Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts
Showing posts with label flowers. Show all posts

Monday, May 19, 2014

Gold Chevron Stenciled Floral Thank You Cookies...say that 3 times fast.

gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)
For the past few months, I've been having stencil angst.  Yes, actual angst over an actual piece of plastic for cookie decorating.  For real.

gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)
Maybe you feel this way, too....but sometimes I see pictures of other decorated cookies that are utter perfection and I'm paralyzed.  Cookie paralyzed.

gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)
For example, I love the look stencils can give cookies (you can find some really great ones here).  I ordered several and read up on the best way to use them.  Then, I gave it a try, didn't think they were "perfect" enough, and tossed them.

I stashed the stencils away, but I thought about them a LOT. 

gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)
Fast forward to last month...we spent a few hours at our town's art festival.  The art was beautiful, inspiring, creative...and guess what?  Not perfect.  Actually, the art that was more quirky, less perfect, more real was the art that was my favorite. 

And hello, Bridget.  These are cookies we're talking about, not the Sistine Chapel.

When I had the chance to make some thank you cookies, I busted out the stencils again.  No airbrush, no special stencil magnets, no angst. (Ok, a little angst.)

I guess what I'm trying to say here is...don't let the fear of imperfection keep you from creating.

gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)
In the end, I kind of love that the stenciling on the cookies is a little wonky. 

Let's make a deal.  Let's try to not be paralyzed by the fear of imperfection.  Maybe we won't strive for wonky, but let's embrace it and find the beauty in the rustic, the homemade, the flawed.

gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)

To make these gold chevron stenciled floral cookies ;), you'll need:



gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)
Use  #2 tips to outline the cookies with ivory and turquoise icing.  Reserve some of this piping consistency icing before thinning.

Thin the ivory and turquoise icings with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  (Reserve some of the white icing for piping details later.) 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.

Fill in the outlines with the thinned icing, using a toothpick to guide to the edges and to pop large air bubbles.

Let the cookies dry at least one hour.

thank you chevron rose cookies tutorial 2 photo thankyouchevronrosetutorialcollage2.jpg
For the "thank you" cookies: Use star tips to make rosettes with the star tips in the pink icing.  Use #3 or #4 tips to pipe the base of swirly flowers in peach icing.  Switch the tips on the pink to #1 and add a swirl on top of the peach icing.

Use a leaf tip to pipe leaves in the avocado icing.

Pipe working using a #1 or #1.5 tip.  (I used both 1 & 1.5 PME tips.)

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

gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)
For the chevron cookies: Let the base color dry completely before stenciling. Place the cookie on a small plate and the plate on a cookie sheet.  Rest the stencil lightly over the top of the cookie, and spray a light coating of gold spray evenly over the top.  Gently lift the stencil off of the cookie, and blot it before placing it onto another cookie.

gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)
Pipe on flowers and leaves as described above.

Be not afraid.  Go forth and cookie! 
gold chevron stenciled floral thank you cookies ... and thoughts on overcoming "cookie decorating perfection angst" ;)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Painted Rose Cookies for Mother's Day


If you're here from Today with Kathie Lee & Hoda, WELCOME! I hope you'll grab a cup of coffee and browse around for a bit! Click here for the strawberry layer cake with amaretto swiss meringue buttercream recipe.
strawberry layer cake with swiss meringue buttercream


Painted Rose cookies for Mother's Day... painted rose decorated cookies ... perfect for Mother's Day
Cookie inspiration really is EVERYWHERE!  Seriously, look to your right.  That thing right there?  That could be a cookie.
(I so hope you're not blog reading in the bathroom.)

Invitations are great jumping off points for cookie design ideas.  Lately, I've been enamored with Swanky Press invitations.  Our school ordered invites for our fundraiser from them (so cute!), and ever since, I keep popping over to their site for cookie ideas.

painted rose decorated cookies ... perfect for Mother's Day
I fell in love with the rose garland on this bridal shower invitation and thought it would be just perfect for Mother's Day.  {Note to my boys: Mother's Day is approaching!}

painted rose decorated cookies ... perfect for Mother's Day
Don't worry, you need ZERO artistic skill to make these.  You'll basically be painting cloud-shaped blobs on your cookies.  If I can do it, so can YOU!

 

To make painted rose cookies, you'll need:


Start by icing your cookies with a base coat of white icing.  Outline the cookies with a #2 tip.

Thin the icing 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 a squeeze bottle. 

Fill in the outlines with the thinned icing, using a toothpick to guide to the edges and to pop large air bubbles.

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

how to paint on cookies
Once the cookies are completely dry, gather your supplies for painting: paintbrushes, palette, paper towels, food coloring, water, and food coloring pen.

