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Party Time!

19 Jan

About the same time that we got the Jungle Pals cutters that I showed you before, we also got these fun party theme cutters:

I still had some chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge so I thought I may as well try these guys out, too! Here’s what I came up with.

Presents

Party Hats

Cakes. See the one on the left? I was trying my best to be asymmetrical, because I'm always way too symmetrical. I ended up with asymmetrical symmetric lines. I tried.

Cupcakes!

My favorite was the yellow one.

I liked the swirls, which were inspired by Brenda’s super cute swirly cupcakes. I can’t do them quite like she can, but I thought it was cute anyway!

And the red one has potential. My black frosting was a little too thick so my outlines were kind of rough. If you ever run into that with Meringue Powder Buttercream (or Royal Icing, for that matter) don’t be afraid to add a few drops of water to thin it down a bit. You’ll get lots smoother lines. I did end up adding some water, but not till after I did this cookie:

See how the lines (around the cherry especially) are kind of bumpy and rough? That’s from the frosting being too thick.  Just a little FYI.

Some groupings:

I wasn’t too excited about the pink set, and I couldn’t put my finger on why. I think I just figured it out. I don’t think I like the black outlines with them. I tend to default to black outlines because generally I really like that style. I like the cartoon-y coloring-book type look. But I don’t know about black with the pastels. When you try this at home, go for a white or grey outline.

And you ARE going to try this at home, right? Because if you do, you’re going to need the cutters. Comment on this post by Midnight tomorrow (Thursday, Jan 20, which happens to be my sister’s birthday- Happy Birthday Shannon!!), and I’ll pick a winner at random to get the cutters.

Thanks for reading!

Jungle Animals

14 Jan

We got these sets of Wilton Jungle Pals cutters in several months ago.

I’ve been dying to play with them, but we got into the holidays and things got BUSY, so it had to wait till now!  I was looking at my sweet baby girl (who isn’t such a baby anymore, and who is also not always sweet, but most of the time she is….) And noticed that her monkey jammies had little monkey faces on them that were exactly the same shape as the monkey face cookie cutter!

See?

So I had some inspiration, and I had some chocolate chip cookie dough in the fridge, (which was also weird because Sweet Sugarbelle posted the same recipe on the SAME day that I made these! Great minds think alike!), so it was meant to be that I should bake up some Jungle Pals!

Monkeys!

Lions!

Elephants!

Everybody!

To decorate these guys, I used my old stand-by Meringue Powder Buttercream. This is the recipe that I’ve been using for 10+ years.  I’ve been experimenting with other icings lately, and some of them are really fun! Cookie Crazie Pam uses a corn syrup icing that I’ve really had fun with, and I’ve revisited royal icing lately. But I always seem to come back to the Meringue Powder Buttercream. I guess we’re old buddies.

To decorate, I outlined with full-strength MPB (that’s short for Meringue Powder Buttercream. But now that I had to explain, I might as well have just written the whole thing and saved myself about 29 words!), and then thinned some down to fill in the sections. Sometimes I use squeeze bottles for filling in with thinned-down buttercream, but this time I just used disposable bags and tips, and that works really well, too. It’s really a matter of personal preference which one you use.

After the base coat dried, I piped on their faces and added some pink petal dust cheeks with a Q-tip. I really wished I had a darker pink, especially for the monkeys. I’m going to have to get some darker pink in my shop! For the girl monkeys and Elephants, I added a jumbo daisy flower with an icing dot for the center. So easy, and I think it added a lot!

These were my favorites from each species:

Do you want to make some Jungle Pals cookies, too? Of course you do! Comment on this post by Sunday (January 16) at midnight Mountain Time, and I’ll pick a winner at random and send you a set of the cutters. Your chances are pretty good of winning, too, because not many people know about this blog yet! :D Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win (don’t worry– your email address won’t be visible to the public, but I’ll see it on the back end). Have a happy weekend, and I’ll see you on Monday!

Winter Cookies

12 Jan

Back to cookies!! It’s cold here in Idaho, and I’ve heard that it’s snowing in weird places. My cousins in the south are getting snow, which is really unusual for them. Brrrr…. It’s winter for sure.

I have a recent obsession with disco dust. I particularly love the white. I wish it showed up in photos better.

(And sorry for the pink tint to my pictures. At least there’s plenty of room for improvement!)

