Hang Your Favorite Ornament On The Tree.

Marbled OrnamentsThese were on my list of cookie ideas that I had last year, but they didn’t make the cut. So, this year they were a must have. I love blue ornaments. We even have them on our tree.

Oddly enough, I don’t own any ornament cookie cutters, and because of this I had to make my own. These were super easy and icing them was fun. I got to do marbling. I flooded the cookie, piped a few lines and drug a toothpick through the wet icing to make a cute design. Once the blue icing was dry, I piped out a bit of icing on the top and added silver sprinkles.

Have A Sweet Holiday TopperThe bag toppers were the most tedious part of the whole cookie process. Design the toppers in Photoshop (done by my husband), print the toppers, cut the toppers, fold and hole punch the toppers, attach hand punched holly leaves and rhinestones, and tie on a ribbon. Needless to say, it took me two days to do 150 toppers. The next time I have to make toppers, I will definitely do them as soon as I know they will be part of the cookie order! Have A Sweet Holiday! Enjoy.

A Christmas Tree Found In The Snow.

Brushed Christmas TreesI had other cookie design ideas, but when I saw this one, I decided to give it a try. I had a rectangle cookie cutter, but I wanted it to be fluted. I had a fluted rectangle cookie cutter, but it was way too big. What was I going to do? What anyone with a little imagination would do…I grabbed my Pampered Chef potato crinkle cutter. I need the cookies to be a certain size. So, I took a piece of wax paper and folded it into a 2 inch strip. Worked like a charm.

I needed stars for the tops of the trees. I took some yellow icing and piped it out into star transfers and then sprinkled them with some disco dust while they were still wet. Let them dry overnight and then peeled them off. Transfers need to be one of the first things you do, before you start icing the cookies, since it takes a day for them to dry.

I chose white as the background for these cookies. I figured that it would look like snow. I was up until 4am with the gingerbread men and flooding white icing onto these cookies. The next day was crunch time, since the base coat was now dry. Time to brush on the trees. I still need a lot of practice with embroidery brushing, but for my first time, it wasn’t too too bad. The tree reminded me of the ones in the movies, where the family goes into the forest to find the perfect tree and finds a big huge one. Only to remember that they have to drag it all the way back to the car. After I brushed on a few trees, I noticed they needed a little something. So, I attached some red sprinkles before the green icing started to dry. It wouldn’t be a Christmas tree without a few ornaments and a star on top. Enjoy.

Gingerbread Man…I Think Not. Let’s Make Him Chocolate!

Gingerbread MenIt’s that time of year again…to make Christmas Cookie Treat Bags for my brother, that is. What cookies will I make this year? My brother wanted chocolate and regular sugar cookies again.

I had quite a few ideas roughly sketched out for the chocolate ones.  Ultimately, I chose a gingerbread man. The whole time I was making these, the movie Shrek came popping into my head. “Not my gumdrop buttons!” I was going insane for days…lol. Speaking of gumdrop buttons, I had to put a heart somewhere in the cookie designs and this was an excellent choice. A man needs a heart, not some silly gumdrop buttons. Right?

Before I cut out the dough, I got out my cookie cutters and laid them on top of the treat bag to see how and if the cookies would fit. They were too big. Someone was going to have to go. I didn’t own a smaller gingerbread man cookie cutter, so I made my own. He fit perfectly. Now, I tried to make the icing a nice brown color, but I couldn’t get it a dark enough shade. The cookie was a dark chocolate color, so I was hoping it would be able bring out the color of the brown. At the end, I still was not satisfied. But am I ever? I was planning on making heart transfers and then attaching them to the man, but I got lucky and found some heart sprinkles. That took a couple of hours off of my time.

At 4 in the morning, I was finally finished flooding the base coat of the men and attaching their hearts. Now, it was time to go to bed. I’ll let them dry, wake up in 3 hours to take the kids to school and then do some more decorating. At the end, when putting on the finishing touches to all the cookies, I added the eyes, mouth and arm/leg clothes markings to the men. Done…Now, if they could only walk themselves into the bags. Enjoy.

Poinsettia Cupcakes

For my side of the family, we did Christmas a day early. It was suggested that I could bring a dessert, preferably cookies. I had too much going on to devote time to cookies, so I made yummy cupcakes instead.

 

 

 

I wanted to try something new. I thought that making poinsettias would be pretty. I didn’t take a picture, but the cake is colored red and green. Therefore, I decided to keep the frosting white. I took my # 70 tip and piped out leaves, alternating around the cupcake. I went to my drawer of sprinkles and decided to keep it simple with red and green. I wanted the sprinkles to be in the center of the cupcake, but had no idea how I was going to achieve that by just shaking them on. I thought..I will  hold a funnel just above the center and shake in the sprinkles. It worked like a charm.

