Thursday, July 7, 2011

Firework Me into a Frenzy Cookies

Oh Martha.  I saw these on the cover of your Living magazine and then watched you make them on the Today show.  It’s not part of my whole ‘Martha and Reid’ endeavor, but let’s be honest.  I have been a little behind in blogging and if I did one of your projects, whether it be in the book I’m detailing, or in your magazine, I’m going to write about it.

Once again, I pose the question, “Why do you make things look so easy when they’re not?”  Why don’t you tell the public that they should make sure that no one is in the house when they attempt your projects so that there aren’t any objects being flung at innocent people?  Or curse words that young ones should not hear? 

Yes, the end product looks nice.  Yes, they actually taste okay too (which is a first for me… I once made her ricotta chocolate mousse and let’s just say I have an awesome gag reflex).  And yes, you do state that the cookies alone take three total hours.  But you don’t include the fact that it takes at least an hour and a half to decorate them!

Also, you might want to make sure that your television commentary is in line with what is in your magazine.  I went grocery shopping based on the ingredients for the Royal Icing that you discussed on the Today show.  In your words (I’m paraphrasing), “It’s very simple.  All you need is powdered sugar, water and some egg whites.” 

You might want to check that recipe again because the one in your magazine calls for Meringue Powder which is not what I would call a “staple” ingredient.  Thankfully, you note that it can be found at  How convenient.  Yes, let me just order it along with some other specialty items you call for and cross my fingers that they’ll magically appear before I actually need them. 

No worries, Martha!  I took matters into my own hands and used the app for my iPad and got a Royal Icing recipe which called for Cream of Tartar since I had that in my spice cabinet.  I also used regular old food coloring to dye it instead of your fancy schmancy one; and yes, the red icing tasted like straight chemicals, but what’s your point? 

So how does a real person complete this project?  Well, you grunt over the million step sugar cookie process (see the directions here), or realize that any sugar cookie recipe will do.  You then make some royal icing (recipe here) and divide it into three bowls; one for white (the largest amount reserved), then one for red and blue.  You then use about 80 drops of dye for the red and maybe 30 for the blue and you get colors that somewhat resemble the ones on the cover of Living. 

Next you use an angled spatula and slap on the white icing instead of “flooding” the cookies that Martha calls for (in the interest of sanity and time).  Then you immediately pipe a red or blue dot in the center of the cookie and follow it with concentric circles in red or blue.  Martha states that you can use pastry bags or specialty squeeze bottles – I obviously took the easier (read: cheaper) route and used pastry bags).  Finally, you take a toothpick and drag it from the center of the cookie outwards and continue around the cookie. 

So here they are.  Do they look as good as Martha’s?  Probably not.  Oh well.


  1. Those are gorgeous!

  2. Must admit that even though they were labor intensive they look wonderful. How do they taste?
    I have no patience making things look beautiful but love to see others do this