Friday, June 29, 2012

Make Your Own Cookie Molds


I made cookies for someone I've never met. I know her name. And her address. And I know that every week of her life she mails an envelope of expired coupons to soldiers who live in Korea. (The military grocery stores that are overseas accept expired coupons for up to 6 months.) That's all I know.

I've spent an inordinate amount of time looking at her scrawling script and I've decided that she's old and sweet and probably uses her crochet scissors to cut out those coupons while watching reruns of "The Price is Right." And she has shag carpet in her living room. And she may or may not belong to a pinochle league that plays every Tuesday.

And also, I've decided that someone needs to tell her that the envelope makes it here every week. And that soldiers and family members stand around sorting through the coupons and talking to each other when it comes in. And that young mothers live for the diaper coupons and that single guys who have never seen the inside of an oven still get excited when their favorite snack or drink has a coupon. And that those guys probably wash their jeans before the coupon ever sees the drawer of a cash register. Although, I'm willing to bet she already knows the last part.


So I made her some cookies. And just now I realized that she might be diabetic. Or have allergies. Or just a reasonable suspicion of baked goods coming from a stranger in a foreign country. Hmmm....maybe I need to rethink my plan.

In the meantime...let me tell you about that United States Seal cookie. I've gotten a lot of emails about it and I'm super excited to show you how I did it. It is one of my new favorite cookies to make because I can go from butter in a bowl to a finished cookie in less than an hour. (Assuming of course that my children are asleep. And don't need a glass of water. Or just one more story. And that the frogs in the rice paddies aren't keeping anyone awake and making them think that something might be under their bed.)

Here is my secret -- 
I used a mold to make the cookie. 

A silicon mold, not icky black mold. First, I made the mold. And then I made the cookies. I want to show you how to make the mold today and I'm saving the "how to make a cookie from the mold" part for next time because I get so tired of listening to myself think sometimes and then I start thinking about how weird it is that you think at all and I wonder if babies think with actual words even though they don't even know words. And is it even possible to just stop thinking for 10 minutes? Because, I've tried it, and I'm not a very good non-thinker. That is definitely not my super-hero power. Neither is mold-making, but I'm going to show you how to do it anyway.

You are going to need some mold putty and something to mold.  (I used Amazing Mold Putty.You can buy it at all those big craft and hobby stores in America or online)


1. Pull out a chunk of the yellow stuff and a chunk of the white stuff. Roll them around in a ball so you can make sure they are roughly equal. 
2. Mix them together by rolling and kneading and pushing every which way until it is all the same color. Make sure you read the directions of whatever type of mold putty you are using so you know how long you have before the putty starts setting up. (3-5 minutes for Amazing Mold Putty.)
3. Roll it into a pretty ball and then smash it. I mean....flatten it, making sure it is at least as wide as the item you are going to be molding.
4. Try to make sure it is completely flat. See how my edges are a little higher than the middle? That is not ideal. Don't be like me.


5. Gently place your item on top of your flattened circle. This is the point of no return. Make sure it is centered.
6. Very carefully, press the item into the silicone. I like to push it just below the surface. Walk away and don't look at it while it cures. Avoid the urge to "check on it" every 2 minutes.
7. Bend the edges of the mold back and your item should pop right out.
8. Wash well and you are ready to use your mold!

Seriously, I'm not going to leave you hanging on the other half of this cookie. Just as soon as I sleep and do some dishes and maybe comb my hair (not necessarily in that order) I will come back.

Probably.

UPDATE -- See how I used this mold to make the cookies HERE.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Badge of Liberty Cookies

 A long time ago, I lived in America and I shopped at grocery stores. And when I walked down the international aisle, I wondered what things they would sell in the American section of a grocery store in another country. (Peanut butter and spaghetti sauce.) (And sometimes nacho cheese sauce.)

I never wondered about zoos. I just assumed that everyone else in the world had cooler animals than we did. I mean...ELEPHANTS?! TIGERS?! Those don't really compare to squirrels and umm...other non-exciting animals. America has bald eagles though. Those are cool. Do other countries have bald eagles? Do you think I can ask my 5 year old to do a report on them so I can find out? Maybe I can use some kind of ice-cream cookie treat as a bribe reward. It's going to have to be a big treat so his father will help him "research." I'm going to need to do some ice-cream cookie treat research of my own it looks like....

