December 30, 2011

Hello 2012!

Are you ready to say "HELLOOOOOOOOOO 2012?"
I am & I think most our family is because in the next 4 weeks
my nephew will be born.  I feel like the crazed auntie already - someone please take away my debit card!   I'm kidding - just feels good to be buying things for him now that's it's nearly time for him to arrive.    After he is here, then things can slow down for a bit before my sister, brother in law & nephew to be depart on an overseas journey for the next few years.   Good thing I've learned how to ship cookies ;-)  

Do you see my newest cutter - Gingerbread Mickey!  My friend bought him for me at Disneyland (Anaheim) the week before Christmas.   I couldn't wait to use him so I threw him in with my New Years cookies.   The Mickey below I flooded with out an outline - worked pretty good and didn't run over but I think I still prefer to pipe an outline & flood within the lines.
Mickey says "Happy New Year!"
Scallop cutter turned into a clock
Dragees that I bought in New York early fall
My royal icing work has come a long way since last year ago when I made these

I buy my disco dust from Karen's Cookies
The big 2011 cutter was a circle scallop cutter that I bent to an oval shape
Monocromatic chevrons - fell in love with chevrons while 
planning my sister's baby shower
Wishing you all a happy, healthy & prosporous
2012!

December 27, 2011

Happy Birthday Kim

Kim is a Christmas Eve baby... not wanting to go the Christmas themed cake for her I decided to make a white rose with fondant.  After it sat for about 2 hours, I sprayed it first with Duff's Pink Graffiti spray then topped it with Duff's Gold Graffiti spray.  I love that stuff!    I gave the cake & leaves a light spray to give them shimmer as well.



December 22, 2011

Chocolate Chip Peppermint Cookies

Ok, so I lied.. I was NOT done baking cookies but just finished til 1/1/12.
Standing in line at Starbuck's today I was reminded how great all the baristas are each morning when I am suffering from late night decorating "hangover" and need to wake up so I can face the office.

I used a recipe that I remember my mom making for us as kids.  The recipe title is "Cowboy Cookies".   I have no idea why they are called that, Mom? Grams? anyone in the family know why?  I thought it was my great grandma's recipe but Grams doesn't think so. 
I still prefer oatmeal chocolate chip cookies over just chocolate chip cookies on most days.

Grams had leftover peppermints from her cookie baking so I took them from her to use them up

Healthy cookies right? Oatmeal is so good for you

Mixture ready to scoop

Scoop cookies & place on cookie sheet

Add crushed peppermints to the top

Bake for 15 minutes and you have some pretty yummy cookies

Glass of milk & Cookies... perfection!

Cowboy Cookies (makes 3-4 dozen)

2 cups flour                    
1 tsp soda
½ tsp salt
½ tsp baking powder
2 cups oatmeal                        
1 cup butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs 
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz pkg chocolate chips 
Blend together butter & sugars. Add eggs & beat until light & fluffy. Mix dry ingredients in seperate mixing bowl. Add to eggs & sugar.  Add flour & oats. Add chocolate chips last. Bake @ 350 for 15 minutes.

Shimmering Christmas Cookies

Here is my last set of Christmas cookies.. I am now officially done baking for the Christmas Season!!
All bottles & tips are clean... all cookie sheets are put away.   This years cookies were so much easier than last years. Last year my royal did something funky when it dried. I look back now and think my mixing bowl probably had residual grease in it which does not get along with royal icing.  Now I wash it twice before using it with royal icing.  I also have decorating tips just for royal icing - never use them with buttercream! 

Have you tried Duff's Graffiti spray? I love it. I use it on my fondant pearls and saw a recent post by Sugarbelle so I tried it. I like the effect but am not sure it works with the snowmen cookies. I like it better on the holly cookies.  What do you think?


before the spray




sprayed..not as vibrant but shimmery

I used Gold on the Holly cookies


I think this looks really pretty

before & after

My conclusion is it works well on some cookie styles but not all...some are better left untouched.

Merry Christmas!!

Gingerbread & Snowmen Cookies

Can you believe Christmas is in 3 days?  I can't...where has this year gone? 

I have one more set of Christmas cookies that I just finished and will blog tomorrow
and then I'm done!!  Presents are all wrapped under the tree, grocery shopping done for Christmas Eve & Christmas breakfast/dinner.. looking forward to spending this holiday with those that are here
and will miss those that are not. 

I made this set of cookies for a co-worker.  She knit some very cute beanies for my soon-to-be-nephew so I made her some cookies in trade.   She showed me a catalog with gingerbread men that had a bite out of them so I copied that look with my gingerbread cutter & a scallop cutter.  See the middle guys leg... oops, he's missing his foot.    The snowmen were really easy, the blush is petal dust that I applied with a small brush.  Rosie cheeks bring them to life.

Hope you are all ready to sit back and enjoy Christmas!







December 21, 2011

Gingerbread Cupcakes

It's so fun to decorate gingerbread men and give them their own little personalities.   Keeping it simple was my motto this Christmas season.   I was making cookies & needed some cupcake toppers so I used my mini gingerbread man cutter and made the little cuties you see below.  
Chocolate Cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream




December 20, 2011

Snowflake Cupcakes

If you read yesterday's post you can make these too!

Didn't them come out beautiful?


Chocolate cupcakes with Coffee Buttercream
perfect for your favorite Starbucks partners
Hope they enjoy them

One of my obsessions... Disco Dust / Pixie Dust
It makes everything sparkle


December 19, 2011

Tutorial: Royal Icing Snowflakes

Every friend is like a snowflake, unique in beauty and design. Each sparkles in a different way—some are playful, some refined. But, unlike fragile snowflakes that fade when the sun appears, friends grow even more beautiful with every passing year. ~ Author unknown

I want to wish all my friends in blogland a very Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!   You inspire me day after day and make my hobby that much more fun! 

We don't see snowflakes in our area so I like to make snowflake cookies or cupcake toppers.  I had royal icing left over from cookie decorating on Friday night so I pulled out some wax paper, disco dust and a Wilton tip #2.   Make more than you need, because they are fragile and may break.  I also made little dots to add as an accent to the cupcakes.

Wilton tip #2 on top of  CK 2oz Squeeze Bottle


Shakers are great!  Have you tried them?

You can't see the wax paper but it's there. If you have trouble freehanding the snowflake
you can draw a snowflake and place the drawing under your wax paper as a guide. It is helpful to cut squares of wax paper instead of using a large sheet like I did.   This allows you to remove the wax paper carefully and not break others.  

1. Pipe the first line

2. Pipe the 2nd line
3. Pipe the 3rd line

4. Pipe the 4th line

5. Add a V shape to each of the larger lines

6. keep going aroudn til all 4 larger lines have a V



7. Done

8. Sprinkle Disco Dust

9. Let them dry for at least 24 hours, if not 48 hours. I put mine on a metal cookie sheet
then set it on top of my stove (gas pilot) because it's warm and they tend to dry within 24 hours.
To remove from the wax paper, gently pull the wax paper downwards, away from the snowflake. Pull each corner by itself. Do not try to pull from one direction, it will break.

10.  Embellish your frosted cupcakes or cake

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