Thursday, February 5, 2015

Forest Themed Baby Shower Cookies

I always love making a set of cookies where I have free creative reign.  This set was an absolute joy to make.  I was given a theme and a price range to work within and this is what I came up with.
These cookies were for a baby shower and the theme was forest...from there I got to run with it.
I got to try a few new techniques on these cookies and am excited to try them again.

The first new technique I tried was an antique china crackle technique.  You can find a brilliant tutorial from the brilliant sweetambs.  I changed up the technique a bit because I didn't have fine enough petal dust to go into the etches I made.  On the first cookie pictured I made the etches extra deep and panted on the petal dust with a wet brush and then rubbed off the excess with a damp paper towel.  On the second cookie pictured I did lighter etches (which the petal dust didn't stick in very well) glazed it with corn syrup, let the corn syrup dry over night and then etched that again and added more petal dust.  This application seemed to work the best, the petal dust stuck in the etches made in the corn syrup.  If I do this method again I think I will only etch the corn syrup and skip etching the icing.  

The next technique I tried was making "moss" covered cookies.  I followed the wonderfully simple tutorial by Mike at Semi Sweet I opted to add the crushed up graham crackers to wet icing instead of letting it crust over (Like mike suggests) because I was concerned with the crumbs flaking off.  It worked perfectly.  I added some dimension to the cookies by adding a second layer of icing to the rabbit ears and tail and the squirrel's tail.  The finishing touch was to add cute little bow-ties to these topiary critters.  

Finally I did a reverse silhouette cookie, nothing fancy just a cut out of two adorable deer, sprayed over with a gold.  I am thrilled with how easy these were and how elegant the cookies turned out.  It is a technique that I will be revisiting some time soon.   

The following are a few closeups of each of the individual cookies.  What are your thoughts on this set?  Are there any new techniques out there that you want to try?

Hand painted toadstools and a  dapper topiary bunny 

Close up on those happy toadstools

Airbrushed tree with glittery gold heart leafs

Some spotted toadstools

Hand painted owls with gold detail and the china crackle birds

The whole set together on a nice wooden platter

Hope you all enjoyed this set.  Now go out there and try some new cookie techniques.  Let me know how your experiments turn out. 

Stay sweet everyone!!!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Holiday Baking

Better late than never right?  Between moving cities and starting a new career I still had time for a few cookie orders.  I had a lot of fun with these sets and had a chance to put my airbrush to good use. Up first is warm and cozy mitten themed set of cookies.

This set included fuzzy warm mittens, shiny bronze stars, wreaths, trees and a few hand painted winter scene cookies. 

Doesn't this set just make you want to curl up in front of a fire place with a cup of coco for dipping the cookies in?

Now that you are all warm and cozy how about a fun romp out in the snow.  The next set included snowflakes, hand painted winter scenes, and a few trees for good measure.  

The snowflakes were an assortment of airbrushed snowflakes with silver and gold sugar pearls, Sugar sprinkles snowflakes and shiny silver snowflakes.

The hand painted cookies have an airbrushed background with hand painted trees and cottages.

Finally one of my favorite parts of the holiday season...all the greenery.  I love putting up a Christmas tree each year and seeing all the evergreens outside covered in snow.  

I tried to capture the whimsy of the greenery during the holiday season a few different ways.  I did some decorated brush work tree cookies, wreath cookies, brushwork pine cone cookies, holly and a few lacy trees.  My favorite were the lacy trees, I just loved how they turned out.  

Just to round things off here are a few detail shots of the cookies. 

Hope you all had a wonderful holiday season, and a Happy New Year to you all!

Stay Sweet everyone <3

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Cookie Birthday Cake

I have always wanted to make a tiered cookie cake and finally had the chance!
This cake was a blast to make, plus it is a surprise cookie cake, the middle two tiers are hollowed out and filled with candy.

This was a super easy cookie to make, over and done with in one day.  The nice thing about a stacked cookie like this is you don't have to let the icing dry for 24 hours like your regular sugar cookies.  I have actually found that stacking after about 30 min of a set time helps the structure say together while still keeping it easy to take a cookie off .
Hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed making it.

Stay Sweet Everyone!

Key Cookies

The hubbie and I recently went to Korea for Korean Thanksgiving.  It was the first time we have seen his folks in two years.  It was a wonderful trip filled with great food and lots of family time.  The only down side of the trip....Hubbie forgot his green card.  Fair warning to any international don't need your green card to leave the U.S. but you do need it to get on the flight back into the U.S.