Whoa. Back to the zoo. I went to a Korean zoo yesterday. We saw a dolphin show. And also a horse. And some cattle. And a dog. AND...I wasn't going to tell you this, but I have to. I can't let it go. We went into the insectatarium. It was a big ol' building with INSECTS. If you don't know what those are...those are bugs. I do not like bugs. Not even a little tiny bit. Not even lady-bugs. And my children hate them just as much. I thought it would be the perfect learning experience for my children so they could get all brave and stuff and not hate bugs so that when we have them in our house in the future they could be all interested and think it was really cool to somehow get them into a glass jar and remove them from the house and I would never have to touch another bug again as long as I live. It was a great plan. What could go wrong? I will TELL YOU.


About half way through the bug tour of this giant ol' building  (Seriously, who needs TWO floors of bugs?) we came upon some zoo people working with the bugs. I don't know what they were doing because I was actually kind of staring off into the space above all the cages while pretending to be interested so my children wouldn't know how totally creepy bugs really are. Anyway...I chatted with the zoo people in my very limited Korean and moved on. Or tried to move on. All of a sudden the Korean guy was coming at me with chopsticks. He started jabbing and I got all weirded out and decided I didn't want to be at the zoo anymore AND THEN I REALIZED -- one of those bugs that I had not been looking at had jumped out of its cage and attached itself to my shirt. MY. SHIRT. I froze and pretended to laugh a little bit. It was horrifying. The zoo guy kept pulling at the bug with his chopsticks and the bug wouldn't let go of my shirt. And the worst part of all was that my five year was basically traumatized for life and will now never touch another bug again so the entire experience was a complete waste. Except for the part where I got to speak Korean to some very nice people. That wasn't so bad.

Anyone else traumatized after reading that story? There was a reason I wasn't going to tell you that. In happier news (this is the part where you forget that I just told you an insect story on a cookie blog) I made some star cookies!!

Want to make some?


Cut out a scalloped circle and a star. Then, using the same circle cutter, cut a hole out of the scalloped circle and the edges off the star. Put the star inside what is left of the scalloped circle. Press the edges together gently and bake. It will be delicate when it comes out of the oven, but as soon as you pipe the star on the cookie, it will hold together quite nicely. I didn't take pictures of the actual decorating. I think it was due to some kind of pre-trauma effect. Outline the star and then flood it. Let it dry for at least 20 minutes and then do all the red stripes. Let those dry for 20 minutes and then finish with all the white stripes.


If that wasn't enough to make you forget about bugs...check out these AMAZING projects ALL using the star cutter!!!

  1. Strawberry Shortcake on a Stick, The Decorated Cookie
  2. Patriotic Lace Cookies , My Little Bakery
  3. Independence Day Parade Cookies, Jill FCS
  4. Old Fashioned 4th of July, Vicki’s Sweet Treats
  5. Light up the Fourth Cookies, The Partiologist
  6. Declaration of Independence Cookie, Vanilla Bean Baker
  7. Badge of Liberty Cookies, Lila Loa
  8. Red, White & Blue Star Cookie Towers, Bake at 350
  9. 4th of July Firecracker Cookies, Klickitat Street
  10. Star Cut-out Cookies, Glorious Treats
  11. Cookie "Pledge", Lizy B Bakes
  12. Star-Shaped Krispie Treats, Cookies and Cups
  13. Easy Star Cupcake Toppers, Confessions of a Cookbook Queen
  14. Rustic 4th of July Galletes, Haniela's
  15. Patriotic Cookie Wreath, Sweetopia
  16. Patriotic River Rafter, Ali-Bee's Bake Shop
  17. Funny Fox Cookies, The Bearfoot Baker
  18. Quilted Cookie Stars, Cookie Crazie
  19. Gimme Your John Hancock Stars, Life's a Batch
  20. Patriotic Cookie Stir Sticks, The Cookie Artisan
  21. Patriotic Floral Stars, SweetSugarBelle

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Dehydrating Cookies -- What YOU Need To Know


I live in South Korea. It's been said before, but it is still true. As a result of this, I am pretty much the world's best Amazon shopper. I know you think that YOU are the number one, top competitor of Amazon shopping ...actually...you might be right, but let's not ruin this for me right now, okay? 

