A wise uncle once said “with great power, comes great responsibility.” Shortly afterwards, he kicked it – taking on a bad guy over 40 years his junior with no means of self defence. Not very responsible if you ask me.
But his message still rings true, both in the eyes of his web-slinging, responsibility-conscious nephew, and in this geek baker / blogger.
You see, my Husband Mr. B and I have decided to bake up some mini muffins. In my uterus oven. My biological oven timer is ticking. Other baking-related references to baby-making. You see what I’m getting at here.
But before we start wielding our mighty powers of procreation, we had to take the required ‘long hard look’ at our finances. Usually we like to forget those are a thing. Just take a quick skim when we get to the point in a month where a big stack of ramen noodles is what’s for dinner.
And so, this ‘responsibility’ of which Uncle Ben so wisely spoke, hit us in the gut, much like the bullet that took him down. Out of nowhere and SO unfairly.
Babies, it turns out, EAT MONEY. Eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Eat it, then cruelly spit it up on your shoulder. Eat it, until the day you just don’t have it anymore. They won’t say please and they won’t accept substitutes. They won’t eat the ramen noodles.
All that rambling and clever analogy-ing is to say this: Geek Sweets will no longer be selling baked goods at the Vancouver Farmers Markets, or taking custom orders.
This job has been a dream realized. Creating my own business and watching it grow has been amazing. The Farmer’s market sell-outs, the Baker’s market line-ups, the social media love and the chance to flex my creative baking muscles on the regular while being a giant geek about it, have been the highlights of these last 5 years. But while this job is all those glorious things, it’s just not the as dependable as a 9-5. And one of those recently appeared in the the form of a graphic designer gig at a local studio that I just couldn’t pass up.
But Geek Sweets will not be disappearing completely! Even Spidey takes the time to hang with his corn-rowed best buddy, or take a hot redhead out on the town. Our website has a shiny new coat of device-responsive paint and the blog will be updated weekly from now own. I’ve got a giant backlog of content just waiting to be shared and I can’t wait to show it to you.
Speaking of you, let me take a minute to gush: The absolute best part of all of this has been you, my customers / readers – the kind words at the markets, watching you eat your first Cronut, chatting with you on social media, answering your baking questions, delivering goodies to your houses and seeing the smiles on your lovely faces – all of it.
That’s where I have it over on poor Spiderman. While his deeds are forever shrouded in webbed, tight-fitting lycra, I got to share mine with all of you. And for that, I thank you.
Speaking of Spiderman, how about we slyly segue over into this Spiderman Cookie tutorial?
Need to teach someone ’bout responsibility? Soften the blow with a Spidey cookie!
These cookies use my favourite Vanilla Bean Sugar Cookie Recipe. Cut those puppies into simple circles (3″ will work best with the provided eye template – more on that later,) then follow your favourite royal icing recipe for the frosting. Leave about a 1/2 cup of it white, then colour 2/3rds of the remaining red, and 1/3 black. Fill your piping bags as follows:
- 1 black with #1 tip
- 1 white with #2 tip
- 1 red with #2 tip
- 1 red with #4 tip
While your flood icing is still wet, it’s time for Spidey’s eyes. When decorating sugar cookies, the hardest part for me is balance. I’ll pipe one eye and it’ll look great, then I’ll go over to the other side, and it’ll look like NOTHING like the first eye. It’s uncanny.
So I’ve devised a way to get Spidey’s eyes looking how they should every time.
First, download this PDF template of spidey eyes and print it out.
Lay out your printed template with a piece of waxed paper overtop, waxy-side up. (There’s a side that’s less waxy – don’t be fooled by those tricky wax paper folk.) Use tape to hold both in place. I like doing it on a plastic tray I “forever-borrowed” from a Harvey’s so I can easily rotate it as I work.
You’ll want to let these dry a decent amount of time, at least an hour, so they can be easily peeled off the waxed paper. So do these first. Should I have told you that at the beginning of this tutorial? Maybe, yes. But who just jumps into a tutorial without reading it through once first? What are you, an animal?
Now back to your freshly flooded cookie. While the red icing is still wet, peel off a set of dried spidey eyes and pop them onto your cookie. I like to hold the eye overtop, get it into place, then let go and let it drop.
Now let these dry and go watch the first episode of Daredevil on Netflix. Seriously, that show is amazing, go watch it. You’ll have time.
Once they’re dry and you’re thoroughly hooked on the shenanigans of Matt Murdoch and his lil pal Foggy, you’re ready to pipe the webbing. Use your #1 black tip again – nothing bigger, or the lines will look too thick. Try holding your tip at least an inch away from your cookie and letting the icing fall onto the cookie to avoid wiggly lines. I like to start with a ‘Y’ shape in the middle of his face and go from there.
Once dry, your Spideys are read for nomming. And GLAMOUR SHOTS.
So there you have it – Spidey cookies with eyes not so
pineapple wonkey. The same tracing royal icing trick can be applied to just about any cookie design that requires symmetry, or is hella-complicated. I recently used it for some Batman cookies, and for the symbols on my Warhammer 40K cookies.
Thanks for coming on by the blog to check out my tutorial. While I’ll miss interacting with you at the Markets, I look forwarding to bringing you all kinds of geeky goodies, in the form of recipes, photos and tutorials in my regularly updated, (for real-real, not for play-play,) shiny new blog.
Now feel free to go watch the rest of Daredevil. You know you wanna.