Roll Tide vs. War Eagle

Alabama_Auburn_FootballsSEC Football fans and Alabama residents will know what I mean when I say it is time once again for “The Iron Bowl” – the annual meeting of The University of Alabama and Auburn University on the college gridiron – on November 30th. Also, it’s time for my daughter to bring “Friday Snack” to school for her class. I’ve been thinking about these cookies since school started. When she was assigned this week to bring treats, the theme became a no-brainer.  I asked her teacher to give me a head count of who liked Alabama vs. Auburn. (The score was Alabama 14 vs. Auburn 8). Now, let the cookie making begin…

Alabama_Auburn_transfersI only have one thing to say about royal icing. Make it ahead of time. Getting the color to develop and be the perfect shade can take a few days. Well, it does for me anyway. Now, once I had the perfect shade of red, blue and orange it was time to start piping the transfers. Transfers are awesome!…but they are back killers too. Standing in one spot piping out 70 AU’s and 100 A’s takes a toll on you. After I finished with the transfers, I had to post on my FB…”These kids better LOVE these cookies. My back is killing me”…LOL

When you Google Alabama/Auburn cookies you get a lot of plain round cookies or a bunch of brown footballs. I wanted to do something unusual. So, I decided to do stenciled football cookies. For Auburn, whose mascot is a tiger, I wanted to stencil tiger stripes onto the footballs, but I couldn’t find the right stencil. So, I decided to do chevron instead. It’s super popular right now. Why not? Recently, I purchased a hounds-tooth stencil. Since I live in Alabama, I think it will come in handy. And it did for these cookies.

Alabama_Auburn_treat bagsI had to change my recipe for the icing and cookies. There are a few kids in my daughter’s class who have nut allergies, so I omitted the almond extract. “They taste good”, said my resident taste tester/husband. I made the cookies Wednesday night, so they would be cool to ice on Thursday morning. After I iced all the cookies and let them dry, I got out my airbrush machine. I had only used it a couple of times, so I still haven’t mastered it. I will say, I now have a typed out list of things to do before and after using it – like covering the whole area, because the color mists everywhere. And YES, I am a list maker and proud of it. After I airbrushed the cookies, attached the transfers and bagged up the cookies, I was done. Not really. I forgot to add… taking pictures for blog.

Also, in this post I am going to do something else unusual. I am going to talking about sewing. After the kids’ birthdays this summer, I took a break from making cookies. I rediscovered an old hobby…sewing. I have gone crazy over sewing…at least that is what my husband thinks. I have been buying supplies and a new sewing machine (Amazon had an offer I couldn’t refuse). My husband has been asking me when am I going to actually make something with all this stuff. So, I made a skirt. It has French seams, pockets, a double stitched hem and a label in the back with my logo and care instructions. Not bad, if I do say so myself.

Alabama_SkirtNow, I won’t tell you who my husband and kids root for, but I think the skirt for my daughter says it all. Enjoy.

 

Scored A Goal With These Soccer Cookies!

Soccer 20Earlier this year, I made cookies and brought some of the extras to work. I had one in a Ziploc bag, gave one to one of the guys at work and he put it in his pocket for later. Unfortunately, by the time he was able to eat it, it had been crushed into cookie powder. The other day, some of us at work were talking about eating cookies, and the cookie powder guy mentioned that he still had not tried one of my cookies and that his birthday was coming up soon. I quickly said that I would make him some birthday cookies. He lives and breathes soccer, so choosing the theme was easy.

Now, I am not a fan of black icing. So, I asked him if he wanted it to look 3D – which means black icing – or airbrushed? He told me to do which ever one would be easier. I told him I would make whatever he wanted, and he chose the 3D look. Also, he told me that he liked the color blue and he was turning 20. As soon as he said 20, my cookie rolodex started spinning in my mind.

