Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The start of Cookie Season!!!

at least for me :-)

When I make my decorated cookies, it can take some serious time! Unless they are just for my family to eat (which is rare), the kids aren't allowed to help, so I make them mostly by myself in the evenings. I don't often have that kind of time lately, but I realized that I can still have lots of fun making lots of cookies! I came across this magazine at the store Monday night, and I couldn't resist it! The kids love baking, so I thought this was a great way to incorporate something I don't often take the time to do with a fun activity for the kids!

The past few Christmases, I have ended up making a bunch of spritz cookies and maybe some peanut butter blossoms at the very last minute. I never seem to get to the new things I want to try, and the time I do spend baking doesn't end up being all that enjoyable. For example, I have printed out the recipe for these Cinnamon Apple Butter Spritz cookies (AND bought the apple butter) for at least the past 2 years. I hope to find out this year, but I'm not sure they can live up to 2+ years of anticipation!!

SO, my goal this year is to make 25 different recipes between now and Christmas!! I am going to think outside the cookie tin, and make some things I've never tried before! So far I've picked out over 13 cookie recipes that include coffee, tea, chipotle pepper, lavender, and more! No, not all together :-)

Here is one of the new things I bought - has anyone ever baked or cooked with this? If so, I'd love to hear what you made and how you liked it!

I'm really excited! We are off to a good start - my (4 year old) son Ryan and I made cookies yesterday and today, so we have 38 days to make 23 recipes. I'll let you know if I need people to help me eat them! Check back to hear how we're doing!!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bakerella Book winner!

Congrats to Jill D!!!! She has won the book and I contacted her last night to let her know! She has read Bakerella's blog from the beginning and I think she's pretty excited to get the book! I can't wait to see what she makes with it!

I REALLY appreciate each and every entry and I LOVED reading about all of your favorites and special memories. Thank you for sharing that! It made me very hungry and I realized that I should have required RECIPES!!!! :-) If you have any that aren't family secrets, I'd love to see them!! Thanks for the very kind posts on facebook and twitter too!

I really wanted to make some Bakerella inspired cookies, but it just didn't happen this week :-( I have some butter out softening right now, but if I make cookies right now, the icing wouldn't be dry in time if I wanted to bring them with me tomorrow. Oh well!!! I will just be so happy to go and meet her! Maybe I'll have some pics to share!

Thanks again for doing this with me!

Friday, November 5, 2010

A Giveaway!

I am very excited to be giving away a copy of Bakerella's book Cake Pops! Not only can you win your very own copy of this awesome book, but I am going to have it signed by Bakerella specifically for you! A week from today I am going to one of her book signings and I'm so excited! Maybe I need a few more exclamation points!!!!!!!! I am sure many, if not all of you know who I am talking about, but if not, please go check out her awesome blog!

Here is the disclaimer: I am not receiving anything to do this and am purchasing the book myself. I just happen to love her blog and want to share her book with one of you! I actually saw her recommendation of the book Cookie Craft on her blog which is what started my cookie making obsession. My husband might not be too anxious to thank her, though he does love to eat the cookies! :-) I also almost exclusively use her buttercream recipe for my cakes! It's SO delicious and simple!

The contest will end Wednesday, November 10th, 2010, at 10pm EST. The winner will be chosen using I will announce the winner by Wednesday at midnight, and if you win, I need you to let me know what I should have her write (by midnight on Thursday, 11/11) - so make sure I can contact you in time!

You can enter by posting a comment here. Please leave your blog or email so that I can contact you!!

You can get an entry by . . .
1) leaving a comment here telling me your favorite Christmas cookie (one entry per person please)
2) like my Facebook page (leave an additional comment here telling me you did that)
3) tweet or post on Facebook about this giveaway (leave an additional comment here telling me you did that)

UPDATE: Please make sure to post your email or some other way for me to contact you (like your blog). You also need to post a comment for each additional entry! Thank you!!

Thanks so much and good luck!!!

Are you feeling lucky?

I hope so, because I will be posting a giveaway later tonight! I'm really excited about it!!!!!!! I hope you'll check back and enter!

These are some cookies that I made in August for the mom of a good friend and neighbor. She is pretty persuasive and only needed 10, so I had a hard time saying "no!" I was especially thankful for the meatballs that she made in return! YUM!!!

She told me her mom loves slot machines and this is what I came up with . . . they were very fun to do and I had been wanting to try out my cherry cookie cutter! I did a lot of the details with food coloring markers.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween!!

Hello!! I can't believe it's been so long since I've posted here! I have definitely missed it! I haven't been taking new orders, but I HAVE made a few cookies here and there so I'll try to catch up and post those pictures soon!

