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The Maze Runner Cookies

1 Oct

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Did you know I have a famous cousin? I do! My cousin, James Dashner, wrote a book called the Maze Runner. On September 19, the movie based on his book was released in theaters!

My son Casey and I got to go to a sneak-peak screening with James down in Utah the night before it’s release.

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Some of you might recognize my sister Kristie and her daughter Kira as two of my super-awesome CookieCon staffers. The giant boy in the back is my son, Casey, and the other two boys are Kristie’s. That’s James sandwiched between his proud-as-punch cousins.

I wanted to bring a congratulatory gift, but what do you give a guy whose dreams have literally all come true in the past months and years?

Cookies, that’s what!

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That is the magic of cookies, don’t you think? Everyone loves cookies, and the time spent on making them pretty makes them special. Need a gift for the guy who has everything? Cookies! Need a gift for the guy who feels like he still has a long row to hoe in life? Cookies! Both will appreciate their gift equally.  Isn’t that amazing? I love it.

So I made some movie themed cookies. I made some tickets:

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I used our Small Plaque cutter and just cut off the rounded parts at the top and bottom to make these tickets. Super easy, and cute. (The ticket numbers are the release date of the movie! You could do a birth-date if you were doing birthday cookies.)

Then I made a clapper:

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I couldn’t figure out what shape to use for this, so I just cut it out by hand. It’s pretty easy to hand-cut a mostly-rectangular cookie. If you’ve never tried hand-cutting, that’s a good one to start with.

Some plain shimmery stars:

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This is something that took me a while to learn, but I learned it from the best. I think one of Callye’s (Sweet Sugarbelle) strengths is her ability to mix in some easy, plain cookies with her fancier (time consuming!) designs. I used to think every cookie I made had to be detailed and extra-fancy. Then I realized, after watching what Callye does, that mixing in some simple cookies not only saves you buckets of time, but it also adds to the overall presentation. If every cookie is wildly detailed, sometimes it’s just too much to look at. These stars were outlined in black, filled in yellow, and sprinkled lightly with Rainbow Disco Dust. They probably took about a minute a piece! Wish I would have learned this sooner!

Then, what’s a movie without popcorn?

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This was also hand-cut, but you could do it on a tombstone, or on the Ice Cream Soda cutter. Or you could just do it on a plain ol’ rectangle. (Remember that post where I was going to make 100 things on rectangle cookies? Haha… yeah. Well there’s another one for ya!) Actually the clapper could be done on a rectangle, too. It would just need to be closed, which would be equally cute.

I also made a cookie that was supposed to look like the cover of The Maze Runner book, but it pretty much looked terrible, so I’m not going to show you an up close and personal picture of it!! :D But here’s another lesson about decorating cookies. Even if you make an ugly cookie, when you mix it in with the cute ones, the general look is there! Here they are all together:

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If you look closely at the book cookie in the middle, you will see that it looks pretty darned bad. But with the others surrounding it, it passes.

So anyway, congratulations to my cousin, James! I am so happy for all of his success! And for you, Cookie-Decorating-Reader, keep making cookies. They really are the perfect gift for just about any occasion.

Have a happy Wednesday!!

 

 

New Plaque & Scalloped Oval Cutters (and of course a give-away!) *Giveaway Closed*

9 May

We’ve had an unbelievable response from our square and rectangle fancy frame cutters and we’ve seen some AMAZING things done with them from so many people. So we came up with a couple of new shapes that hopefully will inspire as much creativity. Say hello to our new Plaque and Scalloped Oval cutters!

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Just as before, we wanted to just come up with a basic shape to use as a canvas, and let the creativity flow from there. Also, people have loved the frame cutters for message cookies! So once again, here are a couple of new shapes to allow you to write just about anything you want – or just decorate them up for whatever occasion you’re decorating for.

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So here are just a few ideas I came up with (And, ok— Mike helped!) Can I just point out that the Summers family wasn’t really established in 2000? My head said “1996” and my hand said “2000”.  By the time my hand caught up with my brain, it was too late. Does that ever happen to you?  But anyway, I digress. I”m so excited to get these cutters out there and see what you uber-creative geniuses come up with!

