Every year my place of employment has a cookie contest. I was hired just in time last year to participate, but I didn’t realize how competitive it might be. My little white chocolate macadamia nut cookies, while delicious, didn’t compare to some of the other confections. Plus, I didn’t realize that there was money involved. So when the contest was announced this year, I started plotting my win. I searched the Internet high and low (I entered “creative cookies” in Google) and stumbled across some cupcakes decorated to look like sushi rolls. I love tromp l’oeil type things, so I decided to try and make cookies that looked like sushi. I found some other sources that used Rice Krispie treats as the basis for the cookie, but to tell the truth, I’m not a huge fan of Rice Krispie treats. I decided to go with sugar cookies.
Amanda emailed me her favorite sugar cookie recipe from the Joy of Cooking. This recipe is seriously great. We used it when we made these fall cookies and then when we made some Easter cookies, so I knew it was a winner. But I had some hurdles to overcome. I wanted the cookies to be taller. Again, Amanda came to the rescue with the genius idea of stacking cookies like sandwiches. I also had to find the right decorations. In the inspiration picture, the sushi used fruit and coconut. I decided to use Runts and Swedish fish and pick out some orange Nerdz for roe. I figured candy would last longer. I could only find red fruit roll-ups to use as the seaweed wrap. So, I made a trial batch on Saturday afternoon so I would have time to switch things up if I needed to before Sunday. I’m glad I did. Here’s the trial:
It was ok, but I thought it looked more like a bird’s nest than a sushi roll. I emailed the picture to Amanda and asked her to take a quick look at it, even though she and Mike were headed out the door for a date. She called me back with an excellent suggestions to use Mike and Ike’s or jellybeans and cut them in half so they would lay flat instead of looking like rounded eggs. I stopped by a different store on my way out that night to pick up some new ingredients and found the bluish-green fruit roll-up, too. So yay! Then on Sunday night, I put together my cookies.
The winner of the Most Creative cookie last year made tiny little pies that she put into a baker’s box. I learned from her that presentation is just as important in making a good impression. So I picked up a cheap little plate and some chopsticks to add to the effect. We could only submit two cookies for judging, so I picked out my favorite two and put my plate together.
We had to wait until noon today to find out the results of the cookie competition, but I think you already know that I won! (Did the title give it away?) So I got a cute little certificate and a gift card, but most importantly, I got to be a winner!!
I also loved how many people said, “And they even taste good!” What? Were they expecting fish? Only the Swedish kind.
(Also, it’s obvious that part of this win goes to Amanda. I’m lucky to have such an awesome sister.)