Friday, October 31, 2014

hello kitty jack-o-lantern spice cookies

It's Halloween! So I thought I would show you these Hello Kitty jack-o-lantern spice cookies that are in my new book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book

originally made these a few years ago, when I got the idea to make cookies that looked like the jack-o-lanterns we had carved for Halloween. So when I was working on recipes for the book, I of course had to include a version of these cookies, as well as a few other Sanrio characters!

So I also made Keroppi ..

... and Badtz-Maru ...

... and Chococat!

Aren't they cute? :) You can get the recipe for the spice cookies, as well as the royal icing, in my new book

Happy Halloween!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

princess leia cookies

While making these monkey cookies in my last post, I saw something in the monkey cutout shapes...

Princess Leia! Where the monkey ears could be her hair buns! Maybe it was because I had just been talking about making Princess Leia cookies with my friend Sue (who has a daughter named Leia). But whatever the case, it was all I could see while cutting out my monkey cookies!

So I had to try making at least one Princess Leia cookie, especially since I already had just the right colored royal icing that I needed from the monkey cookies!

So I outlined her hair with brown stiff icing, then filled them in with brown runny icing. Then I used tan stiff icing to outline her face, and filled it in with tan runny icing. Once all the icing had dried completely, I used brown stuff icing to pipe the swirls in her hair, and black stiff icing to pipe her eyes. And for her mouth, I simply used a red heart sprinkle! So cute!

When I make these for Sue (for real), I'll probably play around with the mouth to see what I like best. Maybe a piped red heart mouth? Or a piped thin black smile line? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

monkey and elephant cookies

After I made these caterpillar cookies for my friend Nancy's daughter's first birthday party, our friend Cindy K. got a chance to see and taste the cookies, and then asked me to make cookies for her daughter Reese's birthday as well! If you know Reese, she is quite the monkey, always climbing up on couches, counters, window sills, you name it! So it seemed only natural for Cindy to be throwing a monkey-themed party! She asked for monkey and elephant cookies, and luckily I already had these Wilton cutters which were perfect!

After baking up 2 batches of my buttery sugar cookies (recipe in my new book!), I whipped up a batch of royal icing (recipe also in the book!), divided it, and colored it. First up were the monkey cookies. I used brown stiff royal icing to outline the face and the ears. Then I used brown runny icing to fill them in.

After letting them dry for several hours (overnight), I used tan stiff icing to pipe an oval outline on the monkey's face, and then filled it in with tan runny icing. Then I used pink runny icing to fill in the ears. Once the tan icing had dried for several hours, I used black stiff icing to pipe the eyes, nose, and mouth. Cute!

For the elephant cookies, I started with stiff gray icing to pipe the elephant outline, as well as the outline of the inner ear, before filling it in with runny gray icing.

Once the icing had dried (overnight), I used runny pink icing to fill in the ears, and black stiff icing to pipe the eyes, nostrils, and smile. Super cute!

Once the cookies had all dried completely, I wrapped each one in a cellophane bag tied with raffia. Then I boxed them up with fat bubble wrap, and sent them on their way to Cindy!

Happy Birthday, Reese! Hope you had an awesome day, you little monkey! :)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

very hungry caterpillar cookies

My friend Nancy was having a "Very Hungry Caterpillar" themed first birthday party for her daughter Isla, and she asked me if I could make cookies to go along with the theme. Since Nancy lives in LA and I have never shipped my cookies before, I told her I'd see what I could do, and she could be my test guinea pig for shipping!

But first I had to choose my cookie cutters. For the caterpillar, I searched through my giant container of Wilton animal cookie cutters, and turned out it did contain one for caterpillars! Yay! I didn't have an apple cookie cutter on hand though, so I ordered this one. And for the hole in the middle of the apple, I decided to use the back end of a piping tip, which worked great!

Since I was making 2 dozen cookies, I only need one batch of my sugar cookie recipe (you can find it in my new book!), which I chilled and then rolled out, cut out, and baked at 350F for about 10 minutes.

While the cookies were cooling, I whipped up my royal icing (recipe also in my new book!), divided it, colored it, and stored all the colored icing in airtight containers.

First up, the caterpillars. I started by outlining the head in stiff red icing, and then piped the sections for his body in leaf green (to get a darker green, I actually used leaf green plus a little bit of black and royal blue).

Then I filled in the head with runny red icing, and for the body I mixed a bit of my green icing with some yellow, and alternated runny green icing with runny green-yellow icing. Then I set it aside to dry for several hours.

Once my icing was dry, I piped on the final details with stiff icing - another red outline on the face, another green outline on the sections of the body, and then I used stiff yellow icing to pipe a circle for each eye, and dropped a dot of stiff green icing in the middle for the eyeball. And then a small dot of stiff brown icing for the nose.

For the apple cookies, I started by piping my apple outline with stiff red icing, and the leaf with stiff green icing.

Then I filled in the apple with runny red icing, and the leaf with runny green icing, and then set it aside to dry for several hours.

Once dry, I piped on my details once more - stiff brown icing for the stem, and stiff red icing to outline the apple.

I thought they turned out so cute! (Even though I didn't have room for the caterpillar antennae and feet!)

To package them, I wrapped each cookie in a cellophane bag tied with raffia, and then in my shipping box I alternated layers of fat bubble wrap with single layers of cookies. Amazingly, they all got there okay - not one cookie was broken! Hooray!

Happy first birthday, Isla! Hope you had a wonderful day and enjoyed the goodies!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

captain america cookies

To go along with the Captain America flag-inside cake that I made for my son Matthew's 7th birthday last week, I also made these cookies and individually wrapped them to hand out as favors (as well as for him to pass out to his class).

For the cookies, I made my super-simple sugar cookie recipe (recipe in my new book!), and used a large circular cookie cutter to cut out the shapes. Once the cookies were baked and cooled, I whipped up a batch of royal icing (recipe also in the book!), divided it into three portions, and colored it red and blue (and left the third portion white). Then I used the stiff icing to pipe circles onto my cookies to form Captain America's shield logo.

I thinned out some of the icing, and used that to filled in the gaps with red, white, and blue runny icing. Once that dried overnight, I piped a white star in the middle, filled it in with white runny icing, and once that dried I piped a final white outline on the star.

You'd think it would be super easy since I was just piping circles instead of all the other cookie shapes that I've done, but I'd have to say that it's pretty hard to pipe perfectly round and well-spaced circles! Most of them turned out to be very wobbly circles!

Anyway, they still came out pretty cute, and Matthew and his friends loved them! Hooray!