E isn't actually for elephant in this case. These elephants were for a special birthday girl, celebrating first birthday this weekend, and her first name begins with the letter E. I was asked to make elephant cookies that incorporated the colors fuchsia and lime green and had an "E" on them. I hadn't made an elephant before and I was excited to make a new cookie shape.
Overall I was happy with how these came out. I wanted to make sure I had a nice gray for the base color of the elephant, so I did some research before I mixed colors. Most people recommended adding a touch of light blue once gray was achieived, which I did, and I think that helped to make sure the icing didn't dry too dark.
I also used Duff's new gel food coloring for the fuchsia and lime green. Sometimes I find that the Wilton colors are not "edgy" and it's hard to get alternative colors without some serious mixing. When I saw the Duff gel colors, I thought this is was a good opportunity to try something new. I used the electric pink, with a touch of purple for the fuchsia, and this was easily achieved. I also used the green colors from the same package for the lime green, it might have been call electric green, but I'm not sure. Another reason why I recommend trying the Duff gel colors is that they are small squeeze bottles, so you can easily drop in one drop of color in at a time. One of the things that I hate with the Wilton's is the constant use of tooth picks to get a few drops of color. The Duff colors were much more user friendly. Bottom line: I would definitely try the Duff gel coloring again.
I did run into a problem with these cookies. When I first started making these cookies, I knew that the trunk and the legs were going to be delicate, so I made the cookies extra thick and baked them a little longer than I normally do to make sure they were nice and firm. This approach worked well, and I thought these elephants would hold up nicely.
What I didn't take into account is that the Boston area is currently experiencing a heatwave with extremely high humidity. When I started packaging the elephants into favor bags, my problems began, the first elephant's trunk broke off. I immediately changed the way I packaged them, and just simply stapled the the bags, rather than tying them. This seemed to work and no other elephants broke in the packaging process. However, as the elephants waited around to be picked up, the trunks started falling off. Needless to say I wasn't happy, and I spent most of Friday replaying in my head how I made these cookies. I honestly do not know what I could have done any differently, and I think that the humidity just softened these cookies and the icing more than I anticipated. I think any cookies made during any similar weather conditions will need to baked much longer to make sure at that they are super firm!