Monday, January 30, 2012

Forest Creature Cookies + Piping & Flooding

For Christmas, my friend Carrie got me this great set of forest animal cookie cutters from IKEA:

Forest Animal Cookie Cutters

Naturally, I itched to make cookies with them. I decided almost straight away to not make any snails—seriously, how many people want to eat a snail cookie. I'm planning on using that cutter at some later date to make whale cookies instead! I also had instant plans for the hedgehog cookie cutter, which I'll share in the next post. The remaining cookies I made into somewhat realistic-looking forest critters.

The bear cookies turned out both brown bears and polar bears, for example:

brown bear gingerbread cookie
Archibald, the brown bear, known to his friends as "Archie"

Polar Bear Cookie
Shiro, the polar bear cub

Oh yes, I should warn you—I have a tendency to give my cookies names :D

The squirrels I found very difficult, as the photo of this little guy will testify:

Squirrel Cookie
Frank, the squirrel from Illi-NOIS

Then, there were the moose:

moose cookie
Egbert, the ever-ready moose

Disco Moose Cookie
Elvis, the disco moose

Lastly, there were the foxes. I took pictures of the different stages, so you can see how they ended up where they did:

Fox cookie with piped outline
I piped an outline around the cookies with a #2 tip

Fox cookies, flooded
I flooded them with orange and white, respectively

fox cookie
Next day, I piped outlines & painted faces

I thought I had them, until the very end—I can't draw to save my life, and the tip of the edible black marker is thick and imprecise. The foxes ended up looking kinda dorky.

Even though I'm a bit embarrassed, I figured I'd post these so you can keep tabs on my learning curve. I will go back and make more some day when I've improved my skills (and figured out a better edible marker). Point is, they tasted great and I had a blast making them :)

Next post, I'll talk to you about hedgehogs. Until then, I hope you have fun baking & decorating!


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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Christmas 2011 Cookies

My next endeavors were Christmas cookies—I had already learned a few tricks, and the results were a bit better. I bet when I compare them to the Christmas cookies next Christmas, though, I'll be surprised at how I could ever think them pretty!


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Thursday, January 19, 2012

Where It All Started

Some of my best childhood memories are of the whole family baking and decorating cookies at Christmastime. My little sister and I would spend hours making fantastical creations, which didn't really look all that fancy. Our mom would make "the pretty ones" — the ones which were going to be served when guests came, the ones we weren't allowed to eat yet.

When my baby boy turned one in December, I was determined to make cookies for him myself; cookies that were "the pretty ones." I knew I had no shot at making a successful cake, so I ordered one and concentrated on the cookies instead. "Nugget" was (and is) into farm animals, so cows and goats galore were coming up. I labored for days making them, only to discover that my royal icing recipe was flawed and that the icing started to crystallize and change colors after a day or so. I also discovered that I had little natural ability. But I was staunchly determined I would make gorgeous farm animal cookies if it killed me. Here is what I ended up with:

December, 2011.

So, as you can see, not brilliant, but not terrible either. This is when the cookie bug bit me and I became resolved to learn how to really make beautiful cookies.

As with anything else, the key to mastering cookies is PRACTICE. Lots of it. Thank goodness my friends and family are big cookie eaters, because I have a lot of practice to go yet, before I can call myself a master.


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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Cookie Pixie: The Beginning

First, I must say that I am by no means an accomplished cookie decorator. I'm not even particularly handy ~ I can't draw to save my life, for example. What I have in spades, however, is will; persistence. I'll keep practicing until I get it right. This blog will be my record of my journey through learning how to master cookie decorating. I'll share what I learn and cookies I make, as I go along.

You won't find professional-looking photos here—I usually just snap a quick pic with my phone. You also will see splotches of icing, puffs of powdered sugar, random tools and ingredients making an appearance in the photos. I'm the mommy of a toddler—I'm lucky if I can sneak a minute to make cookies, let alone spruce up for fancy photos. I hope that won't deter you from visiting. Maybe you'll be inspired to think, "If she can do it, so can I" :)


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