I hadn’t used royal icing in a loooooong time. Probably 10 years or more, but I was in a hurry to get these cookies done for an event we were doing, and I had a package of the CK Products Royal Icing Mix that I’d been wanting to try. It’s nice because it’s a “just add water” mix. I decided to give it a whirl. I really liked it! It was fun to work with, and super easy and fast, which is always a bonus. The only thing I don’t like about Royal Icing is the matte finish. I loved how the disco dust fixed that problem right up!

Along with the disco dust obsession (and the cupcakes…), I’ve also had a recent “square cookie” obsession. (Am I easily obsessed? Why yes, I am.) Anyway, I love doing sets of squares with monograms on them to make a word. Add in some sanding sugar and/or non pareils, and I think it adds such fun textures. Here’s a close-up:

That O cookie is supposed to be tilted so the top-right corner is pointing straight up. If you could kindly use your imagination and picture it that way, I’d appreciate it!

And some close-ups of the snow gear.  My gray and light blue (and regular blue, and white…) icings were a little too runny, so it lost some definition. Which isn’t a problem with the royal icing mix, by the way. I just added a little too much extra water. And I could have fixed it up with some extra powdered sugar.  But I was in a hurry! :D

I love the Nu Silver luster dust on the ice skate. It adds such a fun effect.

Stay warm out there!!

Valentine Hearts

8 Jan

I can’t believe it’s already January EIGHTH!  How did that happen? Valentine’s day is coming right up, so for my first “real” post, I have some fun cookies for you to try. These are actually some of the very first cookies I ever tried when I was learning cookie decorating. I received a little tin of heart-shaped cookies as a gift, and inside was a recipe for powdered sugar glaze (similar to this one) and some simple instructions for drizzling and swirling the icing. I had so much fun doing them, and I’ve loved this method ever since. Give it a try, and if you have kids, they would LOVE to play around with these!

Bake a batch of cookies using one of our recipes or your own. Make a batch of frosting using one of our frosting recipes. One batch of frosting will cover approximately 3 dozen medium cookies.

Turn the finished frosting into glaze by adding 5 Tablespoons of water per batch of meringue powder buttercream, or 3 Tablespoons of water per batch of royal icing. Stir until smooth.

Divide glaze evenly into 3 bowls. Color one red, one pink, and one white. Pour half of each color into squeeze bottles. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and cap bottles when not in use to prevent drying.

NOTE: We use a cookie scraper in our photos. If you don’t have one, a toothpick will do.


With each design, start with a base coat of glaze. Choose a color and apply an even layer over the cookie. Keep this layer thin to prevent oozing when other colors are added.


To create multiple background colors, first pipe a dam using a squeeze bottle. Allow this to dry briefly, then glaze each section as described previously.

You’re ready to decorate! Before your base dries, finish your design using the following instructions – depending on the desired design.

Helpful Hint: Clean off the tip of your scraper or toothpick between swipes to avoid unwanted color blending!


Draw a series of lines across the glazed cookie with a squeeze bottle. Then drag your scraper or toothpick alternately up and down through lines.


Draw concentric hearts, then drag lines from the outside to the center. For a different look you can drag from the center outward.


Try two designs on one cookie! Make flat dots by placing your dots while the base is wet, or raised dots by doing so after the base has dried.


Create a tie-dye look by first drawing lines across the cookie, then dragging the scraper in an outward swirl, starting from the center.


Hearts are fun and easy! Place dots onto your wet glaze using a squeeze bottle, then drag through the entire column in one motion.


Get creative with your hearts! Here we placed the dots around the outside before dragging through them. We ended with a stylish tail on the last heart.


For a fun free-form design, place a cookie on wax paper, then drizzle quick lines back and forth. These lines will lay flat against your background if done when wet, or will be raised if done after base dries.

This technique can be used to decorate several cookies at once. Place cookies close together to prevent waste, and have fun!


To make flowers, arrange groups of 4 dots. Make heart petals by dragging through each dot toward the center of the grouping. Finish each flower by placing a dot where the tails meet.


Draw a series of arching lines across heart. Drag your scraper downward through the lines, curving your paths toward the outside edges of the cookie. Finish off with a dot in each section.

Tip: Keep your capped squeeze bottles upside-down in cups. This will keep the glaze down toward the tip and ready to use!


Hopefully this helps you start thinking of all the countless ways you can apply these techniques to your own new creations.

Enjoy!

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