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Quick Tip Tuesday -- Keep Your Sanding Sugar Where You Want It

If you are going to use sanding sugar, there are some thing you need to know about it.


1. Sanding sugar is a fun accent.

2. It's sparkly. And I like that.

3. You can use it to add dimension.
4. It gets everywhere. Everywhere is not an exaggeration. It gets in your brain and under your microwave. It sticks to your clothes and rolls into the shadows. You've got to build yourself a trap and be ready for it before it turns on you. There's no room for tolerance and mercy here. Sanding sugar is not going to give you a second chance.

Make sure that the entire cookie is dry. Pipe fresh icing wherever you want the sanding sugar to stick. Place the cookie on a cooling rack or dehydrator tray. Put two paper towels underneath the rack or tray. The paper towels should still be connected.

Use a spoon to gently shake the sanding sugar over the top of the cookie, completely covering the fresh icing.

Gently shake the rack or tray and the excess sanding sugar will fall through the crac…

Decorated Cherry Jam Cookies

Some days are the worst days, aren't they? People are making horrific choices all over the world. WE make bad choices. People around us are "intentionally" mean and impatient. I'm not quite sure that it is possible to be thoughtless on purpose, but if it were... they would be doing that as well. You know, because there is so much bad in society that it's probably just going to implode on itself soon anyway It's really not worth the effort of trying to do good any more. Except... that it is. Because there *IS* so much good still in our lives.

Like a little boy dying of cancer. (Admittedly very depressing, but stay with me here.) All he cares about is making other people happy and inspiring others to be a little nicer. In fact, he spends what time he has raising money to help other children fighting cancer.

Like his mother who has never ever stopped trying to make the world better. She continues trying to bring happiness to others and spread joy even when her …

Puffy Icing -- Quick Tip Tuesday

Pumpkin season is coming. Which means... you're going to need some puffy icing to get all that gorgeous texture you've been dreaming about all year. There are 2 things you need to know if you want puffy icing.


First -- and really, this is ALWAYS the first thing you should think about when making cookies -- you need the right icing consistency. For regular type puffy icing, when you draw a line through the icing with a knife, it should take at least 15 seconds to disappear. But if you want crazy-puffy type icing, it needs to be closer to 19-20 seconds before it disappears.

My new test for puffy icing consistency sounds a little passive-aggressive, but I'm going to tell you anyway. I stir it all up and then while the surface of the icing is all uneven and you can still see the stir lines, I bang the bowl on the counter 5 times. If the surface has smoothed out... I call it good. I'm just a little impatient these days and have decided that 20 seconds is entirely too long…

Shading a Baseball Mitt Cookie

I'm first generation computer literate. I grew up with paper. My elementary school got computers when I was in the 4th grade. It was kind of  a big deal and we had a bunch of classes to learn how to NOT touch the eye hole on the floppy disk before we were allowed to actually use one of those computers. And the screens were black and green. And made sounds like "pew, pew, pew" and "tick, tick, tick." And we all thought we were going to be geniuses because we were using COMPUTERS!

And then they got all mainstream and everyone in high school was building their own website. Mine had rainbow colored text because I was a teenage girl and I couldn't possibly conceive of a world where people wouldn't want to read a rainbow texted website. And we all got email addresses. Of our own. And we didn't tell our parents. And then we sent each other messages. Again, without telling our parents. We were rebels. We were the first computer generation. We taught our pa…

Quick Tip Tuesday -- 3 ways to tell if your icing is too thin

I'm not quite sure what I've done to Autumn. But the fact of the matter is... that Autumn doesn't like me. Either that or Autumn REALLY likes me and is also a 10 year old boy. That explanation makes more sense because I've been super nice to Autumn. I welcome it with open arms. I decorate my house so it feels all comfortable. We get ready for the visit weeks before it actually comes. And a few weeks ago it got cold out of nowhere. And it rained. And we wore jackets and opened the windows and thought that life was beautiful and fresh and livable again. My kids were skipping to school. Actually, that might have been me again. I just love Autumn. And then...

Autumn went away. And left a joy sucking hole behind in the shape of Autumn. I refused to admit that it was gone. I left my windows open in the face of the returned heat. You couldn't have ripped my jacket from my overheated body. And I felt completely justified when Autumn came back a week later. I thought maybe …

Quick Fall Leaves -- Cookies and Cards

Honestly, how many different ways can a person make fall leaf cookies?

Apparently, I can make them 5 more ways than I already have. And I've already made them a lot of ways. Wet-on-wet, with colored dough and dipped in pumpkin butter cream, I've made them with gold specks and with tiny little daisy dots on them. Actually, that's not that many ways. It's only four. And today I tried them five more ways. Which is way more than double. I have more than doubled the number of ways I can make fall leaf cookies. I'm like a fall leaf making machine.


But the real question is how many ways can a person make fall leaf cookies EASIER?



But first, let's talk about how once a month, I get to rifle though my amazing cousin's super creative paper project blog and make one of her designs into cookies. Like these leaves and umm... autumn type nut things. My goodness! What are they called? Acorns. Whew. That was close.

I originally thought I would just whip out the airbrush I…

Quick Tip Tuesday -- Bake Perfect Circles

Circles remind me of middle school. The taunting, the teasing, the unachievable perfection staring me in the face. Luckily, there's no impossible locker code to remember for baking perfect circles. Just this one simple tip.

Use 2 circle cutters.

The end.

Just kidding. Let's be clear. First, it's super important that you find a recipe you love that doesn't spread. (Try this vanilla or this chocolate one if you need a suggestion.) Then cut out a circle of dough just larger than the circle you actually want. Transfer it in all its wonky, stretching goodness to your baking sheet. Then re-cut with your smaller, perfect circle cutter. Remove the excess cookie dough and...Ta da! Instant perfect circle for baking. The end for real.


NEED MORE?



My favorite set of circle cutters. Arguably my favorite set of cutters ever.


How to pipe a straight line.



Keep your letters clean and sharp.






Put those baked circles to good use with these Halloween circle designs.