Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Handmade Tuesdays: Guest Post

Kristen @ Ladybug Blessings is the host of Handmade Tuesdays. She recently came up with "The Handmade Pact", a great concept especially during this time of the year.

Kristen invited me to do a tutorial on her blog, and it was my pleasure to post how to make these fun kid aprons. Go check it out and link up a project while you're there. Thanks Kristen!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Christmas Tree Cake Pops

Inspired by the famous Bakerella, I decided to try out some Christmas Tree Cake Pops for a party this afternoon. The kids loved them!

While a tad time consuming, they were relatively simple to make. The hardest part was probably transporting them to the party. I'd like to find a better method than a Styrofoam board the next time I make them.

I used vanilla cake, chocolate frosting, green candy melts and assorted candy for the decorations. While I thought the sprinkles would be more popular with the kids, the red balls seemed to win in terms of popularity.

Bakerella has published a book with all her recipes and methods which are also posted on her blog. My favorite tip is adding Crisco or paramount crystals to the candy melts. This makes the consistency smoother and liquid longer which is important if you are making a lot of them. Let me know if you try making them!

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The Girl Creative Making Making your home sing Mondays
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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Hanukkah Cookie Bouquet

I promise this is the last cookie bouquet I'll post about for a while... but I had to share my first cookie bouquet order! Someone saw the Christmas Cookie Bouquet I posted about here and ordered a Hanukkah one.

Since we are not Jewish, I had to go out and buy some cookie cutters. I decided to go with a pretty simple set and just spice it up with different colors of royal icing.

The dreidel is my favorite out of all of them... so easy and elegant. The yellow is done using a #2 tip.

The star was very simple to make. Next time I'll use a #2 for the detailing as well, I found the line made by the squeeze bottle too thick.

The menorahs were going to be my favorites until I noticed, while taking these pictures,that they were each missing two candles. Back to the drawing board, or the oven I should say. I had to make another batch and decorate them with the appropriate number of candles.

So while not pictured here, I ended up remaking the menorahs so that they would have the correct number of candles.

The customers loved them and I am so pleased with my first completed order. Yay!

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Monday, November 22, 2010

Welcome Baby Cookie Bouquet

Thank you for all your sweet comments about my Christmas Cookie Bouquet that I blogged about here. I got a ton of emails asking me for the recipes I used, so I decided to do another post that included those. I think I might be a tad obsessed with these cookie bouquets, so I don't mind at all :)

I made this one for my friend who just had a baby girl. I decided to do a couple of flowers, a little girl and a "V" for her initial.

The V has pale yellow polka dots on it, and the little girl is wearing a dress with a "V" monogram on it... love it!

Enough gushing about my the latest bouquet... here are the recipes.

Sugar Cookies

1 1/2 cups margarine or butter
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking soda
4 1/2 cups flour

In a medium sized bowl combine margarine or butter and sugar and beat on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs and mix well. Add flavorings and mix well again. Add salt and baking soda and 1/2 of the flour. Mix on low speed until well blended. Add remaining flour and mix until well blended. Check dough for stickiness. If it sticks to your fingers, add another 1/4 cup of flour. Depending on the moisture content of the margarine or butter, you may need up to 1/2 cup more of flour to get a dough that is smooth and not sticky. Refrigerate dough for one hour.

Preheat oven t0 350 degrees. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper. Roll out dough and cut using your favorite cutters. Bake time will depend on the size of the cookies. The ones above took 8 minutes.

Royal Icing

3 tablespoons meringue powder
4 cups sifted confectioners' sugar
5 -6 tablespoons lukewarm water

Mix ingredients together and beat on medium speed for 7-10 minutes or until the mixture becomes matte.

To frost cookies like the ones above you will need to thin this icing. Do this by adding 1/2 a teaspoon at a time and mixing very well in between each addition. You'll know when it's ready when you drip a bit of the mixture into the same bowl and the outlines disappear by the time you count to 1o. Rather than making two different consistencies, like some recommend, I prefer to quickly do the outline and then flood the entire cookie with the same icing. I use plastic bottles with tips rather than pastry bags for easier clean up.

Let me know if there is interest for a full tutorial on how to make a cookie bouquet from start to finish!

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http://www.thethriftyhome.comShow and Tell Green