Monday, July 15, 2013

Lighting up the night...

Do you have fireflies at your house?  We don't...and I miss them.

My favorite part of our summers in Alabama were right at dusk.  The bunnies ventured out and hopped across the yard while fireflies twinkled overhead.  Magical.

firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350

I grew up in this part of Texas, and I know we had fireflies.  What do you think it will take to bring them back?  Engraved invitations?  A signed pledge to never put them in a jar?  How about cookies?  Well, maybe they won't entice the fireflies, but they'll make me feel better.

firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
All it takes to make these fireflies sparkle is a little disco dust.  This Hologram Gold disco dust is absolutely perfect.  Find it at your local bakery supply, Amazon or Copper Gifts.

firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
Oh, and can we just pretend that fireflies look like this?  Literal translation of creatures in cookie form is not one of my gifts.   

To make firefly cookies, you'll need:
firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
Use #2 tips to outline the cookies, sectioning off areas to be filled in different colors.

firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
Thin the white, grey and blue icings with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin.  Count of 2-3 is good.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed.  Pour into squeeze bottles as needed.

firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
Flood the outlines with the thinned icing.  Use a toothpick to guide to edges and pop large air bubbles.

Let the cookies dry for at least one hour.

Thin the yellow icing with water, but instead of using the "ribbon method" above, make it a bit thicker.  Run a knife through the icing, and when at the correct consistency, the line formed by the knife will disappear in 12-15 seconds.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed.  Pour into an icing bag fitted with a #4 tip.

Pipe dots of the thinned yellow icing onto the jar.  Lightly swirl a toothpick in the center to dislodge any air bubbles.

Fill in the outline on the fireflies.

firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
Add details to the cookies...
Use a #2 tips to add wing and body details to the fireflies.  Use a #1 tip to pipe the eye, mouth and antennae.

Use a #2 tip to add detail to the jar lid.

Let the cookies dry uncovered 6-8 hours or overnight.

firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
The cookies are perfectly cute without disco dust.  If you don't have it, or don't want to use it...no problem.

BUT, if you want some serious sparkle on those little buggers...

Once the icing is completely dry, add the disco dust.  Mix together equal parts meringue powder and water.  Brush the mixture onto the yellow areas.  Sprinkle on the disco dust and shake of the excess over a basket-style coffee filter.  (Use as a funnel to pour the excess back into the container.)

Disco dust will stick even to dry areas, so use a dry paintbrush to brush it away.
firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
{This is not the best picture of the process, but it helps to capture the brilliant sparkle of disco dust.}

firefly and mason jar cookies ::: bake at 350
Do you have fireflies in your yard?  Can you box some up and send them this way?!?



47 comments:

  1. These are super cute! I miss fireflies too! We are actually about to move to the Texas Panhandle and I hope they are hope there.

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  2. I love the glitter dust you did on these, I can only think of the many other possibilities to do with this! I miss lightning bugs (what we call them), I don't see them too often here in NYC... but when I do I get a big smile on my face!

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  3. OH MY GOSH!!!!! This are sooooo adorable!!! I have never thought about making fireflies!!!! fireflies bring to my mind very nice memories when my daughter was a little girl…I love them!!

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  4. Oh I miss fireflies!! We do not have them here in Colorado, but when we lived in ohio they were out every summer night! These are adorable!!

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  5. Sadly no fireflies here in England, but we do have lots of little solar lights in our garden so we sit out at dusk and watch them switch on one by one. Not the same, but still pretty. Nowhere near as pretty as your lovely cookies of course. I wish that I could produce something like this!

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  6. I think everyones guess on instagram was correct ha! How lovely are these,the glitter is so pretty!

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  7. These are adorable! I especially love the gold dust on them. Great job!

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  8. I grew up in Alabama as well and remember the summer evenings spent catching them in mason jars. It sure seemed like there were more then than now! Such good memories...thanks!

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  9. I have lived in Alabama my whole life. Growing up in the '70's and '80's, fireflies were everywhere. I remember our yard - and mason jars - being full of them! I helped my son catch a few fireflies when he was little in the late '90's. We still see fireflies occasionally, but there are not many of them around anymore. I'm not sure my little girls have ever even caught fireflies. I'm putting that on our to-do list for this summer! Thank you for sharing your adorable cookies, and for bringing back some sweet memories.

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  10. Oh my goodness, these are the cutest cookies ever! I grew up catching fireflies or lightening bugs as we called them. We just moved back to Oklahoma and now my little guy is doing it.

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  11. Super cute and creative, Bridget!
    Renee - Kudos Kitchen

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  12. My boys steal my Mason jars most evenings to catch lightening bugs! I need to make these for them and their neighborhood friends before summer is over.

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  13. We have fireflies and lots of them. None as cute as these however!

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  14. Oh my gosh! These are just the cutest! You just come on over here and we'll catch some.

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  15. These look just like the lightening bugs we have here in Vermont. I love to lay in bed and watch them out the window against the night sky. These are cute, Bridget!

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  16. I would totally send you some...but when I was little, I put enough in jars to know they dont really like it/survive for long.

