Thursday, March 8, 2012

Cookie Journey Last Thursday!

This post is really last Thursday's Cookie Journey post. Last Thursday was such a bad start to the weekend for me that I got a little delayed in posting these cookies. As it starts to get warmer in the desert, I start to have major allergies. They pretty much knock me down, and every year it takes a couple days to get it together. So, now that I am back to myself again, I will also post our Cookie Journey tomorrow also, so we will be caught up, and on schedule!!
I wanted to make some spring time cookies because I love spring colors, and I came across some mini melt mints that I couldn't resist, and I wanted to use them somehow.
 Hello Spring! Cookies
When I first starting making these cookies I started with this:
and I added this to the top:
These are the mini melts, but I left them whole, except 
for a couple in the middle, but I didn't like the look of the
whole melts and I didn't particularly like the white icing.
I thought maybe I would try to use the colors of the mini melts.
After all, these are the spring colors I loved in the first place.
So I outlined the first cookie in pink. But instead of just straight pink
I thought I would try something different.
I squeezed all the white frosting from the pastry bag,
and filled it with pink frosting, without making sure the
white frosting was all out. I outlined the cookie, and ....
then filled it in like we did in one of our first posts.
I love the look!
We might want to remember this if we do any
tie dye 60's cookies in the future!
Then I took two mints in each color, and chopped them into
very small pieces, and ...
centered them in the middle of the cookie!
I actually chopped the mints before I decorated
the cookie, so I would be ready to put the pieces
on the cookie while it was still wet. I only used about
half of what I chopped. I used the rest for the next cookie.
Then I made a yellow cookie, and...
decorated it with the chopped melts.
And, you know I had to make a green one.

These are all the colors of the melts.
I think they turned out pretty good.
Here is one important thing I learned: Remember when we talked about filling
in the frosting? I discovered that the outline of the pink cookies show
too much for my liking. I prefer the smooth to the edge look.
The outline showed because, #1-It is very dry here, and everything dries too quick,
and #2-while I was filling in the petals on one side of the cookie, the outline
was drying. So when I frosted the green and yellow cookies, I outlined them,
and then filled in going around the entire cookie, essentially filling in the entire
cookie at one time, instead of a section at a time.
I hope that makes sense!
I really thought the filling would be more effective doing it section by section,
but it is not. That is what this cookie journey is all about~discovering what
works, trying to figure out why, and then practice, practice, practice until
we get it right.
I know we can do it!!

Tomorrow is Cookie Journey Thursday again,
and I'm thinking St. Patrick's Day cookies!!

Thanks for joining me!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

A Tip of Me Hat, to Ya!

As a person of Irish heritage, I love St. Patrick's Day! Today, we are celebrating with Leprechaun hats, that are no bake!! They are simple to put together, and tasty too.

 Leprechaun Hats
Nilla Wafers
Green Candy Melts
Yellow Candy Melts
Black Icing
(ignore the brown melts in the pic)
Cut your marshmallows in half.
Start melting your green candy melts in a double boiler.
For each hat you need 1/2 of a marshmallow and a
nilla wafer.
Put a little dab of the green melted candy melts
on the sticky side of the marshmallow.
Place the marshmallow on the nilla wafer,
sticky side down. Let them dry for
a few minutes.
Stick a skewer in the marshmallow, and dip into your
melted candy melts. Knock off the excess candy melt by
gently knocking the skewer against the edge of the pot.
The melts were very thick for this type of dipping, so
I thinned it with 2 teaspoons of veggie oil, one at a time,
mixing very well in between teaspoons.
Let dry completely.
Melt some of the yellow disks in the microwave.
You don't need many.
Fill a pastry bag with the yellow.
Pipe around the area where the top of the hat
 would meet the brim. Let dry.
Use your black icing to finish.
I used royal icing to finish the hat, and I wish I would
have used it for the yellow band. It would have been easier
to work with, because it is a thicker consistency.
“May your days be many and your troubles be few. 
May all God's blessings descend upon you. 
May peace be within you may your heart be strong. 
May you find what you're seeking wherever you roam.”

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!! 

This post is linked to the following fun parties!:
Works for Me Wednesday
These Chicks Cooked
Cast Party Wednesday
What's Cooking Wednesday
Made by Me
 What's on the Menu Wednesday

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Garden Party Cupcakes!

Today I am guest posting over at Everyday Mom's Meals. I brought some Garden Party Cupcakes with me because, you can't stop by to visit empty handed!
Stop by and visit Krista at Everyday Mom's Meals,
have a few cupcakes, and see all her wonderful recipes.
 Peek in on her 
Spicy Italian Beef simmering in the crock pot
~it's what I am having for dinner tonight!!

See you there!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Club Baked~ Nutella Scones!

Today marks another installment of Club Baked. I love belonging to this group! We are baking our way through the book, Baked Explorations, written by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. Club Baked is a great, no pressure group that I am sure you would love. We post twice a month, with recipes from the book. The recipes are classics, with an updated twist, so you pretty much already love them!! Join us~You'll be glad you did!

