These Hearthstone card cookies are good enough to eat
Who doesn’t love a delicious cookie — especially after a hard-won Hearthstone match? When we saw these Hearthstone-themed cookies made by Dayani, we just had to know more. How were they made? Is it possible to make that many cookies and maintain one’s sanity? And, perhaps most importantly, can we have one?
Though we didn’t get the answers to all of these questions, we did get the recipes so we could DIY our own Hearthstone cookies… at least if we had the patience. In the meanwhile, read on to learn more about the creation of these delectable Hearthstone card backs.
What Blizzard games do you play, and as what?
I mainly play WoW; I raid semi-hardcore as a Resto Shaman in Something Wicked on Whisperwind-US. I am a healing theorycrafter struck by temporary ennui, so I haven’t updated my blog very recently. I used to do a healing podcast with my friend Hamlet before he got hired at Blizzard. I also write the raid and dungeon guide content over at Wowhead.
I play Hearthstone casually, but am hoping to try for a legendary push in December after I recover from BlizzCon travel. My previous best has been rank 4 with — I’m sorry! — a face Hunter deck. I have two excuses for face huntering — I don’t have a lot of cards, for one, and face Hunter games are fast enough I can play a full game in the time it takes to bake a tray of cookies. :)
I have dabbled some in Diablo 3 (most recently as a Wizard in season 4) and I played through the tutorial of Heroes of the Storm. Crossing my fingers for Overwatch beta because there’s a healer so I’m interested!
Why make Hearthstone-themed cookies?
I like baking tributes to games I enjoy, it’s like a wonderful conflation of nerdiness, art, and sugar. I have wanted to make Hearthstone cookies for a while but have been unsure of my skill, since I’m an amateur baker (this was my fifth ever royal icing project). But when a great opportunity arose, I decided to jump straight into the deep end and try my hand at card back cookies.
Are these cookies your first foray into Blizzard-themed foodstuffs?
Previously I made Gorefiend cookies to commemorate my guild’s kill of Mythic Gorefiend, which gave us a lot of trouble. I was going to send one to each member of my guild, but everyone was like “no, save your money!” (since postage from Australia to the US is pretty pricey) so instead I sent a huge box of cookies to Blizzard HQ. The Gorefiend cookies were covered on a slow news day at Wowhead. They were a lot of hard work and my first attempt at some very challenging decorating techniques, and I’m so glad they came out so well.
If your Twitter feed is any indication, it looks like you made a ton of cookies. How many did you make and how long did you spend baking?
That’s right — I made approximately one squajillion cookies.
Okay, it was actually 100 classic card back cookies and 100 fireside gathering cardback cookies. I also made around 300 little Hearthstones. I think all up I spent around 88 hours on the project, 84 of which were spent on the card back cookies. They were really intricate.
I made so many because I am donating them to the Cookie Brigade, a wonderful group of people who trade cookies for donations to Child’s Play at PAX conventions. These cookies are headed to PAX Australia while I’m headed off to BlizzCon.
That’s an impressive number of cookies (I’m not sure where I’d even put 500 cookies in my kitchen)!
Oh, the cookie project took over every flat surface in the house, I definitely could not contain them all in my tiny kitchen! :-)
How do you even package up that many cookies to send off?
Cookie Brigade asks us to individually bag our cookies in a seal-able medium. I used Ziploc bags to hold one card back and one Hearthstone each. Then my packing genius friend came over and we carefully filled a huge box with cookies, cardboard spacers for stability, bubble wrap, and packing peanuts. He is driving the big box down to Melbourne and I am pretty confident the cookies will stay intact as a whole, but I anticipate that many of the gold emblems on the classic card back cookies will break in transit — they are crazy fragile.
I am trying to be okay with that emotionally, but I have ideas on how to reduce that fragility for the next time I ever use that technique!
What took the longest — the baking or the decorating?
By far the decorating. I estimate 24 minutes per cookie for decorating time.
