Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Can You Save Overmixed Icing? -- Quick Tip Tuesday




Jack Handey is a smart guy. He knows what he's talking about. I'm pretty sure he said something similar about icing...



I over-mixed both of these icings. The icing on the left was a thinner, flood consistency icing when I started. After 3 days, it still wasn't dry. It was sticky and tacky and completely bendable. The icing on the right was a thicker, piping consistency icing. It dried as fast as it normally does, but was brittle and crumbly. And I dropped some of it and it completely shattered. And that is *not* what you want to put on your cookies.

What should you do if you think you might have over mixed your icing?
-- Plop some down on a plate or wax paper and let it dry for 4 hours. Is it still really wet and not at all drying? Is it tacky? Or is it over dry and brittle? You've beaten your icing too much. Sorry. Toss it. There's no coming back. Just let it go.


Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Spring Butterfly Cookies

Butterfly Cookie Tutorial

I love spring.

I love the way you think it's getting warmer again "for real this time" and then it snows for 3 days straight.

I love that my children think that if they can see the sun and the grass at the same time that they can wear shorts and sandals and ride their bikes around the neighborhood until 10pm.

I love that they legitimately think it's a good idea.

I love looking out the window and seeing the sun shining through the flecks of green that are new leaves budding on the trees and the feeling that you just *have* to go outside and enjoy the world and feel those rays of sun on your skin and then the icy blast of the wind knocks you back inside the second you actually open the door.

I love that it never stops me from opening that door and just hoping it won't happen again.

Sun Cookie
 
I love that hope.

Spring IS hope.

I love spring.

Decorated Cookies

You know what I don't love? When I delete pictures that I actually wanted to keep. I really wanted to show you how I made these butterflies, but I may or may not have gotten rid of half of the step-by-step photos. So I had to "magic up" some pictures so you would know what I'm talking about. And by that I mean, I drew up my pictures in paint.net. (Because you all know by now how obsessed I am with that program.)



1. Take any 6 petal flower cutter you can find. Then cut off the edges of each petal with a circle cutter. Or drinking glass. Or any round object you happen to have lying around that also happens to be food safe.

2. Using 15 count white icing, pipe along the outside edges of the cookie and fill in the top two "petals" of the cookie. Put just a little more icing between each of the "petals" on the bottom.
3. Immediately pipe some wings into the empty spaces with 15 count icing in the colors of your choice. Add some dots if you feel like it. Let the cookie dry overnight.
4. Using stiff black icing and a #1.5 tip, pipe a big ol' dot for the head/body, outline the wings, and pipe some curly antenna things.

Butterfly cookie tutorial

I really wanted my colors to be more casual, to kind of flow in and out of the black outlines, but in the end, I just can't be too crazy like that and most of my outlines turned out to be kind of perfectly on the edges of the colors. But if you are cool with crazy cookies, you should definitely try for that. Because it's fun. And I like fun. Unlike the cold. Which I do not like.

NEED MORE?



I used the Wilton Comfort Grip Flower Cutter for these butterflies, but you can use any 6 petal flower cutter you want.









See how to make these butterfly cookies HERE. PS -- If you went to CookieCon do these look familiar? Like...maybe something you wore around your neck on a lanyard all weekend?





Learn how to make quick and easy flower bouquets to go with even more butterflies HERE.







And for the days when it's raining through the clear blue sky...an easy polka-dot umbrella tutorial HERE.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Keep your letters clean and sharp -- Quick Tip Tuesday


Cookie Friend That I Adore: You know what I hate? When you are piping letters and the "e" just melts all together and you end up with a dot and a tail instead of an actual letter. Or the "a" or the "p" or the "g" or basically any letter that wants to. If I make my icing much thicker, then it won't smooth out and look pretty. So I have to choose between sloppy, melted letters, or stiff, rough looking letters. That is what I do not want to have happen. Is it possible to live in a world where this doesn't happen?

Me: I'm so glad you asked. I have just the trick for you.


When you pipe a word, leave off all the cross bars and hooks and curly parts until the end.


 


Then come back and fill them in. It gives the original part of the letter just barely enough time to form a super thin crust so the two parts don't join forces and create a tidal wave of melty letter destruction on your cookie.

PS: Ameliorate means "to make better." Don't worry. I had to look it up just to make sure.

PPS: The font is called Harrington.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Fancy Greaseproof Baking Cups Giveaway {CLOSED}

 
Have you guys been over to The Cookie Cutter Company? I kind of love that place. Like, a lot. And Matt. He's the guy that makes everything right. He's also the guy that adds fun new things to their site. And since January, he's been adding not just cutters, but also more decorating and baking items. Like these gorgeous baking cups!

He first asked about them on Facebook. People were excited, but wary of being duped. No way were they going to buy the most adorable greaseproof baking cups on the market if that whole "greaseproof" part was just a scam. So I took one for the team and let Matt know that I would be willing to make the sacrifice to try some of them out.


So Matt sent me some. And I decided to do an experiment. (This doesn't really come as a surprise anymore, does it?)


I pitted those greaseproof liners above with these sweet little baking cups that I bought in South Korea and have never used because I just *know* they will be ruined once I pour that cupcake batter into them.


But since I love you more than sweet little Korean cupcake liners, I did it anyway. I actually used these lines with both cupcake batter (on the left) and brownie batter (on the right.) And since I really wanted to know how "greaseproof" these little gems were, I actually doubled the amount of butter in the brownie mix. (For science. Not for eating.)


And the results of the cupcake batter experiment.... ZERO grease bleed through on the greaseproof liners. And the regular ol' cupcake liners? I think they might be the same sweet liners I poured that batter into. But you would never know at this point.


And that greasy mess of brownie mix? As it turns out, doubling the butter makes them mostly inedible. The regular cupcake liners surprisingly have more of a design than with the cupcakes though. And although it's really hard to tell with all that sunshine streaming through the greaseproof liners... they remained the champions.


I took a picture from the side so you could really see and not just take my word for it. If you look closely, there are two little spots where the butter was starting to seep through after a day of waiting for me to take its picture. Not too bad for a double butter brownie recipe.


And in case you were wondering how to eat these... the cupcake just pops right out. Or, you could peel the paper off as well. I just couldn't bring myself to destroy something so pretty.



The moral of the story is -- apparently, "greaseproof baking cups" means "greaseproof baking cups." And the other moral of the story is -- good job reading this ENTIRE post, because now you can have a chance to win these cups. Every single one of them in this picture can be YOURS!

Leave me a comment between now and Friday at midnight telling me what other baking/decorating things you would love Matt to add to The Cookie Cutter Company's site for a chance to win this whole set of baking cups!

Visit Kathia at Pink Little Cake before Friday for another chance to win a second set of baking cups!

Or... if you can't wait, you can find them all of these and more HERE at The Cookie Cutter Company.


~~~GIVEAWAY CLOSED~~~



And the winner is --


Kneada Kookie!! Watch for my email or send me one yourself if you don't see it. Congratulations!!

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