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baking cookies for the first time because i have time part 2

Hi, I’m Tone. I draw. I read. I write. I have no idea what I’m doing. Welcome.

This post is about me having no idea how to make homemade Not -Golden – Oreo cookies. It’s part 2 of a two-parter. Here’s part 1.

Onward!

The cookies I made didn’t taste like Golden Oreos at all. But they were buttery and kind of…biscuit like. Delicious, especially with a cup of coffee, not cloyingly sweet, as long as you keep the fondant thin, which I didn’t do, more on that later. But, as it turns out, how they tasted was the least amazing thing about them.

Just look at these lopsided cookies, overloaded with fondant.

You should make them.

but/and*

You should make them better.

Here’s how to do it, in 7 – ish easy steps:

  1. Wait for the weekend. Don’t bake cookies after the work day when you’re hungry and your four year old is hungry, that is, unless you want to eat too much cookie dough and fondant and not eat your dinner like you should.
  2. Roll your dough out thinner than I did. Turns out that rolling chilled cookie dough out is much harder work than I imagined. I guess this is why bakers have large forearms? At least in my mind?)
  3. Roll out your dough evenly. And Clearly I did not, as illustrated in the photo above. Some of my cookies were thins, some were thick, and some of my cookies unlike any you could buy in a store, were both thick and thin.
  4. Use a smaller cookie cutter than I did. My cookies came out big. They’re not huge, but they’re too big for a sandwich cookie. Too much cookie in every bite. However, the flip side of a bigger cookie is: one sandwich cookie is all you need. You eat this cookie, and you’re like, ‘Ok, I’m good on cookies.’

What Did I Get Right?

The part that I did get right in this cookie making process: was getting a 4 year old to help roll the dough and cut the cookies.

He was so thrilled to cut circles and to eat raw cookie dough, and to make dough balls, it was amazing. If you can find one, adding toddlers to your baking process is a must.

Note to everyone stuck at home who are excellent bakers: Right now would probably be the perfect time to start a daily instagram story show focused on baking with toddlers. It would kill. I am not the man for the job. Someone else please run with this.

Working With the Fondant

I had no idea what to expect when opening the box of fondant. I’d never even heard of it before tackling this recipe. It’s a block of stiff, but maleable icing. The recipe called for 6 oz. The entire block of fondant was 24 oz, so I hacked off about a quarter of it.

  1. You should hack off less fondant, because you probably won’t need 6 oz. Here’s why: the fondant is sweet, and if it’s thick, it can be overpoweringly sweet to your cookie sandwich. Which leads to the next step for making Not-Golden-Oreos more successfully than me:
  2. You’re going to roll your fondant thin.
  3. You’re also going to select a cookie cutter smaller than the cookie cutter you used to cut the cookies. This is mostly aesthetics, just to give the fondant a little breathing space on the cookie. There’s something a little sloppy about all that visible fondant in the sandwich.

From there, I just dabbed a little water and powdered sugar to ‘glue’ the fondant circle to the bottom of the cookies. They adhered beautifully.

The Best Part

The unexpected part, really. For about an hour all that mattered was making cookies. All that mattered was getting powdered sugar on our hands, and cutting cookie dough, and sneaking tastes of cookie dough, and working with the fondant. And laughing our heads off. A lot of laughing our heads off. (Especially about my powdered sugar hanprint pants.) It felt great.

If you can, take a baking break. Especially if you’ve never baked before. You don’t know how much you need it until you do it.

I can’t wait to try making these again. But do a better job of it.

TL;DR

  1. Roll your cookie dough thin, and evenly.
  2. Roll your fondant even thinner.
  3. Use a smaller diameter cookie cutter for your fondant.
  4. Add a toddler to your baking process.
  5. Make something. Just a little whatever. Whatever you make won’t be as ugly as the cookies we made, but if whatever you make does turn out ugly, that’s ok. Making unintentionally ugly whatevers is the first step towards making beautiful whatevers.

organizing the studio

organizing the studio last week and dug up these marker drawings i drew about a year and a half ago of little guy while he was drawing:)

i’m writing this while sitting in the waiting room of a tire shop.

the valve stem on the front driver side tire broke.

i walked over to the grocery store while waiting for the tow. a lot of holes on the shelves. crowded. a nervous energy. i bought some canned goods.

scarecrow timelapse

 

here’s a timelapse of the making of yesterday’s scarecrow strip

i’ve also added the webcomics plugin so that you can easily read all of the past ‘steps’ strips. (i don’t know why i call the strips featuring little guy ‘steps’ but i think it works.