Sometimes I make cinnamon rolls the size of my head and drink watered-down soda while browsing through the ladies shoe department just so I can pretend that I am in an actual store. My kids are happy to accompany me to the land of make believe as long as they get their own straw. Sometimes they even pitch a fit until I put some inexplicably desirable item in the cart. And like every other parent on the planet...I take it out while they are going to the bathroom.

The problem with Amazon is that you can load stuff in your cart "for later." I usually reserve this space for items that I really want to get and know that there is no circumstance, ever, in the entire world, under which I would be able to justify purchasing it. I want to walk away, but I talk a mean justification and it's so hard to say no to myself. So I just leave it there. And every time I open my shopping cart, it's just staring up at me with those big, sad, BUY ME NOW eyes. I can't live with that kind of sadness.

Guess what was in my cart for months and months last year? If you guessed a porcelain wind-up elephant -- that would be weird. The answer is a dehydrator. I don't need one. But I was pretty much convinced that I wouldn't really be a whole person again until I could hear that gentle fan, quietly drying my balcony-grown produce in the background of my life. Luckily for me, some super thoughtful and generous family member actually purchased it for me. Which was way better than purchasing it myself, because then I didn't have guilt over buying the weirdest thing ever off Amazon, because that would have given me a guilt complex and I would have only been able to use it in the closet while everyone was asleep. And...my closets don't even have power outlets.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago where some friends were chatting about whether or not you could use a dehydrator with cookies and what it would do to them. And I was afraid to admit that I had a dehydrator. (For all I know, the dehydrator is the appliance equivalent of wearing red socks and sandals with shorts.) So I experimented in secret. And...I was surprised with the results. Let's get to it, shall we?


I made 2 sets of cookies. I put one set in the dehydrator and one left one set on my kitchen table, so they would be right next to each other. I also somehow chose the most humid day of the year for this "experiment." Also, I should note that I intentionally made these cookies wonky and off-centered. Its uh, new approach to umm, science and spatially... important things for an experiment.

I wanted to see if the dehydrator would help with the color bleed problem. My red and black almost never bleed...so I used pink and purple instead because those seem to be worse for me. And I used nearly a teaspoon of each gel in about 1/2 cup of icing. (Has anyone ever TRIED to get their colors to bleed? It's not as easy at it seems.)

I was also concerned about the cookies getting dried out while the icing dries. You know, since I was putting them in a DE-hydrator and all.

Anyway...I put one set of cookies in the dehydrator and turned it on to the lowest setting, which for me is 95 degrees. I tested for icing and cookie dryness at random intervals until the icing was completely dry. (I challenge any scientist to be precise will feeding an infant, endlessly replacing the shoes of a 2 year old and repeatedly saving the life a 5 year-old as he jumps to his near-death while bouncing from one couch to another. )


 1 HOUR

The dehydrator cookies are on the left in all the pictures. At one hour, the cookies in the dehydrator were already dry to the touch. Both cookies were easily dented when I pushed my finger into the icing. I was surprised to see how shiny the dehydrator cookies were compared to the cookies that were left on the table. Both cookies tasted exactly the same. No noticeable bleeding

2 HOURS

The cookies reached maximum shine at 2 hours. I know its kind of hard to tell from the pictures... and I'm totally sorry that I'm not a super-amazing shine picture taker-er person. Trust me though. I am not lying to you. If you were going to use a dehydrator for shine, they don't get much shinier after 2 hours. The dehydrator cookies were starting to get firm, but both cookies could still be mushed when I pushed on them with my finger. The cookies still tasted the same. No noticeable bleeding.

4 HOURS

This is a better picture of how shiny the dehydrator cookies are. (Remember, they are on the left.) By 4 hours, the icing on the dehydrator cookies had dried enough that it wasn't easy to dent the icing. The cookies left on the table still had very mush-able icing. Both cookies still tasted the same and there was no noticeable bleeding. (Starting to see a pattern?)

