Monday, November 24, 2014

How To Make Ruffle Flowers

You guys. It's almost Thanksgiving. It's like...getting the turkey out of the freezer and trying to find the pie tins close. And re-evaluating my decision to make stuffing from actual bread because I don't want to get my kids bundled so I can go to the store and buy celery close. And digging through the basement cupboards at 11pm because I just realized I have no idea where the table cloths are and then starting the laundry at 2am because I finally found them in the Halloween box and for some reason they are covered in glitter and olive oil close. In case you aren't sure... that's pretty close.

At this point, I'm going to make a crazy wild guess here and say that if you didn't already plan on making these before's probably not going to happen. But I really wanted to show them to you. and you can make them for any holiday. Or for any occasion really. They would be the perfect "Thanks-for-helping-me-move-my-couch-I'm-sorry-about-your-truck" flower cookies.

Also, before we get started, you should know that I usually make my own fondant. But a few months ago the people from Fat Daddio's told me they were making fondant now. And they sent me some to try! And guess what? I LOVE IT! Which was kind of a surprise because I'm hyper-critical when it comes to fondant. But it tasted good and had stretch and give in all the right places. And in case you are a fondant user...this stuff is cheaper than the mosquito repellant flavored brand. You know the one I'm talking about. Anyway, moving on, let's make some ruffle flowers real quick. You could probably make a few of these AND thaw that turkey anyway.

1. Roll out fondant or modeling chocolate real thin. Cut out two circles.
2. Fold a paper towel in half twice. Put one circle on top. Roll the end of a paintbrush back and forth across the outer edge of the circle. Gently press down as you roll so it thins a little and gets slightly lacy.
3. Using the thumb and forefinger of both hands, fold the circle in on itself, forming an "x".
4. Twist the outer points of the "x" so the "petals" roll into each other, making it look like a swirled circle.
5. Twist the underneath side together.
6.Break off the bottom half.
7. Roll the outer edges of the second circle. Place the first ruffled circle on top of the second one.
8. Collapse the bottom circle up around the first one, folding the edges in with your fingers to match the ruffles of the top circle. I like to put these in the well of an egg carton to dry for a couple of hours to give them just a little more shape. But you could also use these right away if you wanted to.

Also, I painted the edges of these gold. Because I can. And because I'm all about gold edges these days. And silver. And I kind of wish they made pewter airbrush spray because I would be all over that one too. Great. Now I really want to make pewter cookies. I'm going to do it for Valentine's Day. That seems like a pewter appropriate holiday, doesn't it?

In case I don't see you between now and then -- HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Decorated Berry Pie Cookies

I'm kind of a "from scratch" food maker person. Like, if I could grow wheat in my backyard, I probably would. And then I would grind it up into flour and make noodles so that I could make noodle soup. But I would buy the chicken. Because... eeww. Chickens smell. And I have a little yard. It's only big enough for wheat. And tomatoes. And also an apple tree.

I make food from scratch for two reasons. And neither of them are good reasons.  The first reason is probably obvious... I don't ever listen to what people tell me to do. I'm pretty sure that my own way is better. Boxed brownies? Eh. I could probably make them fudgier. (What? I'm insane. It's not even possible.) The second reason is even worse. I never plan ahead and I hate shopping. So like, let's pretend that last week I had a bunch of friends come over to decorate cookies. (Yeay!!) And that morning I decided that I wanted to make a giant sandwich to share. Of course, I don't have a great big loaf of bread just sitting around my house. So instead of going to the store like a sane person and buying that 99 cent loaf of bread... I made one. From scratch. Without a recipe of course, because who are they to tell me what to do?! And it turned out... quite awful. It was really tall and long and just WAAAAAYYY too much bread per slice of sandwich. And every single one of those sweet cookie decorating friends ate it anyway. (I threw mine away.)

