Tuesday, February 28

Cupcakes in the Clouds

Just a quick little post of happy today. What could be happier than rainbows!
Since cupcakes have a little cloud of icing on top a cupcake cookie cutter makes a perfect rainbow in the clouds cookie! 

And of course you can easily add a little pot of gold if you like!

Hope you have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 27

Cutting Mask Cookies

     Mardi Gras may have come and went but I suppose there are lots of times when you'd want mask cookies so I figured I'd show you how I cut the cookie masks I made last week.  The cool thing about cutting these shapes though is that you could use them for all sorts of cookies.  Many of the cookies end up looking like intricate birds or butterflies.
      For this Venetian style mask I used a flying heart cutter.  The "trick" is just cutting the shape then simply rotating the cutter and cutting again.  I cut out the eye holes with a basic leaf cutter but that's completely optional. 
Venetian Masquerade cookie cut with flying heart cookie cutter
    You'll notice there are several little pieces that result from the cut.  If I had tried to transfer this cookie in pieces and reassemble it on the baking sheet it wouldn't have worked. (I learned this by trying to do it, heh)  So instead, I rolled and cut the dough on it's own piece of parchment paper and then transfered the whole cookie at once by moving it on the paper.   That way none of the pieces were disturbed  and once it baked it was just fine.

     For this larger mask I used just a basic heart and then cut the bottom with a knife.  All the cut lines left in the cookie after it baked were actually quite useful here as guides for the piping.

lace mask cookie cut with heart cookie cutter
     You might think it would be difficult to get the second cut in the right place but it's actually really easy!  When you are moving the cutter around after the first cut you can see the place in the middle where the cuts will overlap.  All you have to do is eyeball the overlap to be even and the cookie will be straight.

      I got a little carried away making mask shapes.  I couldn't make them all into cookies so I thought I'd show you some of them digitally.  Any symmetrical cutter in your bin will make an interesting and intricate mask.  Even basic shapes work really well for making complex shapes.

cutting mask cookies with basic cookie cutter shapes

   Cutters with lots of pointy edges like leaves, trees, holly, bats, werewolf heads...make really cool masks.  You may need to trim a stem or trunk here or there but you get some great shapes!
cutting mask cookies with pointed cookie cutter shapes

      Any symmetrical cutter, regardless of what it was "supposed" to be will give you something interesting when you double it up. 

cutting mask cookies with symmetrical cookie cutter shapes

    And of course depending on how you turn the cutters you get a totally different shape.
cutting mask cookies with bunny face cookie cutter

       As you can see I totally got carried away with this idea and I hope you can use it some time too!  I love how intricate the cookies look but how crazy easy they are to cut!

Tuesday, February 21

Masquerade Cookies

    I can pretty much take or leave Mardi Gras, but I do like the look of the Venetian Masquerades at Carnival so I whipped up a few mask cookies!

This was a particular moment of madness I doubt I'll repeat anytime soon.  And yes, this is actually large enough to use as a real mask!

I had wanted to add some bling to the cookie masks with gold spray but can you imagine none of my local craft stores carry Wilton Color Mist in Gold year round?  They've never heard of Mardi Gras? Or St. Patrick's Day?  Or Weddings!?  Sheesh!  Let's just pretend there is some gold happening here okay?

I'll post a little how-to on cutting the masks later!  Enjoy your Tuesday!
Update:  Here's the post on cutting cookie masks

Thursday, February 16

Primrose Cookies - an experiment with brush embroidery

 When you live in the Pacific Northwest and it has been gloomy and raining since September it's a nice little shot of happy when the primroses show up at the grocery store.  Even though it isn't spring yet, and it might not be spring here until June, primroses are a bright little promise that spring is on it's way.  Plus they only cost 98 cents; even more happy!
    I've been seeing a lot of the "brush embroidery" technique for cookie decorating making the rounds in the blogosphere and I thought it could be a good way to re-create the variegated colors of the primrose flowers. There is a good video tutorial by Amber Spiegel of SweetAmbs Cookies on youtube where you can see the brush embroidery technique in action.

    Start with your flower cookie iced and dried in it's base color.   Because we want the base icing color to show through start with just a little colored icing and work up if you need more. Pipe a thin line of icing and use a small craft brush dampened with a little water to pull the icing in thin lines toward the center of the flower.  For these darker pink flowers I let the first coat set a minute and then went around again to make the pink more substantial.
For these primroses with just a touch of pink I put teeny dots of pink icing in the center and then pulled the lines out.
For both the blue and yellow primroses I piped lines of icing at the centers and then pulled the lines out.

    These cookies were actually very easy to make and I think they turned out pretty well.  They are a nice sweet shot of happiness on an otherwise dreary day.

Wednesday, February 8

Cupid Cookies

   I had originally planned to post cupid cookies last week but my first go around with these little guys had major problems with icing craters.  I think I've mostly figured out what to do about those pesky craters and I'll try to put a post together on that soon.  Still, I really wanted to show these guys so I did them over.  Yay, no craters!

I used a tulip cookie cutter to cut the cookies because tulips are bumpy on one end and pointy on the other, just like cupids!   I could have put them on hearts of course, or even just circles, but I like to play around with my shapes.
For all the designs I used "20 second" royal icing to both outline and fill the cookies.  I only needed 4 decorating bags, yay!
A little edible gold glitter or luster dust might have made the harps pop here, but I wanted to keep it simple.  (plus I don't own any luster dust, heh)
I cut the "stem" of the tulip shape a little wider for the legs of the standing cupid.  I love his chubby knees! 
All the little details of the face and the diaper pins were painted on with food coloring and a teeny-tiny brush.

   For these flying heart cookies I borrowed a page from SweetSugarBelle and piced together two hearts before baking.   A very easy idea and I always like to throw in a few accessory cookies with the major designs.
   I'm sorry I don't have much in the way of a tutorial for these guys. Basically I started by outlining the designs in 20 second icing.  I then filled alternate areas allowing each area to dry a couple minutes before I filled the area next to them so they wouldn't flow together. I waited a couple hours for the bodies to dry before I put the arms on them.  After everything dried overnight I finished them off with some piping details.
   I will try to start putting together better tutorials, but I don't have good lighting in my kitchen so I have to figure something out there first.  Plus, I get so into what I'm doing I forget to stop and take pictures!

These were a lot of fun, I hope you like them too!