I’ve mentioned several times that I teach highland dance (which was the whole reason for doing the plaid/kilt cookies shown in my first post), and it’s become a source for a lot of baking requests and baking inspiration this year. I love bringing extra treats to my dancers at rehearsals, at exams, and at recital to finish off the year.
There’s one teacher at our dance school who does a lot of the choreography numbers and who also makes the most fantastic costumes for all of her dancers. I can’t imagine how much time goes into designing, tracing, cutting, and sewing, but the end result is always fabulous. This year, she was in charge of more choreographies than ever, and she made new costumes for at least 16 numbers that I can think of (plus, we used costumes of hers from last year for many more numbers, so in total she was responsible for (by my count) 95+ costumes worn by dancers over the course of the year. It seemed fitting, then, to give her a set of cookies modeled after the costumes as a thank you present for all of her work throughout the year.
I made one cookie per dance (or two if the costumes were sufficiently different), so in total I made 33 cookies. I chose a heart shape because this best approximates the bust of a costume.
I’ve included below pictures of each costume, my original sketch (made roughly in paint – this helped me decide the order in which I decorated the cookies, since I divided them up into colour groupings), and the final cookie. In a few cases, I actually liked my final design better than my sketch!
Starting with solo costumes, I think my favourites here are the orange one (top right), blue lace costume (second from the top, left), and the red costume on the bottom left. For the blue costume with a necklace (second from bottom, right), I individually placed white sprinkles while the royal icing was still wet.
For duet costumes, I’m quite fond of the red and blue plaid (middle left) and the teal plaid with sparkles (second from top, right) – this one also required individually placed sprinkles to get the look of the sequins in the dress.
Next were trio costumes, which are actually in general my least favourite of the cookies in terms of how they turned out. However, I’m quite pleased with the green costume on the top right, which again required individually placed sprinkles to get the look of the sparkles on the costume.
Finally came group costumes. I really like how the red and black costume (top left) turned out. This was for a broken doll piece, and it was a really neat costume, complete with a cumberbund and collar. I also like the look of the cookie on the bottom right, with the orange and purple stripes. This was for my own group piece, which we performed at the Canadian championships this year.
I have been having a really difficult time finding cookie tins, so I picked up a pretty box from the dollar store and divided it into 12 compartments using some leftover cardboard I had around the house. I tucked a piece of parchment paper into each compartment to keep the cookies off the cardboard.
I put 2-4 cookies in each space, organizing by category (solos, duets, trios, and groups) from left to right, and vertically by class (as we have choreography numbers spread across a few different classes). I put my favourite cookies on top, but also tried to put the most easily recognizable costumes at the top of each pile. I decided to add the names of each piece to the inside of the lid to make sure it was obvious which dance each cookie represented.
These cookies were presented to my dance instructor at recital back in June. She pretty much immediately fell over when she opened the box, and began showing the cookies to everyone near her, so I think she liked them! I’ve decided to start a tradition of giving costume cookies at the end of each year, because these were a lot of fun to make and I really like the challenge of trying to recreate so many costumes and materials in icing. This year I’m going to try to make it easier for myself and be sure to take pictures of every costume before June that was probably one of the hardest parts of completing these cookies this year, since I couldn’t ask my teacher for pictures if I wanted to maintain the surprise.
Hopefully this June I’ll be back with more costume cookies. With everything I’ve learned about royal icing this year, I’m excited to see how much better I can match the look of each costume.