I feel bad for my sister. Her homemade apple pie sat on the counter lonely. The cupcakes were a hit. I got a lot of compliments and had a request for the recipe for the buttercream  frosting. Enjoy.

Enjoy the Season

My husband and I devoted a few hours to placing hundreds of cookies into festive holiday bags.  If you plan on making personal treat bags ever, make sure that you add at least half a day to your project’s schedule to account for the actual bagging process.

You may notice that there is slack in the ribbon. They were going to be attached to a bottle of wine, so I had to make allowance in the ribbon.  My husband made the toppers in Photoshop and did a wonderful job, I may add. We printed them, and I got to use my paper-chopper to cut them out. You don’t use one often, but when you do, it is a wonderful thing to own.

Let’s talk a second about cookie freshness. There is nothing worse than making cookies and giving them as gifts all dried out. If you make cookies or simply make any edible treats, I highly recommend purchasing a sealer. It was super easy to use and made me confident in the final product. I am very pleased with the outcome of these cookies. Every time I make a batch, I learn so much. Enjoy.

Let it snow!

I have been waiting a long time to be able to use my Williams-Sonoma snowflake cookie cutters that my brother bought me many moons ago. I had no idea how to design the icing to make a snowflake from a cookie. I had only made snowflakes with paper and scissors, as a kid. So, I looked at snowflake cookies that were posted on Google images to get some inspiration.

I had a lot of fun doing the cookies with sugar crystals. I liked the way it kinda looked like snow. I showed my daughter and friends all the different holiday cookies I made this year, and they said that they liked the snowflakes the best. Just goes to show that everyone loves sugar and sparkles. Enjoy.

Snowmen and their top hats

I knew that i wanted to make snowmen this Christmas. I went through my cookie cutters, but my collection is not that grand…yet. I didn’t find a cutter that matched what I had pictured in my head, so I made one. I originally was going to pipe little leaves on the brim of the hat to match the holly cookies, but the snowflake sprinkles turned out even better. They also wouldn’t get crushed in the bag. The carrot noses I did as icing transfers to save time. These guys were fun to make. Time consuming because of the layers, but they turned out great. Enjoy.

Have a Holly Jolly Christmas!

When you are making a ton of cookies, prep work is a must. So, let’s talk a little about my new friend that I got to help with icing transfers… reusable parchment paper. I bought mine for a little less than $4 from Amazon.

I had been using regular parchment paper off a roll and taping it down, but it still seemed to curl up and buckle when the moisture from the cookies was sucked up by the paper. This new reusable parchment paper is awesome! There is no curling and the best part is that I can just clean it off and use it again for my next batch of transfers. Also, it is porous, so the air goes underneath and dries the icing quicker. Lastly, I find that the transfers peel off easier. When I used normal parchment paper it folded and crackled. The reusable sheets are much more flexible.  They just roll and don’t crease.

I hope that I have helped someone that has been having the same problem that I had with regular parchment paper. These new reusable sheets have been a lifesaver for me and these holly cookies turned out great. Enjoy.

Oh, Christmas tree…

Part of the cookie order was to make chocolate cookies. Trees are brown, so why not chocolate trees? Now, the stars were transfers that I had already made from a previous batch of royal icing, so that part was pretty easy. I think the dots were the hard part, I tried to keep from putting dots all over the tree. I sometimes get carried away and realize that I may have put too many. I had to use a little restraint on these. Not really, the restraint was not eating one. Enjoy.

May your Heart be filled with Joy

HeartsSo, when my brother approached me this past summer and asked me if I could make some cookies that he could give out as Christmas gifts, I was a tad apprehensive.  “How many?” I asked.  When he answered “About two thousand,” I almost had a heart attack right there. Two thousand cookies is a lot of dough, in more ways than one. I told him that I had to think it over. I didn’t want to take on the task if I wasn’t going to be able to complete it.

A few months went by and if I was going to take on the order then it was time to get down to business. I asked again, exactly what he wanted. To my excitement, the 2000 cookies turned out to be more like 450. Basically, about 150 bags with 3 cookies in each. He said the theme was Christmas and I could do any type of cookies I wanted. I had (nearly) total creative control, which never happens.   After a month of planning and sketching holiday cookie designs, I was ready to submit my ideas. I got the go-ahead and got to work.

From the start, the one cookie design that I knew I had to include in this order was little red hearts.  I gave them a holiday touch by adding red and green sugar sprinkles around the edge.  I think they turned out very Christmas-y.

So, why hearts? I thought, why not? He is a heart doctor after all. Enjoy.