I have been wanting to do Halloween cookies for a long time, so I made some cookies for my son's preschool class and a cookie decorating playgroup that I hosted today!

I also had to try out my new witch hat cookie cutter so these will probably be bagged up as a little treat for his teachers. Hopefully they don't think this is a message :-) I just couldn't resist this cookie cutter when I went to get tool shapes for Ryan's Handy Manny party earlier in the month!!! I really enjoyed decorating these!

These are the spider web cookies for the preschool party . . .

Since the kids at the playgroup were really young (ages 1-5) I wanted it to be really easy for them! Previous years I have let them use the Wilton icing tubes on bare cookies. This was fine but it was hard for them to bring them home since the icing wasn't dry. This time I decorated the cookies with plain icing and let it harden enough so that food coloring markers would work well. "You be the Doodlebug" cookies :-)

blank slates . . .

Here are some masterpieces by Ethan (5 years old) . . .

The kids seemed to really enjoy it and the cookies came out so cute! It is certainly easier for them to do more intricate designs!!

Happy Halloween everyone!!!!! I hope to post again very soon!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Elephants and Monkeys and Giraffes, oh my!

These were made to match a baby shower invitation. Congrats to Sylvia and John!!

Flag tips and tricks

Here are a few tips and tricks for making flag cookies! I had promised this a while ago when I posted these flag Memorial Day cookies. Some of this may be obvious, but I hope you can pick up a few new ideas!

I use icing similar to this recipe from Amanda. Like with royal icing, I use a thicker "piping" consistency to do outlines, and a thinner "flood" consistency to fill in. There are LOTS of tutorials out there on this, so I am not going to go into lots of detail on that.

I used a Wilton flag cookie cutter. The first thing I did was some planning. I had small and large star sprinkles, and I had to decide which size and how many would work. I also thought about the stripes. Many cookies have less than 13 stripes, but I decided that 13 would work for me and would allow me to just pipe the stripes instead of outlining and filling them. More on that later.

This shows some planning work that I did on parchment paper. I often trace a cookie cutter and then pipe some icing on parchment paper to practice without "wasting" a cookie. I decided on 18 of the smaller stars. Though many less than 50, I think this gave me the right look for the size of blue area.

The next thing that I did was to pipe the flag poles with gray icing. I used a large tip (I think it was a #7 or so) and kept squeezing until it was wide enough. Then I outlined the blue area as shown below.

After filling in the blue area with thinner icing, I placed the stars while the thinner "flood" consistency icing was still wet. I started with the top left and right ones, and then added the middle two to get the spacing right.

All of the stars were placed with tweezers. Of course they were purchased just for baking!! (Yes, I realize I need a manicure!!)

I had to pick out the white ones from the patriotic mix.

Here are the finished blue star areas, or unions.

Next, I used a #4 tip to pipe the red stripes. I did the top and bottom ones that do not go all the way across (next to the blue) to help with spacing. Then I added the other 2 red stripes in that section.

Next were the remaining 3 red stripes in the bottom area. I found that doing the red stripes first REALLY helped me with the spacing, and it allowed me to not be switching between 2 piping bags.

Next I filled in the white stripes. I made sure to fill in the spaces between the red stripes, squeezing a bit more when necessary.

One last finishing touch. I don't know if you can tell from the pictures of the completed cookies, but the flag poles are silver! After letting the icing dry for about 24 hours, I mixed some Wilton Silver Pearl Dust with clear vanilla extract (also Wilton) and brushed it on to the flagpoles like paint. I use a clean, new paintbrush that is used only for my baking. You can see the difference below!

That is it!! I hope this gave you some useful tips! Please let me know if you try these! I would love to see! The 4th of July is coming up soon!!! Enjoy!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Happy Memorial Day!!

These are some flags and stars for Grace's America themed party for her 7th birthday! Happy Birthday Grace!!

Later this week I will be posting a mini-tutorial with some tips and tricks on these flags.

I hope everyone is having a great holiday. Thank you to all of the veterans and their families. You are very very appreciated!!!

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Soccer Ball Cookie's for Jake's Bar Mitzvah!!


Princess and the Frog Cookies for Grace's Birthday!

Grace wanted Princess and the Frog cookies for her 7th birthday. She requested purple tiaras and frogs. Happy Birthday Grace!!


Wedding Bell and Daisy Cookies for Krystle's shower

Congrats to Krystle and Brian! These were done for their wedding showers - to match wedding colors. Their names were added to the bells to match a shower invite.


Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baseballs for Colin's 1st birthday!

Happy Birthday Colin!! These were "hand-stitched" with over 1000 "stitches" on 2 dozen baseballs.

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Obviously I had a little too much fun arranging these for their photo shoots, LOL. I couldn't help myself - it was fun!

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