When I was living in Canada I was always a little envious of our patriotic American neighbours. To many outsiders their patriotic enthusiasm seemed overly excessive and brash, but as a Canadian kid I looked on in amazement. They took any opportunity they could get to plaster their flag on anything and everything, and I often wondered why Canadians didn’t do the same.
The patriotic differences really became apparent when July rolled around. Canada celebrates their birthday with a national holiday on July 1st, while the US celebrates theirs on July 4th. The Americans always seemed to have loads of festive activities going on like parades, barbecues, block parties and amazing firework shows, while Canadians seemed relatively unfazed by their national day. Don’t get me wrong – Canadians definitely do celebrate Canada Day with a few fireworks and the odd picnic, and as Vancouver showed during the Olympics, Canadians are extremely proud of their country, but we don’t always shout about it from the rooftops like our southern neighbours do.
Some of the patriotic things that always caught my eye were all the fun American themed desserts and products that seemed to pop up during the weeks approaching July 4th. A large part of it I’m sure, was a result of savvy marketing, but the other part was down to sheer patriotism.
I remember flipping through magazines (most of the magazines were American) and watching programmes like Live! and Martha Stewart and thinking how pretty the desserts and crafts that they were featuring looked in red, white and blue. For some reason red and white (Canada’s colours) never seemed as much fun.
With the upcoming Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (marking the 60 year reign of Queen Elizabeth) in a few weeks, it appears that the whole of the UK has gone jubilee crazy. And I couldn’t be more excited about it! It’s such a nice feeling to see Union Jacks everywhere – on grocery packaging, home decor, magazines and loads and loads of CAKES!
It’s so nice to see the whole country getting excited about their heritage and celebrating it with a little red, white and blue. And I especially love it because it’s the perfect excuse for me to do some fun and festive baking – just like I always wished I could have done when I was younger!
I’ve come up with a few Jubilee themed desserts – one of them was this Jubilee Dome Cake with red and blue flowers and a golden crown that I posted last week.
I’ve also made these little Jubilee hat cookies inspired by the Queen herself! It’s no secret that the Queen is a fan of her hats – they even took bets here in England on what colour hat she would wear to Will and Kate’s wedding last year!
I got the original idea for these cookies from the fabulous book Cookie Swap, and then borrowed a few tips from Bakerella who also made them a couple years ago for Easter.
I loved making these cookies – they were so fun and easy to make, and I really think they’re just perfect to help celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Seriously – how cute would they look alongside a nice cup of tea, or arranged together on a stand at your local street party.
Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Hat Cookies
To make these cookies you’ll need a few things:
Sugar cookie dough – I use Peggy Porcshen’s recipe that can be found in this post here.
A small amount of Royal Icing – Peggy Porcshen’s recipe that can be found in this post here.
Double sided pastry cutters – I used these.
Mini flower plunger cutters – I used these.
White fondant – I used white Renshaw brand
Sugar paste / flower paste – I used Squires Kitchen Sugar Floral Paste
1. Make your sugar cookie dough according to the recipe and instructions here. Once your dough is chilled, roll it out to the appropriate thickness (about 4 or 5mm). Using the scalloped edge of the 68mm (2 5/8″) round pastry cutter, cut out as many circles as you think you’d like hats. These will be the base of your hats. I think you could make at least 20 hats with the cookie dough recipe – probably more. Next, use the 38mm (1 1/2″) plain edged round cutter to cut out twice the number of circles as you did with the scalloped cutter. These will make up the top of your hats, and each hat top requires two smaller circles. Bake according to the instructions in my original recipe post, and then cool.
2. While your cookies are baking you can start to make the little sugar paste flowers that will decorate the brim of the hats. Take a small amount of the Sugar Floral Paste and tint it whatever colour you’d like – I used Wilton gel paste colours. Roll the sugar paste out, and use the flower cutters to cut out various sizes of flowers. It’s easy – honest! I used some royal icing to attach the white nonpareils to the inside of the flower, but if you don’t have any nonpareils, then a dab of royal icing will do just fine. Set the flowers aside to dry.
3. Once your cookies are nice and cool you’ll need to start building your hats. First you’ll need to roll our your fondant, and use the same sized scalloped edge pastry cutter you used for the base of the cookies to cut out the fondant circles that will sit on top. Use the end of a paintbrush or chopstick to make small indents around the scalloped edge. Put a little royal icing on the scalloped cookies and then place the matching fondant pieces on top making sure to line up the scalloped edges.
To make the second part of the hat you’ll need to glue two of the smaller circles together by adding a dab or two of royal icing on the top of one of the small circles. Next, use another dollop of royal icing to fix the bottom of the smaller stacked circle to the scalloped fondant covered cookie base. Using the small cookie cutter, cut out enough fondant circles to cover the tops of the smaller circle stacks.
Next you’ll need to cut some fondant strips to wrap around the stack of small cookies – use a small ruler to make sure the fondant strip is the same width as the cookie stacks, and long enough to wrap around them. Fix the strips around the cookies using royal icing. Use your fingers to smooth out the fondant strips and blend them into the fondant tops.
Lastly, it’s time to add your sugar paste flowers – simply glue them on in whatever arrangement you like, and there you have it – little Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Hats!
I’m sure it’s pretty safe to say that these hat cookies will likely end up inside your tummy – but I’d really like to know what’s happened to all of the Queen’s own hats? Seriously – Buckingham Palace must have one gigantic room filled with 60 years worth of the Queen’s hats!
Because my hat cookies have flowers on them, I’m also sending them over to The Tea Time Treats monthly challenge hosted this month by Karen of the blog Lavender and Loveage, and other months by Kate of What Kate Baked. This month’s theme is floral, so I think they’re a perfect fit!