So last year at Thanksgiving my grandmother came to stay with me for a week before the big day. Her very favorite pie is lemon. So I decided that I would be all old-fashioned and make lemon meringue pie, completely from scratch of course. She would be so proud of me. So Wednesday I make the pie crust. And Wednesday night my grandma and I make the lemon filling together. We are stirring that hot yellow pot of sweet lemon goodness and it's starting to get thicker and thicker...but then it stops getting thicker. And suddenly I realize I have no idea what I'm doing and it might not work out at all. And I start to panic because if this doesn't work out maybe my turkey will be awful too. Maybe I really should be reading directions and following recipes and buying my stuffing mix at the store instead of ruining Thanksgiving for the whole wide world. But wait! My grandma is there. So I ask her, "Is this what it's supposed to look like?" And she turns to me and says, "I don't know. I always use a box."

Our pie turned out delicious and not at all like a pie. We might have been better off with cookie pies. (But that won't stop us from trying that lemon meringue pie together again this year! Because as it turns out, my grandma doesn't listen to that little voice of reason in her head any better than I do. I love her. ) But maybe we'll make some berry pie cookies as back up this time. Don't worry. They are easier than it seems. It's just a lot of pictures.

1. Pipe an outline along the bottom and up the side with medium thickness cream icing. Make a little bulb of icing at the top. You can move through each of these steps as soon as the icing is crusted. If you are making at least 9-10 of these, you can probably just move on as soon as you are done with the last one.
2. Add a fluted crust with the same cream icing.  
3. Add a curved crust piece.
4. And one across the top.
5. Fill in the rest of the pieces. Let the entire crust dry for an hour.
6. With medium thickness purple icing, fill in the side of the pie slice. I decided some should be dripping out of the pie, but that's totally your call.
7. Immediately sprinkle with sugar pearls.
8. Fill in the gaps in the crust with purple icing.
9. And again, sprinkle with sugar pearls immediately. Let the whole pie dry for at least 30 minutes.
10. Mix some brown and green food coloring with water on a plate. Quickly brush on to the crust.
11. Blot that water off with a paper towel.
12. Let it dry and you have a cinnamon crusted slice of huckleberry pie.

Or... if you want.... you can dab some corn syrup on the berries for a more "wet" looking pie.


 Get the cutter here.

Find the turkey tutorial here, and the antiqued name cookies here.

Turkey head cookies.

Pumpkins from the top-down.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Challenge Yourself! Everyday Monsters Round Up and Winner!

Remember these guys? Just a random handful of cutters turned into monsters. You know, no big deal. The challenge for this fall was to turn some stray cutters into monsters. And you guys made some AMAZING creations!!! Let me show you some of my favorites!!

  I love the bright colors and fantastic textures of these little round monsters from My Cookie Crumbled!

And what's NOT to love about these gorgeously colored and fantastically created monster letters from Yankee Girl Yummies??!!

And as much as I don't like "creepy" in any way at all...these incredibly designed and executed monsters from The Cookie Architect aren't letting me look away! They fill their cutter space perfectly!

All these cookies from Sister Teresa's Cookies are super clever...but that little boot monster guy has completely stolen my heart!!

I consider myself to be somewhat of a cookie cutter crackerjack...but I had to check Stephanie's blog - If You Give A Nerd A Cookie to figure out what cutter she used to make the monster on the right!

I'm OBSESSED with these monsters from Love Bug Cakes And Cookies!!! They are furry and fuzzy and hairy and full of eyeballs all over the place!!

It's a good thing I don't have to pick a winner!! I left that job up to Random.Org who chose.....

#5 --- Yankee Girl Yummies!!! You are now the proud owner of a $20 gift certificate to The Cookie Cutter Company! Watch for my email!

Go HERE to see the rest of the entries!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Challenge Yourself -- Use Unconventional Colors

Yeay! It's holiday cookie crunch time! That means two things --

1. You have ZERO free time for some crazy challenge.
2. You are going to be sick out of your mind of the color red in a few months.

Don't worry. I've got you covered on both counts. This winter's challenge is to use unconventional colors for a holiday set of cookies. You can enter as many different sets of unconventional color as you like. Just make some new cookies and link up between now and January12th for a chance to win.

And what is it that you desperately want to win? Trust me... it's a good one.

It's a whole PALETTE of compressed luster dusts!!! It's genius and beautiful and I want it and I want to share it with one of you!! So get to making some unconventional colors and linking them up!

** If you live outside the US and are willing to split the international shipping costs with me...then by all means... link up for your chance to win!**


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