8 HOURS

Do you SEE the shine difference between the two cookies?! I cannot believe how much shine I have been missing out on all this time. At this point the icing on the dehydrator cookies was pretty much dry. I couldn't dent it without using unrealistic force. (By that I mean, any cookie will dent if you hit it with a hammer. I did not hit it with a hammer.) The cookies STILL tasted the same and there was no noticeable bleeding.

20 HOURS

I took the last cookie out of the dehydrator at 8 hours when it was completely dry and let it sit on the table with the other cookie over night. The shiny dehydrator cookie stayed shiny. There was a tiny bit of color bleed on the table cookie.  I tasted both cookies, and neither one of them seemed drier than the other. I even had my husband, who had no idea which one had been in the dehydrator taste them. He said they tasted the same and if anything, the one on the table seemed drier. 

In summary -- dehydrators dry the icing faster, with more shine, and at least with only 8 hours of dehydrating -- don't noticeably dry out the cookies themselves. (EDIT -- Please keep in mind this test was done in an extremely humid environment where the average humidity doesn't fall below 80%)

I'm really excited for these findings. I have 5 shelves in my dehydrator, so that definitely frees up some counter space. I can use my dehydrator on those crazy-humid days where my cookies literally never dry. And since I live in the land of no-heat guns, this is a fantastic option for me to achieve that beautiful shine!!


FAQ

What dehydrator do you use? I have a NESCO 700 Watt dehydrator. Like THIS ONE.

What should I look for in a dehydrator? It should have a fan and a temperature control. If you make a lot of cookies...get a big dehydrator. My dehydrator has 5 trays and I can fit about 3 dozen cookies in there at one time.

What temperature should I use for the cookies? The LOWEST possible setting. I set mine to 95 F. If it does not have a variable control, they are usually set to around 140F which is much to high for cookies.

How long should I leave my cookies in the dehydrator? It depends on your climate. If you live somewhere that has a lot of humidity, you can leave them in there 4-6 hours without drying out the cookie. If you live in a dry climate, 20-30 minutes should be more than enough to set the icing, avoid craters and give it a shine.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Father's Day Link Party


It's here! It's finally here! The day before the last day before Father's Day!! Oh my goodness, did you ever think this day would really come? Oh man, Father's Day is practically on our doorstep. So exciting. You know what else is exciting? I'M HAVING A LINK PARTY!!

But first, I want to tell you how to decorate these cookies. Because nothing says Father's Day more than an over-sized bow tie on an oddly shaped cookie head. Pure Father's Day right there.


1. I used this bell cutter
2. And cut pieces off to make the head slightly less oddly shaped.
3. Flood the face. (There is NO context in normal life where you should use that sentence.)
4. Add hair and the bows for the bow tie. If you are going to add polka dots, now would be the time. Just pipe little dots on to the bow tie immediately after piping the background. Let it all dry for 30 minutes.
5. Add the middle of the bow ties, eyes, a little nose (or a big one, that's totally your choice), some eyebrows and a mouth. I used some eyeballs I had previously made, but you can pipe them right on there if you want to.  And I used a food color marker for the eyebrows and mouth because I was getting tired of decorating these cookies.


Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's move on to our link party!! Link up ANY Father's Day cookies you've made. They don't have to be oddly shaped heads, but if you had some, it would sure make me feel better. You can link from flickr, or facebook, or a blog...or anywhere that you can get a link for a picture.

Sailboat Cookies


Father's Day is almost here! Are you guys excited? I mean...depending on where you are in the world there could be as little a ONE more day to get all your shopping and decorating and Father's Day song-singing in. ONE day. That's like 24 hours in cookie years.

I'm going to be honest with you though.. I'm a little tuckered out with all the late night tie tying parties and MEAT eating going on around here. I'm also re-thinking my strategy of unveiling my new holiday celebration schedule immediately before a holiday in which I am not the recipient of large quantities of attention and gifts and free food. I was thinking that if you take into account the nights I put the children to bed before my husband comes home from work, and subtract that from the fact that we don't even have a lawn to mow, multiplied by three children...it equals out to about 1/6 of that pumpkin pie that is waiting for him on Father's Day. (Pumpkin pie? On Father's Day?! If you have gotten this far and not realized that we have holiday issues at our house, then I can't help you. Feel free to go return your overdue movie rentals instead of finishing this post.)