this plug in lets me keep the latest strip at the top of the blog and gives you an easy way to navigate them. the double arrow takes you back to the first ‘steps’ strip, the single arrow lets you increment back to the previous strip, and the little infinity symbol takes you to a random strip.

take it for a spin and let me know what you think.

the couch cushion timelapse

 

 

here’s the timelapse of the couch cushion strip from a few days ago

the process usually goes like this:

i see a moment in real life that i think will work for the strip: in this case it was watching little guy move the cushion so he could sit down on the couch

(and right now i’m focusing on those moments that dont require any dialogue, right now i’m more interested in telling these little stories without dialogue, so i’ve passed on some great moments that have dialogue. maybe that will change in the future)

then i’ll need to puzzle out how this moment will break down in to 4 frames – i have to select my 4 moments which usually takes some trial and error with some really bad drawings, just diagrams really, in the sketchbook that help me quickly find those 4 moments

then i take a photo of the sketches and cut and paste those moments into the frames of the page

since i had already done a couch strip, i decided to recycle the background from that previous strip not only for continuity, but also because i am very lazy

from there i need to do the actual drawings (which in this case were pretty dismal, though they hopefully worked)

select my colors

go back in and fix little guy’s smile on the last panel (it looked a little creepy the first go-round)

and that was about it

when i write it all out like this it makes the process feel a little mechanical, but for me the magic lies in recognizing the moment when it occurs, and enjoying the finished strip when i’m done

timelapse of the easter strip

color was really important in this strip (i mean, color is always important for me, and i kind of sweat it when coloring the strip, but color was especially important to the storytelling of this particular strip)

i don’t think this strip could have worked in black and white (and some of my past strips absolutely could have, but i like color…and now i’m not even sure of what my original point was.

anyway, hope you enjoy seeing the strip come together at high speeds, it always seems a minor miracle to me when a strip is finished

popcorn sketches from the sketchbook

maybe the most important part of doing the strip is figuring out the timing

when trying to do that my sketches can look more like the diagrams you see in the top half of the page

then comes figuring out the props like the chair you see in the bottom half of the page

I also need to figure out the main poses

here you can see I really had trouble with that left leg

see it all come together

search timelapse

here’s the screen capture of me working on the ‘search’ strip from a few days ago

i also reorganized the ‘comics’ menu item so it is just finished strips now. no process videos or sketches making it easier to scroll through past strips without all that junk in the way

so if the sketches, videos, and various other asides that appear between strips aren’t in your wheelhouse, you can just bookmark the comics page and see the most recent strips

 

 

 

 

zipper comic timelapse

it is hard to wear a zipper sweater and carry him because he likes to zip up the zipper and catch my neck skin in it

i don’t know if that came across  in the strip or not

not only were the drawings difficult for me on this one, but so was the ‘timing’ of the strip – trying to figure out which moments to show so that the reader understands whats going on and the punchline  is effective

 

 

 

eagles dad

for the last few months i’ve felt pretty energized, creatively speaking

(i’d been reading lynda barry’s syllabus, and i think that gave me quite a bit of fuel and confidence, both)

for the last few weeks my creative juices are feeling lower

i havent been putting out as many strips this month, and for some reason they’ve seemed harder to come by

i can only hope i’m in just a seasonal artistic funk

so this one is from the sketchbook

i’m not sure what to do with little moments like these, since they have dialogue and only feature one panel, which don’t seem to fit the rules i’ve created for myself here

eaglesdad

in the meantime you can scroll through all of the ‘steps’ strips here

putting together the pepper strip timelapse

 

 

what’s great about this timelapse is it shows how nothing came easy on this one

and when i saw little guy trying to grind pepper with the pepper shaker at the restaurant i thought i had it made

but then i realized i needed to show all of the other times he saw me using a pepper grinder

and none of the drawings came easy

the staging of that last panel was especially difficult. and the drawing was pretty bad. I’m not even sure it is clear what is going on.

even the colors of the strip were dificult. i worried that there would be too many colors in the last panel so i decided to go monotone throughout.

i decided on yellow just because i thought it would be funny to color in the yolks in panel 3.

my first attempt at yellow looked like pee. so i made it bolder.

i’m not sure i agree with that decision.

ultimately i still think the idea was good, but the execution lacked on almost every level.

i think ive mentioned before i have no idea what im doing