Lucky for hubbie and me my folks and apartment manager are awesome people.  My folks were able to get into our apartment and fedex hubbies green card to Korea.  It arrived just on time.
These cookies were for the apartment manager and office staff because they were so amazing, they really helped us out and because of their quick response to my S.O.S email hubbie and I were able to leave Korea together.

These cookies were a combo of airbrushing, stamping, wet on wet and royal icing transfers.
I made the keys and key rings by piping icing over parchment paper (with key designs laid underneath) once the keys were dried they were airbrushed with either copper or silver.
Next I flooded the cookies and let them set for 3 min. and added the key transfers to the semi wet icing.

It was my first time trying transfers and with such a delicate design I was terrified that they would all break.  Luckily for me only a few keys broke and I made sure to make a tone of them.

I am really happy with this set and can't wait to try making some more transfers in the near future.

Stay Sweet Everyone.

Dapper Animal Cookies

These cookies were a real treat to make.  They were made to match West Elm's Dapper Animal Plate set.

The plates and cookies were given as a gift at a bridal shower.

  I guess no one could believe they were cookies.  At first glance guests at the party thought they were napkins or coasters to match the plates.

I still don't know how I knocked these out.  I will call it a cookie miracle.  These cookies started out with a wet on wet icing technique.  

  A pink ivory icing outlined the animal head shape and an off white icing filled in the head.

 Then I hand painted each of the animals working off pictures from the West Elm website.

I am very proud of these cookies and love the plates... I am tempted to go out and get my self a set.
What do you all think?

Stay sweet everyone <3

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Madeleines/ blogging date night

The hubby and I have thought up a new brilliantly cheep date night.  It involves staying home a glass of wine or beer a camera and making stuff.  I am talking about a blogging date night of course.  Hubby has a blog about wine making.  For those of you who can read Korean go here for those of you who can't read Korean go check it out anyway it's fun to look at.
Basically date night consists of us helping each other with our projects.  I help the hubby make wine and he helps me with my baking.  We take pictures for one another and hold desk lamps up for one another (we are super technical with our lighting here)
Tonights date night involved the making of a traditional Korean rice wine Makgeolli  and Madeleine cookies (for breakfast on Sunday)

Because I had an extra hand while I was working I decided to make a tutorial for you all.  I have a few different ways that I make madeleines this is the very first way that I tried right after I bought my first pan.
The recipe I use is basically the same as the the one featured on  The Kitchn so if you don't need the pictures to help you out with the step by step I would recommend going over there.  If you want to hang out and look at some photos then this is the place to be.

You Will Need:

1 stick of butter and 3 tablespoons of butter (for greasing the pan)
2/3 cup of sugar
1 cup of flour and 1 tablespoon (for the pan)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
Pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter)
1 tablespoon lemon juice (about 1/2 a lemon)
Zest of 1 lemon (about 1 tablespoon)

How To Do It:

1. Cut one stick of butter into small chunks and place in a small sauce pan.  Melt the butter until it starts to bubble, you can remove from the heat now or for extra tasty madeleines brown your butter.  Keep it on medium heat until you can see the butter start to brown or smell a toasty nutty smell. Be sure to keep a close eye on your butter or it can burn.  Once removed from the heat pour into a small bowl and set aside to cool.

toasty nutty sweet browned butter

2. Mix 1 cup of flour and the 2/3 cup of sugar into a small bowl and set aside

3. Place the wet ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer or a medium sized bowl.  With the whisk attachment mix the two eggs, vanilla, salt, lemon juice and zest until the eggs are frothy.

ready to get mixin
frothy happy eggs
ready for the dry ingredients
4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet and then fold in the cooled butter (the butter can still be warm to the touch but not hot, you don't want to cook your eggs)

mix mix mix

add the butter
look at that nice nutty browned butter
5. Rest the batter in the fridge for 1 hour to overnight.

mix just until incorporated.  you don't want to loose you air bubbles that you whisked into the eggs. 
6. While the batter is resting melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter and whisk in the remaining tablespoon of flour.

7. Prepare your pans by brushing the melted butter and flour mixture into the pans.  Place the pans in the freezer for 1 hour to overnight.

brush brush brush

8. Preheat the oven to 350 and fill the pans with one tablespoon of batter for each well.

9. Bake for 8 minutes and then rotate the pans, bake for an additional 5 minutes.  The madeleines should be brow around the edges and have puffy domes along the back.  When touched the madeleines should feel a bit spongy.

10. Remove and let the madeleines cool for 2 minutes in the pan.  Invert the pan over a cookie sheet or cooling rack and lightly tap.
11. Dust with powdered sugar or dip in chocolate or just eat them as they are.

The hubby and I had these for breakfast with some fruit salad and coffee.

Have a Sweet Sunday everyone ^^

as always Stay Sweet