Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Classic Frankenstein Cookies

Halloween Cookies

There is no shortage of random cutters that I've turned into Halloween cutters. (Flip-Flops, Animal Paw, Tulip, Ladybug, Christmas Bell, Greek Letter Phi, Squares, Circles...) There IS, however, a very short list of ACTUAL HALLOWEEN cutters that I've used to make Halloween cookies. I have used a witch hat and a cauldron. The end. Well, very nearly the end.


My favorite way to decorate cookies with children is to bake them, and then outline all the sections with black icing. Then I give them bottles with colored flood icing and let them fill in all the sections. My 4 year old can literally spend an entire day filling in sections of cookies with icing. And eating the icing. Mostly eating the icing.

I wanted to make some of these outlined cookies for a Halloween party and grabbed my Halloween cutter box and discovered a little treasure inside. An ACTUAL Frankenstein cookie cutter!! You know the square-ish shaped one that comes in that Wilton Bucket O'Halloween Cutters?! I've never used it. I've never even considered using it. Until now. Because now I love it. LOVE IT! I formally regret all those years that I shoved it to the bottom of my cutter bin. And as a first step at making amends with that guy, I'm going to show YOU how to love him too!


1. Use a #3 tip and a 17 count icing to outline the face and fill in the hair. (I'm just going to be honest with you guys. I stopped counting a long time ago. Now I bang my icing bowl on the counter and if it settles out in 4 bags... that's good enough for me.) (So technically, you should use a 4-bang icing for this step.) Let it dry for an hour.
2. With a #3 tip and a 3-bang electric green icing (12-15 count) fill in the face. If you have problems with icing colors bleeding, you should let these guys dry overnight. Because electric green and black are kind of bullies (along with red) when it comes to color bleed.
3. Add some gray knobby things on the side of his square little neck.
4. Add 2 white circles for eyes. I piped them close together so they would kind of run together. Add to drops of black on top, or black candy pearls for the pupils. With a #1.5 tip, add stitches and a mouth. I used pink food coloring and a food safe brush to paint on some pink little cheeks.


Tell me -- have you ever used this cutter for it's intended purpose? If you HAVE, and if you want to... you could leave a link to the picture in the comments. I would LOVE to see the way other people have used this cutter!

NEED MORE? 




Find that Wilton Bucket O' Halloween Cutters here.











Make some more Frankenstein cookies with Lisa at The Bearfoot Baker.






 



Or with Callye at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.








Go ahead and give in to the temptation to spend your entire day coming up with "pumpkin cutter" ideas I haven't already thought of.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Top-Down Pumpkins


I kind of have a thing for pumpkin cutters. And by that, I mean that I LOVE THEM. I want to date them and kiss them and marry them. But most importantly, I want to buy them. Every single time I see a new pumpkin cutter, I covet it. I think about it. I go visit it at the store and then eventually, I buy it. And I hold it in my hands and dream of all the most wonderful, lovely, gorgeous pumpkin cookies that ever were dreamed. And then I put it in a bin and pull out all my other cutters and turn them into pumpkin cutters too. And when I can't find JUST the right cutter, I make my own

Seriously, it might be a disease. You all are going to have to stage an intervention sometime soon. But let's do it after you make these fun top-down pumpkin cookies from a paw cutter. They are my new favorite pumpkins!



1. Start with the section in the bottom front of the pumpkin. Use a #3 tip and 15 count orange icing to outline and fill a vaguely tear drop shape. Move on up to the paisley shape on the right and finish it off with a shorter tear drop in the back. Use the curves of the cookie to guide you. Let these sections dry for at least 30 minutes.

2. Fill in the gaps with more pumpkin sections. Leave the top left gap open so the sections don't run together. Let dry for an hour or two.

3. Fill in the final section of the pumpkin with orange icing. Use 15 count green icing and a #2 tip to make the stem. If you want it to have more dimension, wait 15 minutes after piping the base before you add the stem. I made regular shaped stems on some cookies and just added a circle of icing for the stems on other cookies. Try to stay away from that last section of pumpkin you just piped or things will get weird. Let the whole cookie dry overnight.

4. Using a clean food grade paintbrush, push some brown luster dust into the cracks between the sections and around the stem of the pumpkin to create even more depth. 


And because I love you guys almost as much as I love pumpkin cutters, I made you some images you can pop in a KK to help you get consistent pumpkin segments.


See? TWO images. Maybe I love you guys more than pumpkin cutters after all.

NEED MORE?




Get the large paw cutter HERE and the small paw cutter HERE.










I first made these as part of my cookie cornucopia. Find out how to make your own completely edible cornucopia out of cookie dough.







Already have too many pumpkin cutters? See how to re-invent them with Callye at The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle




Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Scariest Masks -- Cookies and Cards


Do you ever have those days that just bug you? Like, the whole entire day and everything in it. Me too. Today was that day times a million.

