Friday, October 31, 2014

Spooky Halloween Strawberries

Halloween is today, but it's not too late to make these simple, last-minute spooky strawberry treats!
They come together in no time flat, and it's a great way to work in some healthy fruit alongside all the candy.

Here in California, it is supposed to rain (pour, actually) tonight! Yippee!  Wouldn't you know it, the day we are finally getting some much needed rain, it is predicted to start at about the same time the trick-or-treaters will heading out. In this drought-ridden area, rain trumps candy:)

Driscoll's contacted me to make some ghosts with their strawberries.  The best part about these spooky treats?  They're delicious! Did I mention how easy they are?

Spooky Strawberries 
White candy melts or white chocolate
Mini chocolate chips, or black royal icing or candy eyes
Decorations (optional)
Wash strawberries and dry completely.
Melt candy
Hold each strawberry by the leaves and dip into the chocolate, to cover.
Set on wax paper and add chocolate chips or candy eyes.
Let dry (it only takes about 10-15 minutes).
Once dry, add the black royal icing for the ghosts and use more melted candy to drizzle all over the surface of the mummy.
Add toothpick decorations.

Check out Driscoll's ghosts for another decorating idea, plus tons of other fabulous recipes for all occasions! 

Happy Halloween! 
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Mummy Cookies

I cannot tell you how simple these mummy cookies were to make!
 (A skull cutter was used for these cookies, but you could use a similar shaped cutter, or a rectangle, a square, or even a circle.)

I didn't have to outline or fill any cookies with royal icing in the traditional way, beyond the small black patch for the base of the eyes (The candy eyes were attached when the icing was wet). 
After I let the black dry for about 20 minutes I used some untinted (easy) royal icing, and with a #46 tip, traversed the mummy's head/face, in random directions, until there was good coverage. 

The cookies dried overnight (6-8 hours), and I then used a food marker for the facial details.
That's all there was to it! 

Let's hear it for Simple and Cute!!!
I couldn't resist. :)

I hope my grandchildren like them as much as I do!

(Thanks to Lizy B for the inspiration)

Linked to:
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Monday, October 20, 2014

Birthday Cookies and a "Decorating Cookies Party" {by Bridget Edwards} Book Giveaway!

{My Birthday Party Cookies}


If you enjoy decorating cookies, or just looking at decorated cookies, then I am sure you must be familiar with Bridget of Bake at 350!  I was fortunate enough to land on her site years ago when I first started my blog and was surfing the web (does anyone still say that?!?) looking for some cute cookies! With Bake at 350, I hit a cookie gold mine!  
To make things even sweeter, Bridget is like a cookie lovin', next door neighbor, the genuine article.  Though we have never met, her authenticity jumps off the pages of her blog. 
When Bridget announced her new (second) book, Decorating Cookies Party, I was instantly smitten with the cookies on the cover, particularly the cake/cake stand cookies!  I couldn't wait to get my hands on the book and make those cookies! 
I had so much fun making them!  Bridget's step-by-step photos, coupled with written instructions, made her beautiful cookie designs easy to duplicate.  I almost felt like she really was my cookie lovin', next door neighbor, guiding me along in my kitchen. :) 
I purchased this  cute, cake slice cutter from Cristin's Cookie Cutters quite awhile ago, and was so happy to finally use it. They worked out perfectly for this Birthday Party set!
For the four different (domed) cake stand cookies, I finally christened this beautiful set from Janet of From Captain's Daughter to Army Mom. Thank you so much, Janet! 
Instructions for candles and presents are also included in the book for this birthday set.
Decorating Cookies Party has cookies for 10 themes and includes 50 cookie designs! 
Here's another one of my favorite cookie designs included in the book! Just look at these double-decker beauties;  I'm giddy over them!  I have referred to Bridget as the "Double-decker Queen" in the past, and now you can see why. :) 

If you'd like a chance to win a copy of this wonderfully fun, easy-to-follow cookie decorating book, just leave a comment on this post by answering the question: 

What is your favorite party theme?

This giveaway runs until Friday, October 24, 2014, 5 p.m. PDT.
ONE winner will be chosen by
(Open to all, worldwide!)
(If your comment does not link to your contact information, then please include your email address within your comment.)

Thank you and Good Luck!

Comment #35 is the winner of the book!  Congrats to "anonymous", Jessica!

Thanks for your support, to all that entered the giveaway!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Haunted Pumpkin Cookies

I thoroughly enjoyed making these haunted pumpkin cookies. They were fairly quick and I am pretty happy with the results. :)  I fashioned them after some carved pumpkins that I spotted in  the October issue of Country Living magazine, and knew right away that they'd make awesome cookies!
With the orange tinted cookie dough, there was no waiting for the first layer of icing to dry, which is especially needed when black icing is going on top. I simply had to let the cookies cool, add the royal icing details and that was it! Spooky cookies in no time flat!

