Alabama Football Player Cookie

Baking date: December 8, decoration date December 22

My husband and his brother have a good high school friend whose son is an amazing football player. So amazing, in fact, that he graduated high school a semester early and started the Spring semester at The University of Alabama, to begin college and off-season workouts/training with the football team. He was heavily recruited by all the top D1 schools and had scholarship offers at more than I can count.

On December 22, Shane and his high school team from Baltimore played in the High School Football State Championship Bowl that aired on ESPN U. They took care of the team they played from Georgia, in sound fashion. My husband’s brother hosted a watch party for the game, with some close friends and Shane’s parents.

On a last minute whim, I quickly made an Alabama football player cookie from one of the gingerbread men cookies I had. I wanted to take it to the party, so that I could give it to his mom.

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I guess it’s a good thing that Alabama is in the SEC, since we are a B1G 10 household (Go Terps!). We can Roll Tide and hope that opponents Fear the Turtle.

Wishing you all the best, Shane. We can’t wait to cheer you on!

Royal Icing Lace Technique

Baking date: December 8, 2019

The unit in my organization decided to have a gingerbread house decorating contest during the lunch hour during December. Teams of four were given a pre-fab gingerbread house kit. In addition to the decorations the kit came with, additional icings, sprinkles, decorations and candies were provided.

Unfortunately, the contest took place on a day that I was teleworking, so I couldn’t participate. I decided I would submit a single gingerbread cookie, decorated with royal icing on the day prior to the contest.

I searched YouTube for ideas on how to decorate the cookie, and found a tutorial on making holly lace.

I decided to make a Christmas ornament with some new cookie cutters I found from Crate & Barrel (seasonal availability):

Cookie cutter

I also found an inspiration cookie for other decorations around the lace, since I was only going to make the lace in the middle of the ornament:

Inspiration Cookie

Here’s my final cookie, in the shape of a bell ornament. I added a red sugar pearl in the center of the holly for a little more color. I piped on the inspiration border around the lace. For both the lace and the inspiration border, I used a #1 tip.

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It is time-consuming, so I’m glad I was only submitting one cookie for the contest!

Football Player Zombie Gingerbread Cookies

Baking date: October 28, 2018

As  member of the Athletic Boosters for my sons’ high school, I do a lot of picture taking (in addition to managing both the Facebook and Twitter feeds). I take pictures for the JV football team, as we have another football mom with a MUCH better camera/lens than mine who takes pictures of varsity games.

The JV team had a game originally scheduled on Halloween, but due to weather, it got moved to November 1. Unfortunately, the move meant I would not be able to attend the game. But that didn’t stop me from preparing a fun post-game snack for their final contest of the season.

I decided to make Zombie football helmet gingerbread cookies. I used a recipe from the Mary Meade’s Country Cook Book:

Ingredients: 1 cup softened butter, 1 cup sugar, 1 beaten egg, 2 cups molasses, 2 tablespoons vinegar, 8 cups flour (yes, 8  cups!), 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, 2 tablespoons ginger, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, 3 teaspoons baking soda, 1 cup boiling water

Directions: Sift flour, salt, cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg – set aside (for amounts this large, I place all the ingredients in a bowl and use a whisk to “sift” them). Beat egg in small bowl; set aside. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in egg, molasses and vinegar.  Dissolve the baking soda in the boiling water (it will fizz up!). Add water alternately with flour mixture. Chill at least one hour prior to rolling out.  Bake at 350 degrees for 14 minutes (time may vary, depending on your oven and the size of your cut out cookie. The gingerbread man cut out I used was 14 minutes).

I used a drinking glass with a wide mouth for the round cut out. I flooded the cookies with white royal icing, and then added the eye section with black royal icing, red royal icing and candy eyeballs, following the basic tutorial video I found on Nicki Lee Bake’s channel. I used royal blue cookie icing to make the helmets, and more of the white royal icing dyed golden yellow to make the helmet stripes and facemask.

Here are the cookies in various states of the decoration process:

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And here are the cookies in their final format. I didn’t personalize them since I wouldn’t be there to help hand them out. There were enough for coaches, as well as the players. Some of the other team moms were gracious enough to take the cookies to the game and hand them out.

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Great season, JV. I look forward to seeing a number of you move up to varsity next year, joining my son Alex as he plays in his senior year.

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