Friday, December 21

Christmas Angel Cookies

This post is short and sweet today because I don't have much to say other than Merry Christmas! 

     The cookies were cut with this beautiful new frame cutter by Karen's Cookies and then they were decorated in the usual way.  There are a lot of details on these but the techniques are always the same!  I found inspiration for the angels in a series of figurines by artist Karen Hahn.

I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and I pray you know the true meaning of this blessed season!  

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
"God is not dead, nor doth he sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail,
With peace on earth, good will to men."

Tuesday, December 18

Coffee Cup cookies and Gift Card Cookie Toppers

     One of my first projects when I started decorating cookies last year were these Christmas Latte cookies. I always thought they would be cute cookies to give along with a gift card especially if you have someone who likes coffee houses on your list. So I decided I would make them again and include a super easy DIY gift card topper too!

   When I first made the latte cookies I used a cupcake cutter and hand cut the sides down a little longer to make the cup.  That works okay but I don't like hand cutting cookies so I came up with a new way.  I also like this way better because there's also a space for the cup-cozy wrapper.

  1. For these cookies I used a cupcake cookie cutter and a wedding cake cookie cutter. Both cutters are sold in a party set by Wilton and are available at most craft stores. Cut both shapes from your cookie dough.
  2. Use the long edge of the wedding cake cutter to trim both shapes.  I use this cake cutter quite a bit for making straight cuts like this and cutting little corners.
  3. Piece the two shapes together before baking.

  1. Be careful with the pieced cookies until they have cooled completely so they won't break at the seam.
  2. Outline the cookie in piping icing.  You'll notice I filled the little peak of whip cream in the piping stage.  Tiny areas like this often get cracks or craters in them while they are drying and filling them in while the lines are wet helps prevent that from happening. 
  3. Flood the cookie letting each section dry a bit before filling the ones next to it.  The "snow" dots were added while the flood icing was still wet.
  4. Let the flood layer dry for several hours or overnight and then add all the fun details with the piping icing.

     To make a simple gift card topper to go with these cookies, or any cookies, start with a sheet of card stock.   Cut the card stock at least 4" wide.  Standard sheets are 8.5" by 11" so you can get two from each sheet but if your cookies are wider then cut accordingly.  Fold about three inches from a long end of the card stock down to make a flap and staple or tape a bagged cookie under the flap. 
     Cut a small card stock rectangle a little larger than the gift card and cut a small notch at the top.  Glue the rectangle to the front of the flap to make a  pocket.  Gift cards measure 3 3/8" by 2 1/8" so you want to add about a quarter of an inch to each side and to the bottom so you have room still slip the card in the pocket once it's glued down.  Embellish your topper as you like!

(The snowman marshmallows pictured above are an idea from SweetSugarBelle's blog.  I thought they would be cute as minis on cocoa cookies!)

Christmas is coming up fast, I hope all your plans are going well!

Friday, December 14

Christmas Bellies Cookie Tutorial

     One of my favorite designs for Christmas is the Santa Belly.  I love how you can wrap a black band around anything red and instantly you have Santa.   I figured why stop at Santa and went and made the whole North Pole crew!  These may be the funnest cookies I've ever made. Somehow they came together effortlessly and I think I giggled the whole time!

     It was this butterfly cutter from an Easter set of cookie cutters sold last year at Wal-Mart that first got me started.  I was looking through my cutters for another project and instantly I saw a dress with curly-toed shoes in this one.   I actually squealed when I saw it in the cutter!  If you didn't get this set last year you can get close to the shape by piecing a little bit of a flower to any other butterfly.
   After cutting the shape I pressed in a little dough to fill the space cut out between the legs and the dress.  It may have been cuter to leave it cut out, but I didn't want to risk the little legs breaking off.  I also added a little bit to make the bodice more modest but if you wanted a more risque "Santa Baby" cookie, you could go that way :)

   For the rest of the belly cookies I used a variety of different cutters.  The butterfly was used again for Mrs. Claus.  The carrot from the same Easter set became the reindeer belly.  the elf is an ice cream cone that has been smooshed to be wider and Santa is a snowman face by Wilton.

    As much as I would like to be able to take pictures of every step along the way, my kitchen is just not set up for it.  The top pic here is after the first stage of piping and filling.  You can see how basic the decorating is at this stage.  Outline each shape in royal icing and fill it in.   Allow the sections to dry for a little while before you add the section next to it and then let the base dry over night and you can start the fun part of adding all the details!
    The "jingle bells" are white candy pearls that I colored gold by brushing them with yellow food color and a touch of luster dust in a little bowl before placing them onto the wet icing.

   I hope all your Holiday plans are going off without a hitch!
   Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, December 11

Christmas Stocking Cookie Tutorial

        To be honest, I'm not sure how I feel about these cookies.  While I was making them I didn't like them.  Not at all.  Then was I finishing them up with the details I started liking them a little more.  So I don't know if I was just in a weird mood or what.  Really, how can one hold a grudge against cookies?  Regardless I like the idea of them, even if I'm not crazy how they turned out.

 To make stocking cookies start by picking any cutter that would work for a present like a teddy bear or a doll, a car, a square for an iPad or whatever strikes your fancy.  Also, grab a stocking cookie cutter while you're at it.

  1. Trim the toy with the stocking cutter and piece the two shapes together on your baking sheet.  Once the cookies are baked and cooled they will be strong enough to hold together.
  2. The decorating here is pretty basic, just piping and filling while letting one section dry for a bit before adding the next section
  3. It's in the details where the decorating starts getting fun.  I used a small paintbrush and food color to draw the stitching lines but you can use food color markers if you prefer.  The amazing cookie artist LilaLoa can show you how to make a white food color marker if you don't like to use a brush.

  1. You could use a present cutter instead of a stocking to make cute gift cookies too.   I liked the idea of putting a puppy in the box but oddly enough there aren't very many puppy face cookie cutters out there.  For some reason sets seem to come with a kitty face and the full dog.  Odd.   The bottom of this Wilton snowman makes a good puppy face though.
  2. Use the long edge of the gift cutter to cut the top off the snowman and to cut the lid off the present box.  Piece the puppy face to the bottom of the present box and the lid on his head.  
  3. Again the decorating is pretty basic.  The red dots were added wet-on-wet and then the little white dots inside were added with white food color when everything was dry.

This would also be a good project for making cookie ornaments!
I hope your Christmas season is going well!