It was a complicated project — I sculpted the central, sparkly Hearthstone emblems out of royal icing then painted them with edible shimmer dust. Before I put the ‘background’ decoration on the cookies, I first drew guidelines on them with food coloring markers — which, by the way, are literally the best thing since sliced bread! The fireside gathering background has 4 colors in it, swirled together to resemble the fire-lit tavern window, and the classic background was created using a “quilting” technique to try to mimic the grid-like groove pattern on the original card back.
After the backgrounds were done and dry, I piped on the borders, painted the classic borders gold, then glued on the Hearthstone emblems with icing.
I had Hearthstone open with the card backs zoomed in just about the entire time I was working on the project.
If you like statistics, I used … 4.5 kg, or about 10 lbs, of powdered sugar.
Was there any trial and error involved in getting these cookies just right?
Oh, so much! The main source of trial and error was in figuring out what I could do to make the cookies still very detailed, but take a little less time. So for example, the first fireside gathering card back I did took 14 minutes just to do the orange/yellow icing because I put all 4 colors in each little panel and swirled them all together. But some of those panels were really small, and I figured I could make them monochromatic without the overall aesthetic suffering too much. This cut the time down to 6 minutes per cookie, which was a lot more palatable!
I also had some royal icing disasters. I had to change my technique halfway through — between humidity from rain and using a whisk attachment on my mixer instead of a paddle, the royal icing came out too porous and it caused air bubbles and difficulties in applying the gold paint. Never trust a recipe for royal icing that solely uses a whisk attachment! It’s fine for making the meringue, but you should switch to a paddle for adding the sugar.
Are you willing to share your recipes — and are these straight-up cookbook recipes or did you have to modify them to get them just right?
I am shameless and just grab recipes from blogs that I like.
The sugar cookies for the card backs were made with this recipe. It was wonderful and very easy to use!I did add extra flavoring because I think that decorated sugar cookies are often lacking in flavor. I added coconut extract instead of almond extract, and each batch had the zest of one lime, so these cookies have a faintly tropical flavor.
Royal icing is royal icing: I just mixed 4 tbsp of egg white powder with a little over 1 lb of powdered sugar, 1/4 tsp cream of tartar, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tsp pure vanilla extract. Literally just dump all that in a mixer with a paddle attachment and whack away at it until it’s glossy and beautiful.
For the small Hearthstone cookies I followed this general recipe — however, my test batch showed that the recipe made very flat, thin cookies. I wanted something with a little more substance so I added baking powder for some rise. Instead of vanilla/chocolate, I went with two different cookie flavor combinations: vanilla/blue raspberry and chocolate/orange.
To get the right number of swirls and make sure that the inner swirl didn’t touch the outer border, I rolled the outer dough a bit longer & thinner than the inner dough; I think I went with 7×7 inch squares for the vanilla and chocolate dough, and 7 x 5.5 inch squares for the blue and orange dough. Yes, I drew guidelines on my waxed paper so I could roll them all out to the right size.
What was the hardest part about making the perfect Hearthstone cookie?
Definitely placing the royal icing transfers on the cookies. That’s the sparkly middle bit — I had to lift these very delicate icing sculptures off the baking paper, slather some icing on the back as glue, and then drop it on in the right place because trying to move it would break it. Holding it too securely would break it. Looking at it funny would break it!
Do you have any new Blizzard-themed baking projects on the horizon?
I do! After the new year, I plan to do one game-themed cookie project per month. They won’t all be Blizzard-themed, but I really want to make Hearthstone hero power cookies and I have a bunch of cool WoW ideas like a set of cookies themed after Shaman, or Alliance pride, or fine I guess Horde pride, cookies from older raids or dungeons, etc. I’ll be posting concept art and in-progress pictures of these projects on my Twitter and auctioning the cookies off so that I don’t have to eat them all myself. :)
That’s all for BlizzCrafts today — but check back next week for another selection of cool Blizzard-themed crafts! Have Blizzard arts and crafts of your own you’d like to see on Blizzard Watch? Send them our way– submissions and suggestions should be sent to liz at blizzardwatch dot com.
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