Since I don't actually like pumpkin pie, I've decided to do a blog post about ME instead. I'm pretty sure that a blog post is roughly equivalent to 1/6 of a pumpkin pie. Someone double check my math.

And what I want you to know about me today is that I like sailboats. It's not really necessary information. There will be no friendship quiz in which you have to remember this very important and minute detail about my personal preferences. If you did want to remember it though and maybe send me an ice sculpture some day, I wouldn't mind that. That would be okay with me.


I used to sail, you know. Like, for my job. On a big ol' crystal blue lake. And it was every dream in one dream. The warm wind and the snapping canvas and the waves swirling around the boat....Also, I got really good at tying knots and I even knew their names. And if you ever need a bowline tied in under 30 seconds in a completely dark room -- then I'm your girl. Don't hesitate to ask. I'm a giver.


So when The Cookie Cutter Company told me that I could do a blog post for their site, I basically begged them to let me make some sailboat cookies. And because Matt is such a nice guy and all, he said I could. Since I'm such a giver and share-er, this is a near herculean task to not give you the tutorials right here and now. But I really want you to CLICK HERE so you can hop over and meet Matt and The Cookie Cutter Company and their cutters and see how I made each one of these boats. There are step-by-steps....with pictures and words and everything!

And don't forget to stop by later and share YOUR Father's Day cookies in the link-up party!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Bowtie Cookies -- no cutter required!


When it comes to Father's Day, my mind can only think it two directions -- Tools and Ties. It's not my fault. Okay, maybe it is. But I was thinking that it might make me feel better to blame it on something else. Like maybe one day when I was coming home from school, I got kidnapped by ninjas and they brainwashed me to only think about tools and ties for Father's Day. And then they gave me a snack and we played backgammon and it was pretty much the best day of my life, except that at the end of it all they also had to brainwash me into not remembering the whole thing. So actually, its kind of tragic really. You should probably feel a little bit sad for me that such a happy adventure was so cruelly ripped from memory at such a young age. I mean, I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing that this event took place sometime around 7 years of age. Or 10 years of age. One of the two.

So again, due to forces beyond my control, I was going to make tie cookies for Father's Day. I don't have a tie cutter though. So then I decided I would just make bow ties instead. And then I realized that I don't have a bow tie cutter either. So then I thought about hand cutting them. And then I realized that I don't like hand cutting cookies. I just like to decorate them. And eat them. And give them to people. But not in that order.


My point is that these are super easy cookies to make. You can totally skip the coloring step if you wanted to and you don't even HAVE to add polka dots. They are the perfect last minute Father's Day cookie. In fact, I have a great idea. Go ahead and forget about these cookies until Saturday night at like 11pm. Then you can freak out a little bit before remembering that you were going to make these. It will be fun.

1. Start with a vanilla cookie dough. I used my vanilla recipe, but any recipe that keeps its shape while baking will work. Knead some color into the dough, making sure it is fully incorporated. (Or not, I guess. Some marbled tie cookies would be fun too!)
2. Roll out each color. If you want to, now would be the time to add polka dots. I tried cutting out dots and replacing them...but that didn't work at all. Just put your dots on top of the rolled out cookie dough and lightly go over again with the rolling pin to make sure they are attached.
3. Cut the dough into strips about 1 inch (2.5cm) wide and about 5 inches (12 cm) long.

1. Roll some aluminum foil around a pencil. Fold one side of the bow tie over the foil, towards the middle.
2. Fold the other end over some foil. The two ends should meet in the center of the bow tie.
3. Pinch the middle of the bow tie.
4. Place a small strip of cookie dough on top of the pinched seam. Gently tuck under and place on cookie sheet. Bake the cookies at the regular temperature. Increase baking time by 1-2 minutes. Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before removing the foil. Sometimes, the foil doesn't pull out easily from one side...that's okay. Just pull it from the other angle and it will come right out.


Polka dot bow ties....they almost make that whole ninja thing worth it.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Father's Day Tool Cookies -- part 2



Welcome back to Father's Day Week! 