I wasn't so sure about today's recipe, Nutella Scones. I have never made scones before, but I have eaten them, and I have found them rather dry. The first couple bites of the Nutella Scones struck me as dry also, but as I ate a little more, the Nutella inside the scone, kicked in and made them a little better. I did make a few minor changes. I put in only a pinch of salt, and I didn't include the hazelnuts. To read the entire recipe, stop by and see Lorraine at PhDcupcaker. She is our hostess this round, and she has the recipe all ready for you.

All the ingredients came together quickly and easily.
This was a great way to make sure the Nutella was
distributed evenly.
 Making the ball of dough helped cut the scones into 
six pieces.
Hot from the oven!
Ready to serve!
They do look pretty!
Next time around we are making Mississippi Mud Pie!!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Cookie Journey Thursday!

Welcome to my first Cookie Journey Thursday! Join me every Thursday as I attempt to improve my cookie decorating skills, which are seriously lacking!!. Today I attempted to put silver luster dust on these cookies that are cut out to look like a Hershey's chocolate kiss. I have used the luster dust in the past, for New Years Eve cookies. When I made the NYE cookies I used the luster dust as an accent. Maybe that is what it should be used for. Today I used the luster dust as the main color and I wasn't happy with the results.
The colors were streaky and not very dark,
even after a couple of coats.
This is the luster dust I used, along with a little water.
I started with the cookies, which had been frosted 
 with white Royal Frosting.
Using a small paint brush, I dipped the brush 
in a little water, and then....
barely dipped the brush in the luster dust.
I then brushed the dust on top of the icing.
This is not what I was looking for at all!!!
I am going to keep working on this during the week,
and hopefully by next Thursday I will have some sort
of way to go with this. Maybe I should have used a
different base color for the cookies. I will definitely be
investigating! If you have any answers or suggestions,
please let me know!!I really want to learn how to do this!!

Thanks for joining me today!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Blog Hop is............. Linda Henderson!!!!

Congratulations Linda!

Your prize will be on it's way to you soon!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Cookie Journey ~ Day 4

Today is the last day of our mini cookie journey. Today I decorated cookies while they were still wet. I have done this in the past, but I used a little different technique in the past.
This is really simple to do. The hardest thing to do is to get the 
dots all the same size. In the past when I made these, I used 
a stylus to make the dots. This time I put the icing in 
decorating bags. I think the stylus lets you have much more control,
and I plan to go back to doing it that way.
Here is how I did this.
I outlined and filled in the cookie, just like we did 
in the last couple posts.
I had my bag of yellow icing ready to go. The icing will
dry quickly, so all your colors must be prepared before 
you start. Then, I dropped dots of yellow onto the 
cookie in random spots. The problem is that the 
yellow came out fast. When I used the stylus, I could 
go a little slower. Let them dry overnight.

These would be pretty for spring, or for cookies where you need 
a pop of color to match decor.

Thanks for joining me today.

The Random Acts of Kindness Giveaway Blog Hop
is ending shortly. I will let you know the winner within
24 hours!!
Good Luck, and Thank You so much to everyone that entered!!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

King Cake Cupcakes!

Today is Fat Tuesday and the last day of Mardi Gras, so I thought I would make a version of the King Cake~
King Cake Cupcakes! 
(adapted from Coastal Living)
1/2 cup warm Milk
2 (1/4 oz) Dry Yeast Packs
1/3 cup Sugar, divided
1/2 cup Butter, melted
3 Egg Yolks
1/2 teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/2 teaspoon Lemon Zest
3 teaspoons Lemon Juice, divided
1 1/2 cups Flour
1/2 cup Cake Flour
1 tablespoon Ground Cinnamon, divided
1/4 teaspoon Salt
1 large Egg, lightly beaten
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons Hot Water
 Purple, Green Yellow Sprinkles

Combine yeast, milk, and 1/4 cup of the sugar, in a bowl.
Stir well, and set in a warm place for 10 minutes.
In another bowl, combine butter and next 3 ingredients,
stir in 2 teaspoons lemon juice.
Combine flours, 2 teaspoons cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl.
Add milk mixture, and butter mixture, and beat, adding a couple
tablespoons of flour, 1 at a time, if the dough is too sticky.
Mix the dough until it is smooth, but soft.
Spray a bowl with pan spray.
Put the dough in the bowl.
Roll the dough around until it is coated with the pan spray.
Cover it with a kitchen towel.
Place in a warm place and let it rise for about 1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Once the dough has risen, punch the dough down.
Place the dough on a lightly floured surface.
Roll dough into a 12" X 8"  rectangle.
Combine the remaining 1 teaspoon cinnamon and 
4 teaspoons sugar.
Sprinkle over the dough.
Roll dough into a log.
Cut log into 12 equal pieces.
Place pieces into muffin cups.
Brush cupcakes with beaten egg.
Bake 15 minutes.
Remove from the pan, and cool on rack.
Combine the powdered sugar, water, and 1 teaspoon 
of lemon juice. 
Drizzled  frosting on top of cupcake.
Add yellow, purple, and green sprinkles.
Happy Fat Tuesday!