Thursday, June 30, 2011

A Family Reunion in Maryland

Shhh, it's a surprise. My good friend Abby asked me to make her some cookies to take with her to a family reunion she is on a plane flying to right now. I wasn't allowed to post pictures of anything until after she got there because her mom loves Facebook and we are friends :) I had so much fun making these, we had a whole list of ideas but settled on Crabs (you know, cuz it's Maryland), Chickens (because supposedly they are well known for their cooked chicken), and to surprise her grandma we did "Mom P" cookies, complete with bright pink lipstick. I have to admit, grandma was a bit of a challenge to figure out. I had to do these all in one night so I couldn't do too many layers that had to dry... then I discovered food markers! These things are awesome! I drew out 10 heads with hair and then just filled in the lines, easy as pie. I cannot wait to hear how the family likes them... I'll post an update if I hear anything.

See more pictures here.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Gingerbread

I read about this recipe here and just HAD to try it. My husband had a coworker who is leaving this week and shared that he used to love a gingerbread lemon cake his mom made for him growing up. I thought these would be the perfect going away gift... something different, delicious, and deceptively easy to make. This was my first time making anything "gingerbread" and I have to admit I was a little scared, but they came out delicious. I highly recommend you make them today, or better yet let me know and I'll make you some because this recipe is some of the tastiest bowl licking material ever made.

P.S. There were only 3 cookies left when I got home so I had to get a picture QUICK before they all disappeared, sorry there isn't a better shot of them all (for reference, I made half of her recipe and it made 24 cookie sandwiches).

Monday, June 27, 2011

Just a little bite...

My son discovered that there was a whole table of freshly baked cookies in the dining room... and no one was guarding them. I noticed he was very quiet and called out to him, he had one cookie just barely in his mouth. I asked him what he thought he was doing and his response was, "it's only a little bite," as he carefully placed it back on the stack with the others. I wanted to be mad but we'd never discussed which cookies were his and which were off limits. I stayed up that night working on a "secret" project and when I was done I looked down at "his" cookie and decided to make it his for real. He was so excited to have a cookie with his name on it and promised to only eat cookies out of the jar in the kitchen from now on.
(Daddy got one too since I didn't want him to feel left out, the boys got to have theirs together the next afternoon)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

It's A Girl!

My dad's coworker just delivered a beautiful baby girl, Elena, and one of the mom's favorite foods is cookies... so naturally my dad asked me to make her some and ship them to California. I was excited to do something girly for a change, so much pink icing :) These came out super cute and way better than I could of planned. I ended up just kinda winging it last night and doing whatever felt right at the time. I hope she likes them, congrats to the new family! See more pictures here.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Get Russ to Kenya

So we have a friend that is working with CTC International (a world community outreach that enables less fortunate areas of our world experience something better) to teach art skills at a local orphanage and help them find ways to create income using their creativity. He's going to be filming a documentary while he's there and I am so excited for him that he is going to get this opportunity to go and help. Since I don't have the cash to donate, I told him I would make him cookies and he could try and sell them at work... any money he gets goes toward his trip. I found this flag cookie cutter and wanted to do something that related to where he was going instead of something just fun. I hope everyone likes them and they can bring him a few dollars to help out. If you are feeling generous and want to donate, or if you just want to learn more about the program, here is a link to the CTC and Russ's team.

More cookie pictures here.

Update: He got enough money :) After much work and wonderful friends, Russ raised the money he needed for his trip and is all set to go sometime in the next few weeks. Thanks to everyone who supported his cause and congrats to Russ, have a blast and do some good for a change ;)

Monday, June 13, 2011

O is for Ollie

The Weisbrods have always been super supportive of my new hobby so when they asked me to make some cookies for little Oliver's 1st birthday I was very willing. What started out as a simple request slowly transformed into something I wasn't quite sure I could pull off... but I did :)

Mookie decided that instead of plain #1 cookies like we previously discussed, I needed to be "challenged" more and that I should make a series of cookies of things that start with the letter "O" like Ollie. All their decorations were going to be orange and Tiffany made the cutest owl cake to go along with the theme. We packaged these up for everyone to take home with them, an "O" cookie on the front and we made a letter "O" and a number "1" cookie that we tinted orange and flavored with orange zest to go along with it. I am super proud of these, everyone thought I was crazy but they were sooooo worth the time. See more pics here :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Texas Tech Graduation - First Order

After last weeks Memorial Day cookies, Mrs. Nancy (who runs The R.O.C.K), was kind enough to trust me with making cookies for her daughter's graduation party from Texas Tech. She asked me to make some girl cookies with long blonde hair like her daughter and another set of the Texas Tech logo. I was super excited to do these because it was technically my first real "order" and it was going to be a challenge, 2 dozen of each. We decided to do the girls as a vanilla cookie and the logos as a dark chocolate cookie since the logo had a lot of black in it. I ended up custom creating each of these cookies.

The girl cookies were based on another blog I read regularly where she showed how to combine two cookies cutters to make one cookie. The logos I made a template out of card stock and hand cut each one so I would have all the right angles. I also started experimenting with my icings at this point and tried to make a dark coco royal icing instead of using a whole bottle of black food coloring and staining everyone's mouth black. I was very excited to discover that adding my black coco directly to the royal icing until I got a very dark brown resulted in only having to add 2 drops of back to push it away from being brown. I did a test and it reacted perfectly, piped great, dried nice and glossy, and tasted great! I will never make standard "black" icing again, this recipe rocks! The logos were outlined with white, flooded with red then allowed to dry. I then went back the next morning and painted all the black shadows and bevels on the logo to make it really punch and complete the look.

I was told as a follow up that Mrs. Nancy's daughter LOVED the cookies, which totally made my day. See more pics and a photo of the entire order here.