Monday, January 23, 2012

Supporting my friend... Stylehouse 512

My friend and coworker, Abby Schultz, has decided to start her own business as a Personal Stylist/Shopper/Organizer, Stylehouse 512. She has done some local stuff within her area of Lakeway but as an up and coming independent stylist, she wanted to try and expand her cliental and share her love for fasion at the semi-annual Le Garage Sale next weekend, Jan 28-29. There are going to be over fifty vendors there all giving great deals, so if your in the Austin area you should check it out.

She didn't want to hand out generic candy so she came to me to make some thing fun and memorable she could hand out with her cards that would represent her style. I would describe her style as eclectic vintage. She loves color but is a sucker for pastels and lace. If you want a to read some fun commentary on fashion, check out her blog :)

Since we had to do so many of these, I decided to try stamping them with a monogram. I'd read about people using rubber stamps on fondant and figured it may work for royal icing just as well. We did a simple vanilla cookie with ivory frosting, stamped the monogram with black food coloring, and then I went back and added the scallop border to make them a little more frilly. All in all, this is the biggest order I've done of the same image (we ended up with about 210 total), I love the idea of the stamps and may have to find a way to use them more on instances like this.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Bees, what to do with left-overs

So I originally made 2 batches of cookies for the American Bee Federation. The first batch was a little strong on the lavender and light on the honey so I made a second batch to make the honey stand out more, since these were for bee keepers after all. But now I had a bunch of strong lavender cookies that I didn't want to go to waste. I decided to ice them plain with a lemon flavored frosting to see if that would help balance the lavender flavor. Let me say these were delicious.

Now that I know the flavor worked I wanted to try painting on them. I've seen the blog for a wonderful cookie artist, Arty McGoo, who paints wonderful cookies in all sorts of themes. Since I knew these could be a quick and easy design, I was inspired to try painting these cookies and see how they come out. I just did them really quick but I can say I'm not as afraid to try as I was before. I got a lot of good compliments on they way they look so I may have to try my hand at a more complicated design in the near future.

Okay and I had to share this... My son (who is 3) wanted to "help" me decorate one morning. So I filled a bottle and let him decorate one of each cookie all by himself. He came out while I was painting the bee cookies and asked if I could please paint a bee on his cookie too. He was very proud of his cookie and showed it to everyone, for about a day, then it was promptly eaten :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

American Beekeeping Federation Conference

I was asked to donate some "bee" themed cookies to the American Beekeeping Federation conference next weekend in Las Vegas. I really wanted to do something to highlight the honey so I did some research and made a few batches of Lavender Honey cookies with Honey/Vanilla Royal Icing. It took a few tires to keep the lavender subtle but these were really tasty and something very different that you could really taste the honey in. I am fortunate enough to live in a place were local honey is available almost anywhere so I was able to use Round Rock Honey in my recipe. The wings on the bees were dusted with honey powder to add some extra sweetness and texture. It was amazing on just the smallest amount of honey added to icing really came thru in the flavor, I may have to start using it more often ;) Hopefully the beekeepers enjoy them.

Christmas Time...

I tried 2 different recipes for Christmas this year... Orange Gingerbread courtesy of Sugarbelle (orange gingerbread recipe), and Vanilla Eggnog, that I made up on the fly. Overall I wanted to keep a really fun and traditional look to these. I gave away way more of these than I was able to keep... I think I was decorating gingerbread in my dreams :) Everyone seemed to love them though, and I can't wait till next year to see what fun flavors we come up with.