I find it easier to start with the "Mom" in the center, then add the flowers.  You could use a paintbrush for this, but I think a food coloring pen is the perfect tool here.

how to paint on cookies
Next, mix food coloring with water in approximately equal amounts on your palette.  Dip the brushes into the mixture, then blot well on paper towels before painting on the cookies.

painted rose decorated cookies ... perfect for Mother's Day, inspired by @swankypress invitations
The roses really are just little cloud shapes.  With the soft pink food coloring, I filled in the shape, and then added detail with the electric pink.  For the electric pink roses, I left them with white centers.

Add the leaves and garland in green.
painted rose decorated cookies ... perfect for Mother's Day
Give the cookies about 30 minutes to dry completely. 

On a totally weird, exciting, how-did-this-happen note...this Thursday morning, I'll be drinking...no wait, I'll be cooking/baking with with Ree and Maria and these two.  YEP.

Excuse me while I pass out.  I'll be the one hiding behind Ree.
painted rose decorated cookies ... perfect for Mother's Day


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Color Challenge: Bright Pink for Fall

Welcome to the first installment of the Color Challenge!!! 

Color Challenge ::: 7 bloggers, one color, endless creativity!

Spearheaded by the uber-fabulous, uber-cool Mandi, of Vintage Revivals, seven bloggers from different niches (fashion, beauty, home, organizing, DIY, parenting...you get the idea) are incorporating a certain color into their "medium."

Today's challenge color: BRIGHT PINK!!! 
color challenge: bright pink cookies for fall :: bake at 350 blog
My mind immediately went to summery and bright cookies, but since we're heading into fall, I wanted to bring in those deep, rich tones that really make pink POP!

color challenge: bright pink cookies for fall :: bake at 350 blog
The cookie design itself is simple; I know, it looks fancy.  The technique is called brush embroidery.  I waited years before trying it because I can't sew and the word "embroidery" scared me.  Trust me, this is a perfect cookie for beginners!  (Sewing skills not required.)

color challenge: bright pink cookies for fall :: bake at 350 blog
You could make the design on any shape cookie...square, round, hearts. I chose this awesome plaque cookie cutter from Copper Gifts.

Adding a little black food coloring to the green and navy icing adds a bit of depth and darkness. Add it a bit at a time to avoid turning the icing totally black.  I use a toothpick to dip into the food coloring and then into the icing.

To tint the cookie dough, add in pink gel paste food coloring along with the eggs in the cookie recipe.  Once the flour is added, if the dough needs more color, knead it in by hand.  Don't worry, the pink will wash off of your hands.

To make these Bright Pink brush embroidery cookies, you'll need:
color challenge: bright pink cookies for fall :: bake at 350 blog
Outline the cookies in pink using a #4 plain tip.  Since we're filling with dark colors, let the outline sit for 30 minutes to an hour before filling to prevent bleeding.

Thin the remaining 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.

color challenge: bright pink cookies for fall :: bake at 350 blog
Fill in the outlines with the thinned icing. Use a toothpick to guide to edges and pop large air bubbles.

Let the cookies dry uncovered 6-8 hours, or overnight.
color challenge: bright pink cookies for fall :: bake at 350 blog

color challenge: bright pink cookies for fall :: bake at 350 blog
Once the icing is completely dry, use a #2 tip to pipe squiggly lines as an outer layer of petals in pink.

Dampen the brush with water, then blot very well on a paper towel.  Place the brush right into the icing and pull towards the center.

Make another layer,
bright pink cookies for fall, tutorial :: bake at 350 blog

and then another...
bright pink cookies for fall, tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog

In the center, pipe some dots for the flower center using a #1 tip.

Make some flowers in the center of the cookies, and some off the sides...I like both. 

color challenge: bright pink cookies for fall ::: bake at 350 blog
What do you think about bright pink for fall? 

Image Map
Now.  Go check out the other lovely ladies and their Bright Pink posts!  Seriously.  Go! ;)
 


Monday, August 19, 2013

Everything's Coming Up Rosie

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
These cookies have been almost 5 months in the making.  OK...not in the *actual* making, but in the mental making.  You see, my sister had a little girl in April (this is her 4th baby...the first 3, boys).
Her name is Rosie. ♥ 

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Thinking about cookies for Rosie, I knew I wanted to do roses (was that obvious?), so months ago, I bought some silicone rose molds by Martha Stewart.  Ah, Martha.

{Now, these are made for clay, but I used them with fondant.  Silicone is used for all kinds of cooking applications...and I can't find anything about specific "food-grade" silicone, but found this, "as a low-taint, non-toxic material, silicone can be used where contact with food is required."  And, the fondant is touching the silicone for about 2 seconds.  In other words, I think it's ok.}

Alright, disclaimer over.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Ever since Rosie was born, my sister Molly and I have been debating the big issues.  Like, do we think pink roses are prettier on a blue or yellow background?  I still don't know.  

