Summer Cookies: Beach Umbrellas and Chairs
Let me let you in on a little secret. Seattle has the best summer weather. It may get a bad rap for being gloomy year-round, but that's a tiny white lie. Surprisingly, there's a pocket of perfect weather that hits around the middle of the summer months. Summer in Seattle means clear skies, low humidity, and best of all, long days when the sun doesn't set until after nine in the evening.
With Memorial Day weekend coming up, it seemed appropriate to make summer cookies to mark the beginning of a great weather period. Here are two relatively easy cookie ideas to try this summer-- beach umbrella and chair cookies.
Beach Umbrella Cookies
Preparing the Dough
To make beach umbrella cookies, I went with a simplified version by showcasing the top view of an umbrella instead of the side profile. For the cookie shape, I used a spider web cookie cutter. This particular spider web cutter was from Target last Halloween season, however any spider web cutter should work.
FYI, if you're on the hunt for this Target cutter, it was part of a set that included a little spider cutter (shown below).
I found it was easy to decorate later if I made guide lines in the dough first.
Similar to how I made Patriotic Barn Star Cookies, use a knife and align the blade with one corner of the web to the corner on the opposite side. Lightly press down into the dough just enough to leave an imprint of a line. If you do this four times around, all the lines should meet at a single point in the middle.
The Decorating Process
After the cookies are baked, use white piping icing and outline four alternating triangle sections by piping over the guide lines. Flood the sections with white flood icing. Let the icing set for about 15 minutes before moving on.
Between the white sections, outline the four remaining triangle sections with the colored piping icing of your choice. (I chose four different colors, but a single color would work nicely as well.) Flood those sections with the appropriate color. Let the cookie dry completely.
After the icing is completely dry, its time to add the middle wind vent detail. Using a small circle cutter as a guide, mark the intersection points around the cutter with a food marker.
Next, connect those intersection marks by drawing small arched lines around the center. Similarly, repeat steps 1 and 2 by filling in the white sections first, waiting 15 minutes, then filling the colored sections.
Lastly, add a white candy pearl in the center as a finishing detail. Attach it to the cookie with a small amount of white royal icing.
Beach Chair Cookies
To accompany the beach umbrellas, I made a few adirondack style beach chairs to complete the look of these summer cookies.
Preparing the Dough
To make these beach chair cookies, I used Sugarbelle's bus cutter sold at KarensCookies.net. I sketched out a design that used most of the bus cutter shape. I did trim off two small corners, though. (see below).
Because the chair design is more involved and intricate for freehand piping, I used my Kopykake projector to project my sketch onto the cookie. For convenience, I made a printable template you can download if you would like to try this design for yourself.
To download the printable beach chair template CLICK HERE.
The Decorating Process
Decorating these beach chairs is pretty straight forward. First, outline and flood sections of the chair that don't touch, or aren't close to each other. Let the icing set for about 15 minutes before moving on.
Repeat step 1 again with the remaining sections.
The completed iced chair should look like the chair below on the left. You could stop here, however, I wanted to kick it up a notch by adding wood grain detail.
I love using Rainbow Dust pens because of their super fine tips. I love them so much I bought all 23 available colors from Party Animal Online. It's a UK company, but the standard shipping for these pens only took one week get to me.
I used coordinating colored pens to make the wood grain markings. Just add random ovals and draw squiggly lines around them. Simple as that!
I hope your summer is off to a warm start. Here's to a wonderful three-day Memorial Day weekend!