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Mini Valentine Cookies

2 Feb

I still had some chocolate dough and frosting left over from my first batch of Valentine cookies, and I had this cute little set of Mini Valentine Cookie Cutters sitting on my counter, staring at me, waiting to be used. So I whipped up a teeny-tiny batch of itty-bitty cookies. They were fun! I like working with teeny cookies, because you just need the simplest of designs to make them look cute. Their size alone invokes some level of cuteness, so anything else you add is just icing on the… um….cookie. (yeah, that was bad)

Hugs and Kisses!

These were kind of tricky to get out of the cutters. I had to make sure the dough was super cold and I dipped the cutter in flour, and both of those things helped a lot. Just a little tip for you if you have cutters that have small-ish parts that don’t want to come out of the cookie cutter.

Lil' scalloped hearts

Cute as a button!

I tried my hand at imitating Pam’s cute buttons. The left one was my first try. It turned out kinda ugly, but I left it in here as a teachable moment. Do you feel it coming? Sometimes the best thing you can do is mess up a cookie, because you learn a lot from it. From this one, I learned that #1, I needed to make the circles much larger than I originally thought. Even though you want tiny button holes, once you fill in the rest of the cookie, those holes are going to shrink up. So make them larger than you think. Then I learned lesson #2: Don’t let the circles dry before filling in the rest of it or it looks funky. Draw the button holes and then fill in the rest immediately so it’s all nice and blended in. And #3, make sure your base is really dry before you add the rim of the button so that it’s more defined.  See– my second try there on the right is much better, don’t you think? Lessons learned every day…

Itty bitty double-hearts

Hearts with Arrows

I think I like the simplest arrow the best. Simple is better on tiny cookies, I always say. (Actually, I just started saying that right now… but from now on, I always say it)

When you’re all done with your minis, you can pile them all up on a plate (with the ugly ones on the bottom of the pile):

Piles of Minis!

OR– check this out. I was really excited about how the next presentation turned out. I had these little candy boxes and some mini cupcake liners. I thought it would be cute to package them like they were little candies in a box. So I loaded them up like this:

Cute, huh? I love the look of this! Each paper cup has 2-3 cookies in it. They could have all had 3, but I just didn’t have enough cookies to fill it (a few disappeared somehow…), so this little 7″x4″ box will hold about 2 dozen mini cookies! I think it looks like a fancy gift, but it’s really quite simple.

If you want to try this for Valentine’s Day this year, just tell me so in the comments on this post. I’ll chose one winner using random.org and I’ll send the winner:

 

These

And this

and this

and this

and these

and six of these

You could make 6 cute little Valentine gift boxes! (but don’t worry, I won’t hold you to it. You can use them for whatever you want!)

Please only enter one time. I’ll close the contest at midnight on Thursday, February 3. I had a few people ask when midnight is for us. We’re Mountain time, but if you comment by midnight on February 3rd your time, wherever you are, I won’t disqualify you! Try to get it done by midnight mountain time because then I don’t have to think as much, but if it’s still midnight where you are, I’ll count it! :D

Thanks for reading!

Oh, and happy Groundhog Day!

Food Coloring Markers

26 Jan

So I made the postage stamps in my Valentine set and piped on the cancellation lines:

But I wasn’t crazy about them, and thought that using a food coloring marker would actually look more like a cancellation stamp. But then I thought that I would probably need all of the decorations to be flat in order to do that, so that’s when I did the top right stamp. I just added all the decorations while the base glaze was still wet so it would all settle in nicely.

Very simple design. They don’t have to be fancy at all. Especially since you’re going to draw over the top of it.

Ok, so I was totally going to Photoshop this cookie. Because look:

I was trying to hold the pen with my right hand and take the picture with my left hand. That doesn’t work, by the way. So then I tried holding the pen with my left hand and taking the picture with my right hand. That didn’t work either. So I had my daughter hold the pen. Um…. that REALLY didn’t work! She ended up drawing all over it. So I had to use a damp paper towel to rub off the markings, and there were some smudges left over. So I was going to Photoshop the smudges off. But I decided to keep it real. Hey, have you ever seen stamps after they go through the mail? They’re all smudged up. It adds to the look….right?? :D Just a little plug to say that if your cookies aren’t perfect, that’s ok!

The finished product. Smudges and all.

I love using the food coloring markers. There are so many possibilities. Do you have some of these?

I’ll give a set of 2 black Gourmet writers to one lucky commenter. Please only enter one time. Just post and tell me what you’re having for dinner tonight because I need ideas. :D I’ll choose the winner using Random.org. Enter by midnight Thursday, January 27. I’ll announce the winner Friday morning.

Have a great Wednesday!

Blog Ribbon Cutting

21 Jan

Well, I’ve been blogging for almost 2 weeks now. I decided to wait to see if I could really keep up with it before I had a big “Blog Grand Opening” celebration. I think now is as good a time as any! Thanks to all of you who found me early on and encouraged me to continue. I really appreciate the encouragement, and it has helped to renew my commitment to keep going. Thank you!

So, for my first big giveaway, I’m giving away…

a $100 Karen’s Cookies gift certificate!

You can buy a lot of stuff with $100! You could buy…

these...

or these....

or this...

or this....

Or these....

Or these (for Valentine's day coming up!)...

or these little cuties...

or a couple of these (have you tried them? They're awesome!)...

OR all of the above and still have a few dollars left over! Of course you can come up with your own mix of fun stuff. Whatever strikes your fancy!

The rules:

You can enter up to TWO times. For the first time, just post a comment and tell me the first thing on your list to buy if you win. If you’ve already been to our site lots of times and know exactly what you want, that’s great. If you’re not sure yet, or don’t know exactly what we carry, hop on over to Karen’s Cookies and see what we have. Then come back and tell me what you like.

For the second entry, you can “like” us on facebook. If you already “like” us, just comment here on the blog and tell us that. If not, head on over to our facebook page and click “like”, then come back and tell us that you did it.

Please keep your entries to two. I’ll choose the winner by using Random.org. All entries need to be received by midnight mountain time on Sunday, January 23. I’ll announce the winner Monday morning.

Good luck, and have a great weekend!

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!

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