This post is a very personal one for me. I made pink and white dove cookies that are very close to my heart. They didn’t come out perfect. Not by a long shot, but without a doubt they are my most treasured cookies to date.
You see, I’ve decided that decorating cookies is a way of sharing and telling stories. All the cookies I’ve decorated have had meaning and a story to tell: Holy Communion crosses for my girlfriend, medical themed cookies for my nieces and nephew, golf bag cookies and baby boy faces, etc.
But these dove cookies are for my mom. Jacqueline “Jackie” Ryan McCann. Known to the grand kids simply as “Bama”.
We lost my mom, my best friend in the world, a few months ago to Alzheimer’s. She was way to young and it was St. Patrick’s Day: Her favorite day of the year.
She would have been as proud as a peacock of these dove cookies. With all their flaws Bama would have told me they were the prettiest cookies she’d ever seen. She would undoubtedly say they were perfect and that I was the best cookie decorator in the world. That’s just how she was.
Her and my dad, Brendan McCann, or “Gaga” as we all know him, were happily married for almost 55 years. She was the love of his life and vice versa. They had a bond that most can only dream of.
The story behind the names Bama and Gaga goes back 24 years: My oldest nephew, Brendan, couldn’t say Grandma and Grandpa when he was a baby, called them Bama and Gaga, and the rest is history. Friends and family alike will often affectionately refer to them as Bama and Gaga.
Anyway, a mass was held for Bama on her birthday the other day and it meant so much to my dad that people wanted to share that day with him. I wanted to do something special for everyone who attended the mass so I made pink and white dove cookies and handed them out after mass.
I decorated 50 cookies which was a task for me. All the doves were baked ahead of time and frozen but I had to decorate them all in one day, and I couldn’t do that too far in advance for fear they would go stale.
Other than the white icing, i used just two colors to make the process a tad easier: Americolor Super Black and Deep Pink
All of them were outlined and flooded using a #3 tip: some in pink and some I did in white.
Once they dried I switched to a #2 tip to decorate. I gave them all eyes using a drop of white flood icing and then a tiny drop of black on top while the white icing was still wet, so I’d have flat dots: Something I’m still trying to master.
Then I gave all the doves tail feathers. This is the part of each cookie that I like the least. I could not for the life of me get the pressure right so every little line ended up a raised mess to be honest. It is what it is though. I was so afraid I wasn’t going to decorate all the doves in time so I just had to keep trucking along.
And to finish each dove cookie I just started adding swirls, lines, dots and the like.
And the next morning I packed each cookie in it’s own little bag, tied them with cute pink and white ribbons, and headed up to Jacksonville to celebrate mom’s birthday with the dove cookies in tow.
Flaws and all, I’m so happy I was able to finish the doves in time. They were a hit and appreciated by everyone.
Happy Birthday again mom. We all love and miss you so very much.
Love, Dad, Susie, Colleen, Erin, Eileen, Kerry, Sal, Tom, Artie, Brendan, Shannon, Mallory, Tucker, Conor, Michael, Brynnan, Teagan, and so many other people.