I searched soccer ball clip art to use with my KopyKake projector. I wanted blue in the cookie, so I decided to make a sky and use a #223 tip for green grass. Now, that I had everything figured out. I made the icing and cut out the cookies. Cutting the cookies was probably the most tedious part of the process. They were going to be a cookie 20.  I had to press out a “2” and then use a circle cutter to make the zero. I had to make sure that I pressed all the cuts back together, so the cookie would not fall apart. When I moved the dough to the pan, I used a floured spatula. It helped a lot. Also, I had to angle the top of the “2” outward a bit. That helped the cookie look like a “2” when it finished cooking.

I used my KopyKake projector to pipe the black parts of the soccer ball – which made up the zero part of the 20. I started piping with a #2 tip, but the lines were way too thick so I switched to a #1. I let that dry overnight. The next day, I iced top part of the 2 so it looked like blue sky.  I did this first so that it would be dry enough for the green grass I had planned for the bottom of the 2. Then, I filled in the remaining holes of the soccer ball with white icing. I did not thin out the green royal icing at all. I never had used a grass tip before. It was really easy to use, but I did not clean the tip enough after each cookie. So, some of the grass was melded together more than others. Lesson learned.

The guy at work loved his soccer birthday cookies, and so did all the other employees. I made treat bags for everyone. These cookies turned out great and exactly how I had envisioned them. As an added bonus, my son and I had a lot of fun saying “futbol” during this project. Enjoy.

LEGOS Are Everywhere!

Lego CookiesLegos have infested my house. Luckily, I have not had the honor of stepping on one and having to go to the hospital…yet. My kids love to take the minifigures and swap out heads, hair and bodies. Also, my son loves to play all the Lego games on the Wii. So, it is no surprise that my son wanted a Lego themed birthday party. I asked him if he wanted cookies, cupcakes or a cake. He said that he wanted all of them. I guess I shouldn’t have given him so many options.

Lego TowerI didn’t feel like making a ton of cookies, so I just made one batch of dough. But, when you are cutting out squares and rectangles, the dough goes a long way. I wanted to make Lego heads too. I searched through my cookie cutters, but couldn’t find anything that would work. So, I just made my own. The one thing that I love about icing Lego cookies is that I only have to use one single color. I must say these were super easy.

Lego Female FaceFirst, my plan was to make black icing and pipe features onto the minifigure faces. Then the plan turned into using a paint brush and brushing royal icing on the yellow heads. Finally, after I got out my KopyKake machine and all was said and done.  I wound up using food markers, which worked like a dream. Especially since my daughter wanted a few of the Lego faces to be girls, which means eyelashes and lips.

Lego CakeHe wanted chocolate cake with buttercream icing. I made a single layer round cake and a dozen cupcakes. I iced a crumb coat and then smoothed out the rest. I used brown M&M’s to make the face. It turned out kind of plain, but cute.

So, there you have it. He got all 3 desserts. We ate leftovers for a few days, which no one seemed to mind. After the party, my house has even more Legos. Enjoy.

TMNT…Turtles in a Halfshell…Turtle Power!

I asked my daughter what she wanted for her birthday theme. She quickly answered, “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles”. I asked the usual, “Are you sure?” Really, why do I even bother asking that anymore? Anyway, I did some TMNT party Google searching. I found some cute ideas and used a few. As far as cookies go, I found lots of masked turtle faces. But what do I decide to do? Pizza. I mean turtles like pizza, right? Well, these turtles do anyway.

wm_turtle_pizzaPrior to making my daughter’s TMNT cookies, I made cookies for my sister and had left over red icing. I added a little maroon and voila…pepperoni slices. I made transfers and saved them for my pizza creations. The pizza boxes took longer to make than the cookies themselves. Go figure.

wm_turtles_masksMy daughter was turning 8 and I HAD to incorporate the number 8, at least somewhere. So, I got this crazy-eight idea. I took my number 8 cookie cutter, left the middle circles intact, and made the turtle masks. “8’s” made with a little imagination. (If you look closely, their eye color matches each ninja turtle correctly.)

My daughter loved all the decorations, as she should, since she helped with some of them. Also, she loved all the gifts she received. Especially, the other Lego TMNT set she didn’t already own. Overall, I would have to say the party was a success. Enjoy.