Monday, October 24, 2016

Gnome Pumpkin Patch Cookies

I have wanted to make gnome cookies for awhile, and since fall is my favorite season, I thought now would be the perfect time. I'm rather smitten with  these gnomes in their pumpkin patch (another favorite thing)! We tried to grow pumpkins in our garden this year , as we have in the past, but this time, the darn gophers got the best of us, and our pumpkin plants disappeared overnight, literally! Big SIGH.
I found these cookie cutters at Cookie Cutter Kingdom, which was the first step in turning my cookie vision into a reality. I had so much fun!
See the tiny leaves? I used a leaf shaped, paper punch tool to produce tiny fall leaves, punched from real leaves! Such an authentic, sweet touch. 
The "moss" is crushed graham cracker crumbs with some green food coloring added. :)
Love the easy to decorate with cute results. 
I wish my real garden produced such cuteness!

Gnome Garden Cookies
Gnome cookie cutter
Hedgehog cookie cutter
Toadstool cookie cutter
Trowel cookie cutter
Spade cookie cutter
Small pumpkin cookie cutter
Sugar cookie dough
Royal Icing
Disposable frosting bags
Decorating tips: sizes 1,2,3
Food coloring gel: black, green, orange, brown, red, yellow, ivory, and white
Rolkem silver dust (optional)
Food markers: black, red, brown
Chocolate jimmies (sprinkles)
Small paint brush
Plain chocolate cookie wafer
1. Mix cookie dough and roll out about 3/8-inch thick.
2. Cut out cookies and place on baking sheets. (I usually place the baking sheets in the freezer for 10 minutes before baking to help the cookies hold their shape.)
3. Bake according to cookie recipe and allow cookies to cool.
4. Mix up the royal icing and place portions in separate bowls to make the different colors, estimating how much of each color you need. (I add white gel to the royal icing that will be white because I think it helps to prevent bleeding of just plain, untinted icing and it looks less transparent, but that step is optional.)
5. Place the tinted frosting in the decorating bags with the appropriate tips (smaller tips for finer details).
6. To decorate gnomes: With the green, medium consistency frosting, outline the green suit. Next, outline the hat in red or green and fill in. Allow to dry for an hour and then fill in the suit. (If you fill it too quickly you will lose definition on the arms, unless you want to detail it afterwards.) When the hat and suit dry for about an hour, add the squiggle detail to the hat is white or yellow. Outline and fill in the beard with the white icing, and the face with the ivory. Add the nose, hands, and ears with the ivory icing. Let dry overnight before adding the facial details with the black and red (cheeks) food markers.
To decorate toadstools: (Of course you can decorate these at the same time as you are decorating the other cookies.) Using red, medium consistency icing, fill in the top part of the toadstool. Immediately add the white dots (tip #1) with the same consistency of icing as the red. (wet on wet decorating). Let the red dry for about an hour and then use white icing to outline and fill in the stem. Sprinkle on some of the moss mix while it is still wet.
To decorate the hedgehogs: Outline and fill in the head and feet of the hedgehog with the ivory icing. Let it dry for about 20 minutes and then outline and fill in the body of the hedgehog with the brown icing. While it is still wet add the chocolate jimmies. Add the nose with some red icing. Let dry overnight before adding the facial details with the food markers.
To decorate the garden tools: Outline and fill the handles of the tools with the color of your choice. Fill in the bottom part with gray icing (Black mixed with white). (Optional)After drying, add silver dust (mixed with a bit of clear almond extract) and apply it to tools with a small paint brush, used only for food. (Optional) Add some finely crushed chocolate cookie crumbs to wet tool as "dirt".
To decorate pumpkins: Outline and fill in the pumpkin with orange icing. Decorate the stem with the brown icing. Let dry. Add the vine with the green icing. Add brown shading details to pumpkin with the grown food marker.

To make my cookies stand upright I attached a small piece of baked sugar cookie to the back of each cookie with the royal icing and let it dry. The small cookie piece was a 90 degree triangle, to adhere to the cookie like a bookend. :)

Have Fun!

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Saturday, September 10, 2016

Circus Animal Cookie Ice Cream

Though it definitely feels like fall in the air, I have had a hankering to make this Mother's circus animal cookie ice cream for quite awhile, and thought I'd get it done before the official first day of fall arrives. 
Between you and me though, it is okay to have ice cream any time of year, especially when it is so creamy and delicious, and very easy to make! There's no ice cream machine needed here my friends! 
This ice cream recipe has been in my family for over thirty years (not sure where it originated)! I know this because my mom has been gone for thirty years and she used to make it, but she always used Oreo cookies. I love to make the same recipes my mom did because it makes me feel close to her. I want to pass down these recipes to my grandchildren, and their children someday, so that they may feel the same connection. 
Mom's Ice Cream 
4 egg yolks
3 cups crushed cookies
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 tablespoon real vanilla
1 pint of heavy whipping cream
1. Beat egg yolks until thick.
2. Add sweetened condensed milk and vanilla and stir well.
3. Crush cookies and add to milk/egg mixture. Set aside.
4. Whip cream (in a stand mixer if you have one) until very stiff (be careful or you'll end up with butter!).
5. Gently stir the whipped cream into the cookie mixture.
6. Freeze 6 hours or until firm.
{Yields almost a 1/2 gallon of ice cream}


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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mini Caramel Apple Cookies {Guest Post on Hungry Happenings}

Caramel apples mean fall in my book, even the cookie version. 
If you'd like to find out how simple it is to make these adorable, mini decorated cookies, head on over to my friend, Beth's fabulous blog, Hungry Happenings, where I am guest posting about these classic fall treats!
Happy fall, y'all! 
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