Haunted Pumpkin Cookies
Sugar cookie dough
Royal icing
Orange gel food coloring
Black gel food coloring
Electric yellow gel food coloring 
Lollipop stick (for imprinting lines on pumpkins)
Small front door template

1.  Make cookie dough and tint with orange gel coloring.
2.  Roll out dough and cut out cookies with pumpkin cutter; place on baking sheet.
3. Place the front door template on pumpkin and using a sharp knife, cut out doors and place on baking sheet. 
4.  Press lollipop stick onto each cookie vertically, spacing and moving across the entire pumpkin.
5.  Place cookies in the freezer for 10-15 minutes to help keep the shape and imprint.
6.  Bake according to recipe.
7.  Tint some royal icing black and with a #1 or #2 tip, add windows, shutters, fence, etc...also decorate the separate doors.
8.  After the black has dried a bit, fill in the windows with the yellow.
9.  Use some of the black royal icing and apply it to the door frame. Add the door (ajar) to the door frame. 
!0.  Let cookie dry completely.

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Monday, October 6, 2014

Frankenstein and Witch Cookies

Fall has been my favorite season for a long time!  Winter used to be my favorite, specifically the month of December, due to my birthday and Christmas, but ever since I've been an adult, I enjoy fall more.  I like that it seems more drawn out, and slower paced than Christmas.  I love the feel of fall, which I can't even describe, except to say that the air is more brisk, but there is a definite feel to the season.

I enjoy the time with family, all the baking with pumpkin, apples, cinnamon and nutmeg, the visits to the pumpkin patch, picking apples, and I enjoy the cookies...the Halloween cookies, Thanksgiving cookies, and just fall cookies in general.  I'm hooked!
I have had so much fun making Halloween cookies in years past, especially Frankenstein, but wanted to do a little something different for him this year.  I shuffled through my cookie cutters to see if I could use one that I had on hand to create another Frankenstein cookie.  When I pulled out the Snowman head (with the top hat), the brim of the hat jumped out at me (see above, left) as the perfect spot to place the bolts on the side of his head. All I had to do was turn the cutter upside-down, and it worked perfectly.

I also knew I wanted to make a witch, and once again, a cutter just jumped out at me! The ice cream cutter is perfect for the witch's pointy hat! It also needed to be turned upside-down.
These cookies were made for the 3rd Annual Go Bo Foundation Bake Sale! 426 "cookie artists" representing every U.S. state and 20 countries contributed their cookies to the sale started by the amazing Jill of Jill FCS, in Sister Bay, Wisconsin.  The proceeds of The Bake Sale will help continue Bo's legacy of helping children with cancer. 

Cookie Ingredients:
Black, purple,  electric orange, electric green food coloring gels (AmeriColor)
Decorating bags
#1,2,3 tips
Black food marker (FoodDoodler fine tip)

Frankenstein Cookies:
1.  Roll out dough about 3/8 inch thick and use cutter to cut out cookies and transfer to parchment lined baking sheet with spatula.
2.  Bake according to recipe, and let cookies cool completely on cooling rack.
3.  Using the black royal icing and a #3 tip, outline and fill the monster's hair. Let dry for a couple of hours to prevent "bleeding".
4.  Using a #3 tip and the green royal icing, outline and fill the monster's face.  Let dry for 6-8 hours or overnight.
5.  Using the black royal icing and a # 1 or #2 tip, add the black facial features, including the side bolts.
6.  Making sure the mouth is dry,  add the teeth and the whites of the eyes.  Immediately add the black detail to the eyes with a #1 tip. (Add the white dot after the black has completely dried.) 
7.  Let cookies dry completely.

Witch Cookies:
For steps  # 1 and #2, follow directions above.
3.  Use the black royal icing with a #3 tip and outline and fill the hat.  Let it dry for a couple of hours (or more) to prevent "bleeding".
4.  Use the green icing and a #2 tip to outline and fill the witch's face.
5.  Let the face dry for an hour or two and then add the purple hair detail with a #1 tip.
6.  Add the eyes with white royal icing and a #1 tip, immediately followed by the black eye detail.
7.  Add the orange detail to the hat with the orange royal icing.
8.  Leave  the cookies to dry for 6-8 hours or overnight.
9.  Using the black food marker, add the nose and moth details.
10. With the green royal icing and #1 tip, add the warts,
11.  With the white icing and #1 tip, add the teeth. (When the teeth dry, you may outline in black marker if you'd like, or even add hair to the warts, haha!)


(P.S.  I still do like my birthday and Christmas too! :))

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