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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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Christmas Cookie Bouquet

Cookie bouquets are all the rage around here... especially with the holidays approaching. I recently did some research as I wanted to send one and couldn't believe the price- $60 for a bucket with THREE cookies. I decided it was time to learn how to make them myself.

As coincidence would have it, my Wilton teacher posted that she was doing a "Christmas Cookie Bouquet" mini class. I signed up and what you see here is my final product from that class. I had so much fun making it and can't wait to make more!

We learned several techniques to decorate the cookies, which in this case were gingerbread flavored. The Christmas tree was decorated using royal icing and hard candies.

Thankfully my royal icing application has improved since my last batch of cookies that I posted about here. I think a lot has to do with the fact that my teacher told me it's not necessary to use two different consistencies of royal icing, it can all be done with one. I think because of that the outline was able to blend in a bit more.

This cookie was also covered in royal icing. Once that was dried we did the extra lines on top. When those were dry we applied some gold dust over them.

I love this way this cookie looks... simple, yet elegant at the same time. And this would work for any winter or holiday bouquet. It's not necessarily attached to Christmas.

Lastly frosty who was covered with fondant and candy. This technique was super fun because there is little sculpting involved. In order to get the perfect shape you just use the same cookie cutter used for the cookie for the fondant. Depending on the fondant you use it might be necessary to add some piping gel to adhere to the cookie. The buttons are candy and the rest (hat, eyes, nose and scarf) are fondant.

My favorite part of frosty is the scarf, even though my son ate half of it before I took this picture. I especially love the fringe!

This cookie, while not for the bouquet, was decorated using a special glaze that dries shinier than royal icing and stays softer when it dries. This method is called tie dye and is SO EASY!

Here is another example of the tie dye cookie decorating method. These were a hit with the kids and I'm thinking I might make some in team colors for the next football game. They are easy and fast to decorate.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Soccer Cupcakes

My son started soccer this past weekend which means I am officially a soccer mom- yikes. I decided to celebrate by making cupcakes. I was inspired by Dukes' and Duchesses who blogged about these, she was inspired by Parents Magazine. I didn't read the directions posted there and instead did my own thing with mistakes included :).

I started with mini Devil's Food cupcakes baked in green liners to represent the grass on the field.

White vanilla frosting, no need to worry about it getting it perfectly smooth.

Place a thin Oreo crisp (found in the 100-calorie packages) in the middle.

Use black gel to draw the lines. Didn't like the look.

Then just the gel without the cookie. Didn't like this either.

Put the gel in a pastry bag with a #2 tip and was much happier with these lines, used the cookie as well.

As you can see I only used one cookie per cupcake since these were mini-cupcakes and not the regular ones used in Parenting magazine.

I was really happy with how these looked and the combination of the Devil's Food cake + Vanilla frosting + Oreo cookies was great!

The kids loved them and the coach was very impressed :)

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