*** WARNING *** ACTUAL THOUGHTS AHEAD ***

~AAAAAHHHHHH. I hate you computer. I want to throw you away. Why must your shift key randomly stop working in the middle of a blog post? WHY?! Why don't you love me? I paid for you with real money. You are *not* a Monopoly money computer. Do not *act* like a Monopoly money computer.

~WHAT is that unearthly noise down the street? Oh no! It's garbage day. It's garbage day and I haven't taken out my garbage. Where are my shoes? WHY are they never where I left them? ONE of them is in the bathroom? That is not going to be helpful. It's getting closer. I'm just going to have to run for it in my socks. Eeewww! I stepped on something. I don't know what it was. I don't want to know. Aahh. My elbow. STOP FIGHTING ME GARBAGE CAN. I am *trying* to help you. Eeeww. You smell bad.

~That fly is going to die. Seriously, if it comes flying around me head ONE MORE TIME... it will be the end of it's already very short life. Okay, this time, I actually mean it. No I don't! I hate you fly! I hate that you make me threaten you with empty threats. Stop bugging me! Go away! I can't hear you, I'm covering my ears. How do you like that? GO AWAY!!!!

~Are you kidding me? It's already 2 pm?! What happened to 11:00 and 12:00 and 1:00?! I am NOT okay with this. I had big plans for today. BIG PLANS I tell you. I was going to actually accomplish things. I was finally going to make an actual check mark on my ever increasing list of things to do. Now I can't even remember where I put that list. Or what was on it. I need some kool-aid. I'm just going to wallow in my annoyance. 

~ BLEHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

 

On the plus side... these cookies happened. I love this day. It's the day I get to peruse my cousin's blog and see all of her fun paper creations. And then instead of coming up with my own design... I just snag one of hers and make it into cookies! Yeay!

http://www.simplypamscreations.com/2013/10/scariest-mask-ever.html
I thought this card was super funny. And so did my children. And then when I started making the cookies, they thought it was even funnier. (And so did I. It *almost* made up for that blasted fly.)


1. We're going to start these little gems with royal icing transfers. (Yeay!) Pipe a big ol' circle (or little... totally your call) of icing in the skin color of your choice. Let it dry for 15 minutes.
2. Add some hair. Make it crazy. Make it cute. Just do what you want, really. But then let it dry overnight.
3. Paint the white of the eyes. You *could* stop here because they look super creepy at this point. Or..
4. Use food color markers or a paintbrush to create the details of the face.
5. Decorate your cookies... but leave the faces out. You can drop the faces straight on to the wet icing, or wait for the base layer to dry and then "glue" the transfers to the cookie with some more skin colored icing.
6. When all the icing has dried, add some mask strings with a food color marker or with thick black icing and a #1.5 tip. I clearly took the lazy, food marker way out. I will not judge you your choices.

NEED MORE?



Go see which one of my cookies my cousin made into a card.



 

 
Get some help removing those transfers without breaking them.








Visit Lisa at The Bearfoot Baker to see how she made the Frankenstein cookie.


Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Remove Delicate Royal Icing Transfers -- Quick Tip Tuesday

I go through phases. In college, I went through a tortilla phase. For weeks on end, every meal I ate included tortillas. Sometimes they *only* included tortillas. (I did say I was in college, right?) It wasn't a conscious decision it just happened. And one day, completely without realizing it, I moved on. (To cottage cheese  and pickles if you must know.) I've gone through tomato phases and stir-fry phases and while in Korea, I went through a phase of going out to eat only to return home and eat again because I had accidentally ordered neck bone soup instead of rice and vegetables. Or hot pepper spaghetti instead of rice and vegetables. Or spicy octopus instead of rice and... you know what? I think you get the picture.

I do the same thing with cookies. For weeks every cookie I make will have sanding sugar on top of it. (Maybe because I'm too lazy to put them away? And since they are there...) Or I'll paint all my cookies. Or... currently... I'll make Royal Icing Transfers for every cookie set I design. And I was thinking that if you wanted to make them along with me, maybe you would like to know how I get those tricky transfers off the wax paper. I almost never break a transfer anymore.


For the most delicate Royal Icing Transfers, I will cut a small square of wax paper for each one before piping the design. For medium risk designs, I will cut them apart after they are dry. (For stable designs like a flower center or eyeballs... I never cut them apart.) Place your Royal Icing Transfer on something hard and flat that has a sharp edge. Bring the corner of your wax paper (or acetate or parchment paper) to the edge of your surface and pull it down sharply and slowly as it begins to peel away from the transfer.


As soon as you see that it has separated, place a thin knife under the transfer where it meets the corner of your hard, flat object. This is also the very place where the paper starts peeling away. Use the knife to keep the cradle the transfer and keep it completely flat as you continue to pull the paper off the back of the transfer. Never try to peel the transfer off the paper. Don't pull up with the knife. Dry royal icing doesn't bend and you'll just end up breaking your transfer.Place the transfer gently back on top of the wax paper until ready to use.

NEED MORE?



Piecing together cookies so they will STAY together.



Can you save over mixed icing?



Make hand cutting cookies as easy as possible.

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