Sunday, March 27, 2011

I'd rather be...making Hibiscus cookies

So I'm really starting to get to spread my cooking decorating skills.  I was asked to make cookies for a 40th anniversary party.  When I started asking Joann what she and her husband liked, she mentioned they really enjoyed visiting Hawaii.  I instantly thought of a Hawaiian themed cookie decorated in bright colors of pink, orange and yellow. 

However once I started looking online for a Hibiscus cookie cutter, I realized it was going to be hard.  It is not a common cookie cutter.  The one I did find was over $12 plus the shipping of $8.  This wouldn't do.  It was too expensive and would eat up all of my profit and then some.  So what were my options?  I had recently read about the benefits of making your own template out of plastic lids.  GREAT!  I told myself I could totally do this.  Little did I know what I was getting myself into....

First I printed off a picture of a Hibiscus.  Then I traced the image onto the clear plastic lid from a small Kool-whip container. 

I thought, "Hey this is easy I don't know why more people don't do this?"-then the fun began ;)

I didn't take into account how quickly sugar cookie dough warms up and how impossible it is to use when it is warm.  And for anyone who is familar with sugar cookie dough knows it needs to be chilled in order to use a cookie cutter.  The thing is it takes 30+ minutes to chill the dough to where you can work with it.  I can't begin to tell you how long the process of cutting these cookies took me.  I made the mistake of only dividing the dough into two large sections.  So I could be maybe cut three or four cookies-talk about a LONG night!  Finally I got 18 cut and then decided to do the rest the next day.

The next day I decided to get moving.  I cut and baked the rest of the cookies and got the first layer of icing on.

So they don't quite look like a Hibiscus yet, but that's the fun part about decorating cookies with royal icing.  I love that as you layer the cookies, the more they develop into what you picture in your mind.  It definitely reminds me of scrapbooking!  Which is my other favorite hobby!

I had to wait until the next day to the final touches as you need to wait several hours between each layer.  Finally three days after I first started (it doesn't normally take this long) on the details.  I outlined each cookie, made a star in the center, added a white stigma/pistil thingy with white nonpareils.  If you can't tell already I'm completely clueless when it comes to flowers and the proper names of their parts ;)

I also added the intials of the couple who celebrated 40 years of marriage!  In today's world 40 years is an amazing accomlishment.  I wonder at what it takes to make it through 40 years of marriage.  It makes me feel like a toddler (on the marriage scale) with the hubby and I being married for 7 years this July.  I wonder what life will have brought the hubby and I when we reach 40 years of marriage....

When all is said and done I'm not sure how often I'll hand-cut my future cookies.  Its worth it when you need an odd shape or don't want to spend the money on specific cutter.  Just be prepared to send the extra time and make sure to divide the dough into smaller, more managable portions.  I'm happy with how the cookies turned out but wish I knew some of this beforehand! 

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Curlicue Bows-aka Korker Bows

Having two girls with a lot of hair I'm in need of a lot of options to keep the mass out of their eyes.  I love having girls with such beautiful hair-but I hate when it covers their faces.  Can we say pet-peeve?  The thing is that cute bows are so expensive!  Especially when I'm buying multiples of the really cute ones so that I can have the girls match.  Because honestly as they get older I doubt they'll let me match them, so I need to do it now while I can ;)
So one day while surfing I stumbled upon  I read the tutorial on how to make Korker bows and decided I'm brave enough to give it a shot.  I figured if I gave it a try and it works, then I might have a solution to my problem.  And what can I say-I'm a sucker for any chance to combine my love of crafting and my love of saving money!  What follows is my attemp and might I say that it turned out pretty good!
The supplies I used:
Ribbon (duh)
Alligator clips
Wooden clothes pins-to secure the ribbon to the dowels
Round Elastic Cord
Fray Check-to seal the ends of the ribbon after they are cut down to size
Hot Glue Gun
Cookie Sheet-to bake the ribbon-yes I said bake the ribbon!
After I wrapped the ribbon on the dowels, I put them on the cookie sheet and baked them for 25 mins at 275 degrees.  Once they cooled I cut them down to about 2 1/2 inch sections-don't forget to fray check!  I used three dowels to make one the above picture was two bows worth of ribbon.
Next lay the ribbon on a small piece of round elastic cord and tie it together.  I made double knots.  Next glue the bottom side of the bow (knot side down) to the alligaor clip.  I'm still learning how to do this step without being too messy.  Definitely glue the bow with the clip open-so that you can actually use the bow you've worked so hard to make ;)
Without further adieu-the final result!

Munchkin is wearing her bow on St. Patricks day.  I know you can't see it very well...its sort of peek-a-booing there, but I couldn't resist sharing a moment of sisterly love!  They are sharing some crackers after a long day of playing and I just had to take a picture.  I'll try to get a better picture next time =)

Sunday, March 13, 2011


Hi!  My name is Erin and I'm totally new at this whole blog thing ;)  I've been following a few blogs for a few months now and have decided to dip my toes into the water and see if I can contribute anything of interest.  I plan on mainly focusing on my new love decorating cookies, but also of my other baking and craft adventures.  I love to scrapbook and attempt such crafts as hairbows for my two girls (because you can never have too many but seriously can be quite the investment at times!).  I will probably start off with showing you some of the people out here that inspire me but look forward to sharing some of my own hints that I discover along the way.  I have no idea where this will take me but I hope that you enjoy what you find and I would love to hear what you have to share with me!

So to share my first link of inspiration:  Marian is such a talented cookie decorator and she has been my biggest inspiration!  She is so good at giving step-by-step directions on how she makes her yummy but cute creations.  I hope that I can model my blog after hers in the sense that I want to teach others what I have learned in order to be successful at whatever you want to try!