Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Science Cookies: Drosophila melanogaster!
A new cutter and a new science cookie. I made roughly 100 Drosophila cookies yesterday, expecting trouble decorating them. I was right. These things are as annoying in cookie form as they are in real life.
While planning my cookies design, I found it hard to balance a realistic look with something you're supposed to want to eat. I iced numerous test cookies trying to get one that actually looked semi-respectable, semi-edible and easy enough to repeat over and over for dozens of little cookies. I think I settled on a happy medium with these flies. Although, I'm certain someone will find something 'wrong' with them, perhaps deciding to school me in the ins and outs of fly sexual dimorphism. While I appreciate free lessons, let me remind the accuracy sticklers:
They are cookies.
Everyone got that? Awesome. Let's move along...
I decided to go with wild type Drosophila. Mostly because I thought they were the most visually interesting of all the cookies I decorated. The others ended up being a little too monochromatic for my tastes. I did try to demonstrate some sexual dimorphism in the banding though, but it was a little tough with my current set of piping tips. I think I need a 0 or 00 sized tip to do a more accurate design on a cookie of this size. I'll pick them up next week...although that means I'll be straining my icing though nylon. Ugh, dealing with small tips is always messy. Anyway, hopefully the difference in sex is vaguely apparent, that was all I was aiming for.
So, to make these cookies, I took my generic sugar cookie recipe and decorated them with royal icing and some edible platinum luster dust.
Since the cookie was small I didn't do any flood work with these. I just piped blobs of semi-thick icing for the head and body background-color. The wings I outlined in white icing and allowed them to dry. I then painted the wings with the platinum luster dust to give them and the cookie beneath a slight shimmer. I denoted the body segments with darker brown icing and added the banding. Lastly, I piped on little blobs of red-orange icing for the eyes.
The previous generations of test cookies all aimed for a little more realism and were far more complicated. In the end, they didn't look as good as these and while I'm not totally happy with them (I need smaller piping tips!) I still think they are cute. I do like the effect the luster dust gives the wings.
Enjoy the bugs. They do taste better than the real thing.
(Oh, and I just finished my zebrafish cookies too. I should have those up within the week.)