Sunday, November 27, 2011

Not Your Typical College Football Party...

Michigan 40, Ohio State 34.

I am SO PROUD to be a Michigan Wolverine right now!

Yesterday was a momentous day for Michigan Football:
  • We beat Ohio State for the first time since 2003! (2,926 days since our last victory against Ohio State!)
  • For the first time since I started following Michigan football as a lowly freshman in 2007, Michigan finished the season with 10 wins!
  • For the first time in program history, Michigan won all 8 of their home games!
  • After the big win, everyone rushed the field– something that NEVER happened while I was a student!

Why, oh why did I have to graduate on time? 

I SOOOO wish I could have been there!

Since I was home for Thanksgiving weekend, I decided to take advantage of the tools at my disposal (and the Michael’s craft store nearby) to celebrate my Wolverines with Michigan Cookies on their last game of the season — how could I have known how monumental the day would become? Must be psychic!

For the second time ever, I tried my hand at decorating cookies with Royal Icing. My most loyal readers and former roommates may remember the first time I decorated cookies with royal icing for my final project of my PCAP class. I took over my kitchen and living room for three days as I slowly and carefully decorated the cookies and called upon everyone in sight to help document the occasion. If you need a memory kick, re-visit My Very First Blog Post, where I highlighted these cookies.

Decorating cookies with royal icing is anything but simple. It takes a lot of work, careful planning, and plenty of time. Therefore, I’ve decided I’m going to need a pretty special occasion in mind whenever I agree to devote so many hours to decorating cookies. The Michigan vs. Ohio State game proved to be just the occasion I needed!

I mimicked some beautiful Michigan cookies I found a while ago at Baking Land. Mine aren’t quite as perfectly executed as her, but I think they’re pretty great for a first attempt. Maybe next year I’ll recreate them…

My Wolverine made an appearance for the photoshoot

Late Friday night I whipped up a batch of gingerbread cookies and cut them into football shapes – footballs, jerseys, and helmets. Once they were baked and cooled, I got to work decorating, finishing the initial decorations around midnight. I added the remaining details first thing yesterday morning so they would be dry and ready well before the Florida vs. Florida State football party my parents and sister planned for the evening.

In addition cookies, our football party needed some refreshments. I decided to "class up" a college favorite and make some Maize and Blue Jello Shots... in lemon peels. 

I used my tried and true vodka jello shot recipe and poured half of the jello mixture into scooped-out lemon halves, chilled them overnight, and sliced them up before the party. The hardest part was scooping out the lemon. 

My dad got into the classy football party spirit as well and served Cable Car Cocktails - a drink made up of Captain Morgan, orange curaƧao, and homemade lemon sour. The cocktail glasses get rimmed with cinnamon sugar, and the mixed up liquid gets poured into the glass in a circular motion. This last part is important — just ask my dad.

Three big football games occurred yesterday to capture the attention of everyone in my household. Michigan vs. Ohio State, Wisconsin vs. Penn State, and Florida vs. Florida State.

My sister' school Florida lost to Florida State, my dad's alma matter Penn State lost to my mom's Wisconsin, and at the end of the day, it was best to be a Wolverine!!

Gingerbread Cookies (Recipe adapted from Radishes & Rhubarb): 
Makes about 3 dozen cookies
  • 1 cup brown sugar 
  • 1/2 cup butter 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 2 tablespoons molasses 
  • 2 cups all purpose flour, plus more for rolling 
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda 
  • 3 teaspoons ground ginger 
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon 
  • 1/2 teaspoon allspice 
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves 
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt 
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy 
  • Add eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition until just incorporated 
  • Add molasses and mix until just combined 
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, and spices 
  • Add the flour mixture dry ingredients to the butter mixture and beat until incorporated 
  • With floured hands, wrap dough in saran wrap and refrigerate for at least 20 minutes, although longer would be better 
  • Using LOTS of flour, roll half your dough until it is 1/4 inch thick and cut out desired shapes 
  • Transfer cut dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for at least 10 more minutes before baking 
  • Bake for about 10 minutes or until edges turn a darker golden brown 
  • Cool completely on a cooling rack before decorating

Royal Icing (Recipe from Wilton):
Makes 3 cups (I used all of it for these cookies)
  • 3 tablespoons meringue powder
  • 4 cups powdered sugar
  • 6 tablespoons water

  • Beat all ingredients on low speed for 7-9 minutes, or until icing forms peaks

TIP: Keep icing covered with a damp paper towel at all times so it doesn’t dry out

Decorating TIP: Color the icing as you go and use plastic wrap to fill the piping bags. Watch Karen's Tutorial to see how this is done.

Happy Baking and Go Blue!

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