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  17. This made me miss the country. I used to love those long summer nights when we could look out across the fields and see thousands of lightning bugs twinkling. These are a welcome substitute--and I have to say, they're a lot cuter than the real thing. :)

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  18. Saw the start of these on IG and had to come over to see what you made of 'em. They are SOOOO cute!! =-D

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  19. First time here and this is a really lovely blog : ) In England we don't have fireflies, but saw them in the US on holiday. I watched out for them every night - they're so pretty, just like these cookies!

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  20. These look so adorable! I love them :)

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  21. The cutest! THE CUTEST!!!! Love them

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  22. Do you mean you don't have fireflys (or lightening bugs as we've always called them here in Maryland) just this summer or where you live now you've never had them? I would think it SO sad to grow up without fireflys. They're such a gentle, nice, wonderful part of summer. Just like ladybugs and butterflies. Oh, you'll never guess what! I actually saw several wooley-worms last week. In my opinion aren't they rather early? I thought wooley worms came out in the fall. Although it might be the ones that at the end of spring when I was bringing in the last of the firewood I tried putting in other shrubs or trees. Like ladybugs and butterflies they're something I try very hard not to harm or kill. I wish I could package up lightening bugs for you but I can't, they're not like bees or ladybugs, they don't travel well. You can have as many of my houseflies or stinkbugs as you want. I'd be more than happy to get rid of them. Everyone around here thinks flies are worse than normal. Usually they don't get this bad until about September. Anyway, I LOVE your firefly cookies. They're a treasure in themselves.

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  23. We have lightening bugs here in Maryland and one of my cats sits in our bay window every night and lunges at the window. The lightening bugs are safe from him and he loves jumping and stretching. It is a win-win for me as I love watching the bugs twinkle and my cat provides entertainment. Adorable cookies

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  24. You are too cute. These are absolutely gorgeous!! Love the little jars.

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  25. Aawwww... lightning bugs! These bring me back, Bridget! We don't have them where I live now but I see them when I visit family up north. I just want to run around catching them like we used to.

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  26. No fireflies here in Denver either...and I miss them from my Philadelphia summers although I do not miss the heat and humidity that came along with those East Coast summers. Your cookies are delightful!

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  27. I don't. I used to have them in my parent's garden when I was a child. What a memories. Yours are so cute and pretty. Great work, very creative as well.

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  28. Wow these are so adorable! You are amazing. We don't get any fireflies here, I can't remember ever seeing them in person!

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  29. Lovely post as always and you make disco dust seem less intimidating. I am obsessed with glitter, so disco dust is on my to buy list so I can glitter my food! I haven't realized where I moved to a year ago had fireflies until this summer or else I was always to busy to notice, they are magical and was a nice little stop and smell the roses reminder.

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  30. These are so adorable... I especially love the jar cookies. You never cease to amaze me with your creativity!

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  31. Such cute cookies:) You are so talented and creative. Hopefully now that I am "retired" I can find the time to bake more.

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  32. Too cute! We live on the southewst side of Houston and rest assured, fireflies/lightening bugs are still here (they don't like the city and prefer the rural areas better). We should have a cookie picninc that way we'd get cookies (always a good thing) and you'd get to see the fireflies for your next inspiration!

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    1. I'm surprised we don't see them everywhere up here in The Woodlands. Maybe they're out there and just not in our yard. :( I need to get out more. Haha!

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  33. I have a question... do you have a good recipe for a royal icing that doesn't have powdered egg whites? I've been looking for a good decorating frosting that I could just whip up when I feel like it, but I haven't met with any success. I love seeing all your decorated cookies and it always makes me want to give decorating a shot!

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    1. Hey Katy! The link above goes to a recipe using meringue powder...I just keep a jar on hand You can also make RI using fresh egg whites. :)

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  34. Funny thing, Arty McGoo came through my neck of the woods with her family. The children had never seen lightning bugs until they arrived in Illinois. I live in Western NY and during their pass through here, they saw plenty. The kids didn't even mind the mosquitoes biting, as long as they got to catch the lightning bugs. They also saw a cardinal for the first time. Yes, they are magical...and so are those cookies. It just made me chuckle to see the post!

    katpilato

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  35. These look magical! Your icing skills are beyond impressive! I haven't seen a firefly in years. Makes me kind of sad, actually. Thanks for the beautifully inspired cookies!

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  36. Love the glitter!!!
    Wish we had then here too!

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  37. Sniff sniff....we used to catch them as a kid and yes, put them in mason jars.
    Wonder where they all went??? Makes me sad

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  38. I love everything about this. They are too cute and so adorable its like I don't want to eat them and Ill just make them as a decoration. lol.
    Thanks for sharing this instructions and maybe I'll try this also.
    xx
    jj
    cakes bakery in Brooklyn

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  39. We live in Missouri and we have noticed a few lightening bugs this summer. Nothing compares to when we were kids and there was a ton of them!!! I love all your cookies, I just stumbled upon your book through one of my suppliers for my cake decorating website and I think I may actually push cookies more than cakes!!!

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  40. How did I miss these?!? SO adorable! Brings back memories of traveling across country with my family when I was 11. I think we were in Missouri and saw fireflies, and I was so excited! That was the one and only time I've seen them.

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