less brilliant moves, I made royal icing with meringue powder (instead of corn syrup), so I made sure I gave the ingredient list to Lana to share with her teammates. Luckily, there were no allergies!

Before making the cookies, I made basketball-shaped candy melts in orange to use as decoration on the cookies. For the seams, I piped on black candy melts.

For the royal icing, I dyed the majority of it in moss green (school colors are green, white, and black). I left a small portion of the icing white for piping on names, numbers, and GO HAWKS.

I outlined the cookies in the moss green, and then thinned the green for flooding. When I was done flooding the cookie, I placed the basketball candy in the middle of the cookie. Once the basketball was placed, I piped on GO HAWKS across the top, the player name across the bottom, and the player number on one side. For the coaches, the cookie said HAWKS COACH, with the coach’s last name across the bottom.

Here is Lana’s cookie, up close:IMG_1015

Here are all the decorated cookies. But do you see my mistake?

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Yep – I made two cookies that had the #32 on them. Whoops! Daysha’s number is actually 33. And I had already thrown out the leftover icing. To fix it, I carved out the 32 on Daysha’s cookie and flipped over the icing (not nearly as neat and easy as it sounds). Using white candy melt, I piped on the number 33. Here’s the ‘fixed’ cookie:

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Lana’s parents, brother, and grandmother were also making the trip to Kansas, only they were driving. I made them a bag of gooey butter cookies for the trip, but also made them special cookies:

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Each cookie for the players and coaches was placed in its own small treat box, for ease of travel.

So how did they do in the tournament? Well, the girls were eliminated from the tournament after two games. Even though that was tough, take a look at what Lana posted on Facebook about the experience:

LL FB Post

What a winning attitude, in spite of what the final scoreboard said.

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