Wednesday, April 20, 2011

I'd rather be...making baby face cookies

Today there was bake sale for the March of Dimes.  I love to help raise money for causes that are near and dear to my heart.  March of Dimes focuses on helping the babies make it to full-term and researching the problems that threaten babies lives.  Having two beautiful daughters of my own, I realize what a miracle each baby is.  It really hit home last year when one of my closest friends gave birth to her daughter about 6 weeks premature.  It was a scary time while Maisyn fought for survival.  She is now a happy healthy totally sweet 14 month old.  You would never guess that she is a preemie.  But until we can reduce or eliminate premature births altogether its important to keep raising funds for important research and support.

I originally was going to make some cookies with the March of Dimes symbol on them.  However with all the cookies I've made over the last week and a half I wanted to do something simple.  Its also hard to make detailed cookies during the week.  I don't get a lot of time to decorate between working and spending time with the girls!  But I still wanted to do something that went with the baby theme.  So I decided to make baby faces.  Pretty sweet huh? 

I loved making these guys!  It was also the first time I tried using food markers.  I used the black and red markers that came in the package I got at JoAnn's.  I learned that its very important to allow your cookies to dry completely before using the markers.  I iced the cookies around 9pm last night and drew their faces at 6am this morning.  So sufficed to say I didn't let them completely dry-ops!

 I had to be very, very careful with my pressure.  The curly-ques were easy since the outer edges were dry.  The hardest features to draw were the mouths.  If I pushed even just a tad too hard it would push down and distort the mouth.  Long story short-the lesson I learned was to let the icing DRY!  Which also applies to the marker too.  I didn't let them dry before I bagged them up for the bake sale.  A few of the babies arrived a little smudged :(  But lesson learned right ;)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I'd rather be...making Easter cookies

So two posts in two days!  I wanted to share the cookies I made for my grandmother and her twin sister's 80th birthday party.  Today is her actual birthday but we celebrated last weekend.  It was so special to be able to join in with family to celebrate these two amazing women! 



 I was asked to make cookies with a Spring theme.  I make three different designs-bunnies, sweet baby chicks, and Easter eggs.  And a special shout-out to my friend Kaitlyn!  She helped me decorate the Easter eggs.  She did an amazing job and it was fun to work on the cookies together!

No Kaitlyn didn't make these extra special cookies!  These beauties were made by my 4 year old.  She made the purple one especially for her Grandma Jan and the blue one for herself.  You can see the love and attention she put into each cookie :)


I hoped you enjoyed this post!  If so, I would like to encourage you to sign up for the newsletter so you can get these posts sent directly to your email :)  Just in case you're curious my next post will include my baby face cookies I made for the March of Dimes bake sale at work.

Happy baking and I hope you all have a wonderful Easter season spent with friends and family!

Monday, April 18, 2011

I'd rather be...making butterflies and flower cookies

Its been such a crazy month!  Tax time is always such a "fun" time in my world ;P  To help ease some of the stress and frustration I made cookies for my friend Annette.  Her sister is in from Arizona for a surprise visit to their mom.  Annette thought her mom would enjoy some butterflies and flowers!

Now I apologize for the not-so pretty pictures!  I was tired and was in the process of getting them boxed up before I remembered to take any pictures.  The butterflies were a little time intensive.  If you don't give darker colors a chance to fully dry before you add another color, the two colors will bleed together.

To achieve the designs on the butterfly wings I used the 'wet-on-wet' method.  This is when you add your secondary colors immediately after flooding the cookie with the first color.  I did a combination of lines and dots, then I used a toothpick to create the different designs.  I know a TOOTHPICK!  Its really that easy.  It does take some practice-which I still need-but its also really fun.  I would encourage you to give it a try!

So I told you I was kinda lazy about taking pictures this time around....can you see the butterflies peeking through the parchment paper?  I warned you ;)  These are the daisy flowers for Annette.  Growing up she loved daisies, so these were very appropriate for her.  I love it when I can make something that is personally meaningful for someone else! 

My favorite part of these flowers are the bright colors.  The bright spring colors just made the cookies all the more appealing to me.  I have to admit that I made a few extra so that I could enjoy some myself ;)  What I found interesting though were the centers.  I made the centers out of icing and covered them with white nonpareils the night before.  When I went to adhere them to the cookies I noticed that the nonpareils had changed colors.  They were really fragile but I sorta liked the affect.

Next I'll share some of my Easter cookies.  Until then...happy baking!  Bon soir!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

I'd rather be...making chocolate chip cookies

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon Alice's blog  I was looking for a buttercream recipe and I was amazed at what I saw.  Alice made a cake to look exactly like a pair of her nephews shoes.  This might sound weird, but seriously they look just like the real thing.  Her talent is just amazing!  Anyway, I started searching some of her other recipes.  She has recipes that cover just about anything you can think of.  Being the sweet tooth that I am, I've only looked at the sweet in "savory sweet".  Thats when I found her chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Alice claims they are the BEST-and I was intrigued!  So I printed off the recipe and gave them a go.....

THEY WERE AMAZING!  I loved them.  I've made them twice now and am secretly craving some cookie dough.  I think I might have to make some more just so that I can eat the dough.   

Chocolate chip cookies are just a great comfort food.  You can't go wrong with them...the smells, the yummy gooiness always just hit the spot.  I made these this past weekend and my friend's husband couldn't stop eating them.  I'm pretty sure he had an easy dozen, if not more!  I can't wait to make my next batch.  I highly recommend that you try these too! 

Enjoy and happy baking!

PS. I also recommend Alice's buttercream recipe...its literally the best I've ever tried!