These cutters are now available on Karen’s Cookies if you’d like to try them out! Click here to see them. We have the Plaque in large and small, and the Scalloped Oval in large and small. To save you some money on them we’ve got a 15% off coupon for you as well! Just type in may2013 in the coupon code box on the shopping cart page and the coupon will be applied.

Ok, so let’s give a few of these away shall we?

Reply to this post by the end of the weekend (By end of day Sunday, May 12th) and we’ll randomly draw 5 of you to win a complete set of these four new cutters (Plaque in two sizes, and the Scalloped Oval in two sizes).

Since it’s Mother’s Day weekend, go ahead and tell me what you love about your mom. I’ll go first– My mom is my number one fan. She has always encouraged me to grow my talents and go after my dreams, (even if they’re a little looney), and she always tells me how proud she is of me even if I don’t deserve it. Thank you, Mom. I love you!

Good Luck!

Christmas JOY Cookies

20 Dec

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I’ve had a hard time getting into the Christmas spirit this year. I think it’s a combination of being busy,  no snow (really weird for this part of the country), and incredibly sad things going on in the world. Ironically though, I think it may be the saddest thing in the news that pushed me into the Christmas Spirit more than anything. I spent a few days being devastated by the news. It’s such an incomprehensible thing that happened. I have elementary school children so it is impossible to fully to comprehend the pain of those families. But at church this past Sunday we sang “I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”, and it really touched me.  Here are some of the words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

And in despair I bowed my head,
‘There is no peace on Earth’, I said”
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on Earth good will to men.

Then Pealed the Bells more loud and deep
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With Peace on Earth, good will to men.”

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The true Christmas Spirit is about Hope.

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And Peace

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And Joy

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It doesn’t take away the bad things that happen in the world, but it gives me hope that things can get better, and that there is more good in the wold than bad. So I made some joyous cookies to help get me into the Spirit of Christmas.

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And it was fun.  And it made me happy. Did you see Sweet Sugarbelle’s 12 Days of Christmas project this year? She had 12 amazing decorators collaborate and each took one day. They were all absolutely mind-blowingly gorgeous, but I was particularly inspired by the 9 Ladies Dancing post by Sarah of Klickitat Street. She showed some cool ways to make lacy accents, and it made me get out my decorating bags and give it a whirl. I had so much fun with it. Definitely check it out and give it a try.

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I’m giving them to my kids’ teachers this year in (cheap!) tins I found at Wallgreens.

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I think they’ll like finding the layers of joy.

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And I hope that all of you find many layers of joy this Christmas season.

“For unto you is born this day in the City of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”  Luke 2:11

Merry Christmas!

Julia M. Usher’s Ultimate Cookie Decorating Series

3 Dec

We had the wonderful opportunity to meet Julia M. Usher in person last month at CookieCon. She was there as a sponsor and instructor, and did an awesome demonstration on cookie stenciling and 3D cookie design and construction. On top of that, she’s simply a very nice person. So when she told us she had some lessons available online, we were very excited to watch them.

Well, now that we’ve watched every second of each of her 16 video tutorials we can tell you that they are awesome!

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The lessons are based off of her book “Ultimate Cookies”. But even if you have the book, it’s so useful to actually see the techniques she shows in video format. She covers a LOT of techniques too! She starts with the basics making icing, cutting out cookies, making parchment cones, her favorite tools, and then outlining and flooding. Then she gets into all sorts of fun stuff like marbling, stenciling, using rubber stamps on cookies, applique work, wafer paper, and more.

One of the coolest things about Julia and her decorating philosophy is that she’s a minimalist when it comes to tools. That means that she’ll show you how to get the very most out of very basic and inexpensive equipment. Seriously – you can spend a small fortune on tips, and bags, and couplers, and squeeze bottles… or check out all that Julia does with a sheet of parchment paper. It really is amazing – and VERY encouraging to anyone wanting to learn how to decorate. It really doesn’t take much to do some very beautiful work.

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So these are videos you need to pay for to view, but they are WELL worth the very reasonable price. You can actually just pick and choose the individual lessons for a couple bucks a piece, but the price for the whole set is a meager $12.99. It gives you plenty of time to watch them too, so you can look back and review specific lessons at your leisure.

