The showstopper for the Biscuit Week was an exercise in creativity. The bakers needed to design a freestanding 3D biscuit scene. Biscuit choices were left up to the bakers, as well as the concept of the scene. Watching, you could tell there was a variety of approaches. Whether it was the type or flavor of cookie, the scene itself, or how they got the cookies to stand, everyone did something different. I had my work cut out for me.
This will be an entire scene, which means there’s much more planning involved than a simple cake or cookie. First I had to decide what kind of scene to make. I didn’t want to repeat anything that had already been done. I thought about re-creating my clinic, then maybe something nerdy. I settled on the idea of witches cooking in a cemetary.
Then I needed to pick the type of biscuit/cookie to use. The key to this is picking a dough with a structure sturdy enough to maintain a 3D shape without buckling or collapsing. The biscuit also needs to be baked enough to have that “snap” when eaten. (If not, well… that’s one of the reasons Enwezor went home that week). Most of the bakers chose flavored gingerbreads, and that sounded like a good idea.
I’ll be using orange and chocolate gingerbreads for my spooky witch scene. The plan is 2 biscuit witches standing over a cauldron. The cauldron will probably not be biscuit, possibly a cupcake. The witches will be beside a large tomb structure. There will be several (probably three) tombstones. I’m currently debating whether to make the fencing of the graveyard out of biscuit versus pretzel sticks.
1 . Make Doughs
This was the easiest part. Make 2 different doughs according to their respective recipes and chill.
2. Roll & Cut
Roll out the chilled dough and cut into needed shapes. I drew my shapes on cardstock, cut them out, then used them as stencils on the dough. Worked out pretty well!
They puffed up a lot more than I expected! The chocolate looked burnt on a few pieces, so I probably should have watched closer. The dark dough can really trip you up!
4. Make ‘Em Stand!
Once cool, I made royal icing (for the first time!) and used it as glue. I also added coloring into small batches to help decorate.
I had a total of four tombstones (just in case). Two witches with arms to keep the scene from being too static. I created a small tray of Oreo dirt (not part of the tasting!). I also made a quick mugcake for my cauldron. I finally got the little suckers to stand on the dirt after much struggle.
The Final Result
Ya’ll… this was the hardest challenge by far. The cookies kept falling over and getting messy. I was so frustrated I abandoned most of my decor plans because I just did not have the energy anymore! I wanted a fence and color on the witches. The cauldron could have been better. I’m also kicking myself for not having an edible marker to write on the tombstones, though I guess I could have used food coloring.
The orange cookie was alright, but not very “gingerbread”. The chocolate gingerbread was fantastic! I’ll be keeping that recipe for Christmastime. Unfortunately, the biscuits missed the “snap” the judges mentioned. I think this was because my dough wasn’t thin enough, so it puffed and became too thick as a cookie.
I’m a little disappointed in myself this round. I probably would have gotten a lot of the same criticism Norman did for lack of color, though Norm had a much neater presentation.
Who knows… maybe I would have ekked through based on my technical?