In case you are wondering....this is still the perfect plan. I am determined that the anticipatory celebration of the holiday will only serve to increase the fun (havoc) on the actual day. So far, my children have destroyed the house in their search for those elusive ties we bought six months ago in preparation for Father's Day. They broke my husband's tape measure while fighting over who got to put the tape part back inside the case. My 5 year-old got jealous that there is a Father's Day and is now making his own plans for Children's Day....which according to him will be on Monday and my husband is expected to give him a gift and a toy and a treat. Also, due to some 2-year-old temper tantrums, we had waffles for dinner last night, instead of meat on a plate. All in all, this week has been wildly successful so far, and I just can't wait to see what the next few days bring!

At least we know that in internet-land, today brings the attachment of the toolbox pattern. (Yeay!! Cheering! Everyone's pretending to be excited with me!!) (You guys are awesome.) It's a word document. Just click on it, open it up and print 2 copies. Cut on the solid lines and fold on the dotted lines. It's like kindergarten all over again. Except this time, you can totally choose super fun patterned paper and you have my permission to use the glue un-supervised. I punched a hole in the sides and added a sucker-stick handle...but it's your craft. Do what you want.

I don't really know why I took pictures of all these tools as I decorated them. They are pretty self-explanatory. But umm...you know....here it is in case you want to look at it.

This one has a fun step though. First, outline the whole wrench with a #3 tip and fill in the ends using 15 count icing. Let that dry for a couple of hours. Then under fill the middle section with the same 15 count icing. Run a toothpick around the edges to separate it from the sides. Let it dry and think that you are cool. Or, at least, don't ruin it for me. I mean, you could totally stop at step 2 and that would be just fine. I'm just here to enable, not to judge. 

Don't forget we are going to have a Father's Day link party on Friday-ish. This whole living on the other side of the world kind of messes with my time frames. "Time frames?" Does that even make SENSE to anyone? 

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Father's Day Tool Cookies -- part 1

My husband loves Christmas. To be fair, he loves holidays of all kinds. But he reserves a special excitement for Christmas. He starts putting up the tree while finishing off the last of the pumpkin pie from Thanksgiving. And then my kids start to go crazy. We end up with like 7 different paper chains and count-down charts and they get to mark every day off on the calendar and each night before they go to bed they recite how many more times they have to brush their teeth before this giant day of excitement and anticipation will finally be there.

I was thinking that all the other holidays would be more fun if they had a season leading up to them too. So at our house, this is going to be Father's Day Week. We're going to hang awful looking ties all over our house and scatter tools across the bookshelves. We're going to sing Father's Day songs and make special Father's Day meals, like Meat On A Plate. (The plate is optional.) And then on Sunday when my husband wakes up, as a pinnacle to this super exciting week...we are all going to shout "Happy Father's Day!" In unison. Its going to be so hard to wait.

Luckily we have some cookies to help us keep up our strength through all the celebrating this week .

1. Flood the handle in blue and the blade in gray, using a #3 tip. I use 15 second icing so I don't have to outline. (Does it bother anyone else that I just used the word "blade" to describe something that I will be EATING in the future? That's totally weird.)
2. Fill in the tip of the handle and then switch to a #1 tip for the handle details.
3. Paint the blade of the screwdriver with silver luster dust or silver airbrush color. (I use the airbrush color.)

First, let me just say that I used a rectangle cutter to make this. I cut out the rectangle and then used the same cutter to take a smaller rectangle out at the top right and a tiny triangle from the bottom right. And I'm sorry I didn't take a picture. To make up for this, I am going to invite you all to my Father's Day Week celebration. Feel free to join in by shouting "Happy Father's Day!" on Sunday morning. And also by saving your favorite Father's Day creation for a link-up on Friday. 

1. Flood a gray square using a #3 tip. Let that dry for 30 minutes.
2. Pipe in the side part and let that dry. Feel free to forget about your cookies while doing something else incredibly productive.
3. Eventually return and pipe on the yellow details, and 4 small gray dots in the corners.
4. If you want to, you can paint the gray parts silver and add some black lines to the tape measure.