So yeah, this gets an easy two thumbs up from us. Karen’s Cookies has always been about being the best resource we can to budding cookie artists, so we simply cannot pass up the opportunity to give Julia M. Usher and her Ultimate Cookie Decorating Series our full endorsement and encourage you to check her out.

Julia’s video series can be purchased securely and viewed through Youreeeka.com. Click here or on the image below to check out a free preview.

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Frame Cookies Winner

21 Oct

Ok, I just LOVED LOVED LOVED looking through the links to the beautiful frame cookies everyone posted!  We are still very excited to have these new designs!  We ran all entries through a random number generator and it picked…. (drum roll)
Tatyana!
She made these beautiful cookies here:

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Congrats on the $100 Gift Certificate Tatyana!  I’ve already decided that we’ll be having another contest in the future.  We should be getting in a new (and much larger) batch of these cutters in within the next few days!

Thanks so much to all who entered!

Fancy Frames *Giveaway Closed*

26 Sep

So remember when we unveiled our first custom cutters?  We had such a great response, and we were blown away by your enthusiasm. In that post, we asked what other cutters you would like to see, and MANY of you said you would like to see some fancy rectangle and square cutters for messages and filler cookies. That was back in April, and later that month we were in Louisville with many of you, and the request was (strongly!) reiterated.

Please fast-forward 5 months.

Guess what we have? (finally)

Fancy Frame cutters!!

Yay! We have two sizes of squares, and two sizes of rectangles.

Large rectangle.

Small rectangle.

Big square.

Little square.

There are seriously ENDLESS ways you could decorate these. I did just a few examples to get your creative juices flowing.

Are you seeing some potential?


I left most of them blank so you could imagine different things written on them.

Oh, and because I ruin them when I write on them.

But imagine what YOU could write. Maybe a wedding monogram?

Or a regular old everyday monogram?

Or a big THANK YOU for being awesome.

You need these. Comment below for a chance to win one of 10 (TEN!) sets of our four new cutters. Please include your name and email address (use the email address box in the comment form so it’s hidden. Otherwise all kinds of crazies might email you) so we can contact you if you win.  Please comment by Friday, September 28 by 7pm Pacific time. I will use random.org to pick 10 winners. International entries are accepted.

For those of you who want to place an order, we have a coupon for 15% off your entire order– including sale prices! Use the coupon code happyfall15.

Thanks for reading! Sorry I’ve had a long absence (again). I appreciate you still checking in!

The Best Laid Plans…

22 Jun

You know that quote about the best laid plans…. Hmm. Me either. Something about how they don’t work out so well? Or something. Well anyway, today I am rethinking my blog. I think where I get hung up is that I think every post needs to be AWESOME. Like a huge awesome tutorial that will blow your mind. Or a super-awesome-never-been-done-before series of  50 cookies. Or a big fun giveaway. But you know what? Every post doesn’t need to be like that. So I’m starting today and I’m turning over a new leaf. I will still have the tutorials, and I will still have crazy-fun giveaways, but in between– you’re going to get posts like this.

So I had the best idea. The BEST, I tell you. I wanted to do a post where I showed you 100 things you can do with a rectangle cookie cutter. Yes, you heard me right. ONE HUNDRED. So I sat down with my kids and we made a list. We got to about 85 or 86, and figured it was good. I could think of the rest while I was decorating. I got out my trusty rectangle cookie cutter set and got to work.

I made a name tag:

A lunch bag:

A puppet that you can make when you recycle your lunch bag:

A chalkboard, Green Version:

And black version:

A book:

(Are you sensing a theme here? I told you my kids helped! They’re elementary school students. They do what they know.)

A piece of notebook paper:

French Fries:

A traffic light; Plain version:

Fancy version:

A suitcase:

And a license plate from the great state of Idaho:

And then my life went crazy.

We got about a 10th of the way there!! I would really like to finish it someday, but these pictures have been waiting to be posted for more than six months. So here they are. No fancy fanfare.  Just some rectangle cookies, and a wish for a happy, fun weekend for all of you!  Happy Friday!

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