Friday, October 28, 2011

A MONSTER of a job

I have seen sooo many amazing Halloween cookies from all of my cookie blogging friends who continually make my jaw drop when I see their creativity.  It was hard to decide what type of cookies I was going to make for Halloween this year...  I LOVED one idea in particular from Lila Loa...who demonstrated how you could make lots of Halloween cookies from ONE basic cutter... (not that I don't have 2 drawerfuls of Halloween cutters...but this was just too cute to pass up!) 

I chose a few of her designs and went to work.  

I have to say....these were a bit more work than I anticipated.... I tried just using flooding icing to achieve a smoother look without any piping.  And... I vowed to myself that I was determined to create "craterless" eyes on all of my Frankensteins and vampires.  But sure enough...those stinky little "pit hole like" craters showed up nonetheless on a few.

Meet Frankenstein up close and personal...

And his close friend Vampire....

And what would Halloween be without a friendly Jack?

Well... I am still open to suggestions regarding my crater issue.  When I make my eyes... I like the black part of the eye to be smooth (flush) with the white....but this can be tricky....It seems that as they dry... I sometimes get little pit holes in the black part.  The vampires seemed to pose less problems...maybe b/c the eyes were smaller...but I wanted the Frankensteins to have large whites and blacks.

After much trial and error (my mother can vouch for this)....She and I sat at my kitchen counter for a good hour and tried creating the eyes in all different consistencies, using different size tips...even using a two minute timer between adding the white and black dots.  Still.... we got some craters. UGGGHH

I don't think I will ever be able to rid myself of these annoying little craters completely, but here is what I have learned, at least for now:

1.  When making big eyes... I used a number 3 tip for the white and a number 2 tip for the black.

2.  I sometimes think that they turn out better if I don't wait too long to drop the black after I drop the white.

3.   I did notice less craters when I turned my fan on (Thanks for the tip, Callye!).

But the best thing I learned was from one of my favorite cookie friends, Linzy.....  I asked her what size tip she used on some eyes she had done and she shared that she used black sugar pearls so as not to have to mess with the crater issue at all!  AWESOME idea!  Thanks Linzy.  If you don't know NEED to...  She is out of this world amazing, precise, and her cookies are just about as BEAUTIFUL as she is.  You can see her amazing creations here.

 So after a busy week of experimenting and cookie"ing" oldest had the day off of school.  So, while J was at preschool and little S was napping, Miss S was thrilled  to help me bag all the cookies I had made.   And we had a ball making these little packages for our friends.

Is she the cutest or what???

Hope everyone is having a festive "almost" Halloween weekend!!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

A little bit of "spooky"

I really wanted to do some out of the ordinary Halloween cookies this year....not just your normal jack-o-lantern, ghost, etc.  So when the Cookie Queen herself came up with these....I couldn't resist.  Callye's creativity strikes again in these cookies, where she made cute witch stockings and boots out of a baby onesie cookie cutter!! Incredible.  I followed her tutorial and came up with these...

I had my pumpkin cutter out and ready to make some pumpkins when Callye gave yet another tutorial on how to make puffy pumpkins.  I loved how "real" her cookies looked.  It was a fun way to make these cookies...however, after mine where finished and dried... I noticed lots of blotchiness in my orange color.  I went over and over in my head what possibly may have caused this...and came up with these conclusions:

1.  Maybe my cookies were slightly underbaked and the oil from the butter in the cookie caused this blotchiness when it met with the RI


2.  Maybe using a spray bottle when trying to achieve the flooding consistency caused the blotchiness ( I used to just drop some drops of water in my stiffer frosting with a spoon to achieve desired flooding consistency until recently when I heard about the spray bottle tip)  I SURE hope this is not the cause b/c I LOVE to use the spray bottle...makes my life sooo much easier


3.  Maybe I needed to add white to my frosting prior to the orange color to prevent this blotchiness

If anyone has advice on how to prevent this in the tell!  But for now I am trying to do all three things I mentioned above to prevent it.  I have even stopped the spray bottle.....but I MISS it.

I have more Halloween cookies to share very soon and of course more sweet baby cookies to come. The littles have already had many opportunities to wear their costumes, but are looking forward to the big night.  We need to get those pumpkins carved and then we should be set...

Be back soon-

Saturday, October 15, 2011


It wasn't the last day of school... or even Teacher Appreciation Day...but these cookies were specially made for the Preschool teachers at J's school...for an inservice day they had last week.

Teachers work soooo hard....and often...their work does not end at the end of the school day.  Many have to go home at night and do a lot of work to prepare for the next day's activities.  So... these were just a little treat to thank all those teachers for all they do.

Typically when I make apple cookies... I make them red.  But I saw these cookies originally made by JP Creatibles....and fell in love with their green color.  After all...some of the best apples are green...right?  Jen definitely has an eye for details....and she is an extraordinary decorator.  Sometimes I just find myself gazing at the gallery on her website... in complete awe of her creativity and precision.  Love how my fellow "cookiers" are just a constant inspiration for me.

These apple cookies were also a perfect little "thank you" to S's student teacher who left on Friday.  The children adored her from the beginning....she was incredibly sweet and gentle with the kids....exactly what a teacher should be.  She will definitely be missed...but we wish her tremendous luck in her next teaching adventure!

Still more cookie pictures to post...but I am finally catching up!  I am really trying to organize the many recipes I've acquired the last few years and trying to organize a notebook where I can keep handy all of the incredible ideas I find as well as the pictures of the cookies I have designed.  A huge undertaking for every time I begin to sort through photos... one of the littles needs me or needs redirecting (as in J's case..ha!)  I'm so lucky to be able to stay at home with all three of these little ones and still enjoy my love for baking:)

Monday, October 10, 2011

What a hoot!

With Halloween just around the's probably time to be making some pumpkins and ghosts...  But as I was getting ready to make some cookies the other day, I decided I wanted to make something beyond the traditional Halloween cookie...  And because of my love affair with all things "bird" (cute bird prints, decorative birds, etc)  I decided to try an owl cookie.  They just seemed like the perfect "Fallish" cookie!

Last year I made these owls....and wasn't thrilled with their turnout.  The cutter was kind of small and didn't allow a whole lot for creative decorating.  Then Callye shared her idea of using a tulip cutter to make an owl...and that opened my eyes to something even cuter!

This year I decided to make the eyes out of royal icing on wax paper first and later applied them to the cookie when the rest of the owl was dry.  I think I like the more 3-D look this gives!

I really am kind of phobic of real it is pretty funny that my house is full of decorative birds and bird pictures.  My cookie cutter drawers even have a separate drawer just for bird cutters alone, because I own so many different bird cutters!  I bet these won't be the last bird cookies I make either!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Snips and snails, and puppy dogs tails

That's what little boys are made of!

A special congratulations to the B family on the birth of their sweet baby BOY!  Miss L assumed her position as BIG sister about a month ago....and I'm sure she will accomplish her duties well!!! So excited for all of them....I know first hand just how incredibly sweet little boys can be!

So....a few little nautical themed cookies to match Mr. H's room!  Congrats to a special little family....

I originally got the inspiration for these whales from my cookie idol!  The trick is using a balloon cutter to get that cute round whale!  Thanks again, Callye!

I loved doing the vertical stripes for a change!

I am very behind on my picture posting!  Lots more cookies to share soon!