I want to show you how I did the other two tools and also, I have a pattern so you can make your own toolbox. You know, if you are the paper-toolbox-making-for-Father's-Day kind of person. I can't remember how to add the pdf file to a blog post though. So...you are just going to have to come back tomorrow. I mean, if you want to. No pressure though. I won't take attendance or anything. You know what? Forget I said anything.  (Unless you do want the template for the toolbox. And in that case...I'm still posting it tomorrow.)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

"Will you be my BRIDESMAID?" Cookies


So, this one time, Anne from Flour Box Bakery suggested this super fun wedding cookie project that involved perusing a Brides magazine from cover to cover. Repeatedly. She basically said that we could give up laundry and shaving and even order take-out while we spend hours tearing out pages of beautiful inspiration.


At this point, my inner honesty compels me to mention that she didn't actually say that second part. She may have said something more like, "have some cookie fun and get creative." But, let's not get all judgey here. I'm easily confused. They sound a lot alike. They both have letters in the words and verbs in the sentences.


My favorite part about this project is that I got to leave piles of gorgeous wedding dress and flower pictures all over my apartment. I'm not normally a messy person. It's just that I was really hoping someone would stop by for an unexpected visit and then get all confused because it would look like I was planning a wedding. And then I could nervously kick the pictures under the couch while pretending to be all flustered that they noticed. It was a perfect plan. I even rehearsed it so I would be ready. And I practiced an uncomfortable laugh until I had just the right amount of awkwardness and suspicion.


But then no one came. And I got bored. So I moved on to actually making cookies instead.



Friday, June 1, 2012

Rattle Cookies -- Cookies And Cards


When I first moved to Korea, I couldn't figure out how to make my kitchen sink work. It looks exactly like every other sink I have ever seen in my life. But when you twist the handle...nothing happens. We spent weeks filling pots up in the shower so we could cook dinner. (Not like in a weird Seinfield way. The hand sink is just too small for our pots to fit under the faucet.) And we kept a bottle of water on the counter to wash hands. Randomly though, sometimes we would walk by and the water would magically turn on. I could NOT figure that thing out. I thought maybe it was a motion sensor so we staged a dance party in the kitchen. Aside from an amazing performance of "the robot" by my 5 year-old, nothing happened. At the end of the first month, our landlord came over to collect our giant pile of cash that we lovingly referred to as "rent." We had a friendly game of charades and ultimately learned that we were the proud renters of a floor sensor kitchen sink.

I was ecstatic. It solved the raw-chicken-hands-that-need-to-be-washed-but-you-can't-touch-the-sink-to-wash-them problem. And I can pick up my ice-cream finger and face daughter and get it all washed off without getting touched because I can use BOTH hands at the same time. And when I am coloring my icing, I just step over and rinse the knife off real quick without letting go of the bowl or the knife. I didn't want to tell you because I didn't want you guys to get all jealous and start neglecting your own kitchen sinks because secretly they just aren't good enough anymore.

As it turns out though...my floor sensor broke last week. So I am back to a normal kitchen sink. Seriously -- how do you guys do it? I mean...I have to touch it WITH MY HANDS? All that effort to move the lever...I've just about given up on having cleans hands ever again. I tried the anti-germ evaporating hand rub stuff. (WHAT is that called?) And it made my hands and anything I ate taste completely disgusting. I thought that maybe wet-wipes would be a better option, but my 2 year-old pulled them all out and spent the afternoon turning them into a castle on the floor. I guess I'm just going to have to lift my arm up and actually twist the water on every single time I need the sink from now on. I'm probably going to have to stop thinking about going to the gym to make up for all those additional calories I'll be burning from now on.


Either that or I'll just eat more cookies. But not these cookies. I'm going to hold on to these ones for basically forever. Guys -- I am so stinking excited about these cookies. And I'm just going to tell you why so that you can all pretend to be excited with me. These are ACTUALLY rattles!! I made a sugar-glass face to the top cookie and sandwiched non-pareils between the two layers of cookies!! I tried to make a video so you would believe me...but I'm incapable.

It is the first Friday of the month so that means I snagged this design off my cousin Pam. You know, 'cause she makes those incredibly adorable cards and all. Like this one. And there is a blue one to match.

There is this whole world of cookie possibilities that just opened up inside my head. I'm hoping to sneak in at least one more sugar-glass cookie before the world of humidity descends upon the peninsula. After that, I'm just giving everything up for lost until normal air comes back in the fall.

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