Thursday, October 11, 2012

Pink Ribbon Cookies

Since 2007, my mother-in-law has been fighting (and winning!) her battle vs. breast cancer.  I made these cookies for her.

The cookies, of course, feature the pink ribbon that has come to symbolize breast cancer research and awareness.  The heart is to let her know how much we love her.  And the wings symbolize the hope that there will one day be a cure for this disease.

I bought the heart-with-wings cookie cutter on clearance after Valentine's Day one year, and I thought it was perfect for this.  To decorate cookies like this, start by outlining the heart with white royal icing using a #3 tip.  Then outline the wings with pink icing and a #3 tip.  Flood the hearts with thinned white icing and flood the wings with thinned pink icing.  After the white dries (overnight), pipe on the pink ribbon using a #7 tip.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Just Ducky First Birthday

My sweet niece just turned one.  She doesn't say very many words yet, but she can say "duck!"  So I made her a rubber ducky birthday cake and cookies.

The cake was a 2-layer round cake that I covered in baby blue frosting.  I drew the ducky outline with a toothpick and then piped the yellow and orange frosting with a star tip.  The eye is an M&M.

She thought it was pretty interesting.

 And even checked it out with her toes!
I was in a big hurry, so this is the only picture I took of the cookies.  They are chocolate cookies with yellow royal icing.  Once the base layer was dry, I piped on the eye and wing detail with the same yellow icing.  I like the tone-on-tone look.

My boys made up a few games to play at the party.  Here is the birthday girl after she found all the duckies that were scattered around the living room.  So nice to see she has her ducks in a row.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Purple Owl Cookies

While in college, my roommate and I studied in Spain together.  We kept seeing little owls in many of the shops and someone told us that owls were used as good luck charms.  We couldn't resist buying a few because they were too darn cute.  Now owls are all the rage here!  Especially in the fall, I see them every where I go.  And I'm OK with that.
The roommate just had a birthday.  She likes owls.  She likes purple.  And she likes chocolate.  Put them all together and what do you get?  Chocolate owl cookies!
(The recipe for these cookies - and the decorating instructions - can be found in the book "Decorating Cookies" by Bridget Edwards.)
I packaged a few of these cookies into little bags.

And I put the bags in a giant owl mug!

These cookies are moister (is that a word?) than my usual sugar cookies, so they are harder to transport without breaking.  But they taste VERY chocolatey. Almost like a brownie.  I don't hear anyone complaining about having to eat broken pieces!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Halloween Mini Album

One of the main reasons I scrapbook is that I have a horrible memory.  If it's not in the scrapbook, it's like it didn't even happen.  So when the kids and I were discussing what their past Halloween costumes had been, I was having a very difficult time recalling what they wore!
I decided to make an 8x8 album to hold pictures of the kids in their Halloween costumes each year.
Here's the title page:
This is my favorite year - when Aaron (jaguar) was 3 and Spencer (Tigger) was one:

And here they are last Halloween as a Special Agent and a Ninja.
With two simple pages for each year, this is an album I can easily update as I get new pictures.  And this mini album will now become a part of my Halloween decorations!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

It's here!

I learned how to bake and decorate cookies by reading other peoples' blogs.  The blog that was the most instrumental in my education is called Bake At 350.  The author of that blog, Bridget Edwards, just wrote a book called (appropriately) Decorating Cookies, and my copy of that book just arrived in the mail!
I couldn't be more excited!  In the book, she shares all her decorating tips about icing and sprinkles and sanding sugar and everything.  And there are tons of step-by-step decorating tutorials with full-color gorgeous photos. 
She also includes her recipe for Vanilla-Almond Sugar Cookies and her recipe for Royal Icing.  Those are Bridget's go-to recipes and they've become mine as well.  She has published the cookie recipe on her blog here and the icing recipe here.

But there are several new recipes in the book including this one:

I just made a double batch because, hello, NUTELLA.

I'll let you know how they turn out, but the dough tastes like a winner!!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My First Paying Customer

Someone actually paid me to make cookies!  She was throwing a baseball-themed rehearsal dinner and requested some cookies to match the theme.

Circles. Only two colors of icing.  I can do that!  Nice and easy.

The process still takes several days because of cooling and drying times.  Day one was baking, day two was outlining and flooding with white icing and day three was adding the red stitching detail.

I'm not very good at consistently drawing curves with icing, so I used the round cookie cutter as a template.  I traced a curve on to the dried white icing with a toothpick and then drew with the red icing on top of the toothpick mark.

It worked better if I let the red curved lines dry a little bit before adding the red stitches. Otherwise, the stitches kept sticking to (and moving) the red lines.