Originally, I thought the background for the cookies would be gingham, but (a.) painting diagonals is not one of my gifts, and (b.) they ended up looking more like lattice...which I liked.  They remind me of vintage lattice work.  I should just say I planned it that way. ;)
rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog

To make these Rosie cookies, you'll need:

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Use a #2 tip to outline the cookies in yellow, pink, and blue

Thin the icings with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  (Reserve some of the white icing for piping details later.) 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.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Fill in the outlines with the thinned icing, using a toothpick to guide to the edges and to pop large air bubbles.

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

While the cookies are drying, make the roses. 

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Dust the insides of the molds with cornstarch.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Press the tinted fondant into the mold (it helps to dust your hands with cornstarch, too).  Roll over the back of the mold with a small rolling pin.  I used the handle of a pastry cutter.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Flip the mold over and gently pry it off of the fondant.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Use a paring knife (I eventually started using an X-acto knife) to cut away the excess.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Make some leaves, too.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
{I couldn't stop staring at them.}

The next day, add the lattice or gingham to the dried icing. (If you want to see REAL gingham on cookies, check out Glorious Treats.)

Mix equal parts food coloring and water.  Dip a flat paintbrush into the mixture, then blot off the excess.  I used a different yellow for the painting than I did for the icing.  The egg yellow as a paint was reading too "school bus."  I switched it up for Lemon Yellow.  (You can see the difference on those napkins in the picture.)
rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Paint on diagonal lines (hopefully better than I did).

Use a small paintbrush and paint along the edges of the fondant roses with the pink "paint" to add some dimension.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Use royal icing to attach the roses and leaves to the cookies.

I know, it seems like a lot of steps, but honestly, they're pretty easy.  As a matter of fact, I want to stick those roses onto every cookie I make from this point forward.

rosie cookies tutorial ::: bake at 350 blog
Rosie....we're so happy you are here!!!  
Thanks for bringing roses, hair bows, ruffles, tutus, and PINK into our lives! ♥



Online Cake Decorating Class

Friday, July 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mom!

yellow rose cookies ::: bake at 350 blog
If you've read the blog for a while, or have stopped by for a cut-out cookie recipe, you may have met my mom already.

mom flip photo momflip600.jpg
{Um, how cool is that HAIR?!?}

Today is her birthday.  (Or was...I'm never sure how to phrase that.  I mean, this day always *will* be the day of her birth.  Gah!  So confusing.  See, my mom would know these things.)

yellow rose cookies ::: bake at 350 blog
I think of my mom every day.  This year, though...I've really wondered what life would be like if she were still here with us.  My sister had her 4th baby (a girl!), and I see so much of my mom in her eyes.  Kiddo is about to start high school, and I know she would have been so excited to hear all about his classes and activities.  My dad had surgery last month, and it was...strange...not having her there. (He's doing great, by the way....hi, Dad!)

Yellow roses were her favorite, so I thought I would make some to celebrate.  And, unless she figures out a way to get back here, I guess I'm going to have to eat them, too.

These are vanilla-almond sugar cookies topped with a swirl of crusting buttercream and royal icing leaves. (Keep scrolling for the instructions to make them.)
yellow rose cookies ::: bake at 350 blog

Here are some things I remember about my mom:
  • she always had a project...a quilt, sewing costumes, making Christmas ornaments,
  • her love of all things Irish,
  • she would reapply her mascara and lipstick just before my dad came home from work,
  • our house was *always* clean,
  • going to a school open house and watching her ever-so-politely put my bully of a band director in her place,
  • she loved the Miss America pageant and watched it every year,
  • every time we drove from Houston to Tulsa to visit my grandmother, she would sing "Oklahoma" as we crossed the Red River,
  • her grammar lessons,
  • she fiercely loved her family and friends,
  • her lasagna, chicken & rice, cabbage rolls, spinach salad, mint chocolate ice cream pie, cinnamon rolls...and a million other meals.
yellow rose cookies ::: bake at 350 blog
To make the yellow rose cookies, you'll need:
yellow rose cookies, how-to royal icing leaves ::: bake at 350 blog
First, make the royal icing leaves.  On a sheet of waxed paper, pipe the leaves and let dry.  The piping process is fast, but they need several hours to dry.  You can make these weeks in advance and store at room temperature.  Tips used: Ateco leaf tips #112 & #68

Bake and let the cookies cool completely.

Make Amanda's buttercream.  I followed the recipe almost exactly, just changing up the extracts a bit to 1 & 1/2 teaspoons vanilla and 1/2 teaspoon almond extract.  The rose cookie idea was inspired by Amanda as well.  Y'all, she makes the prettiest sweets!

yellow rose cookies ::: bake at 350 blog
{note: This crusting buttercream involves shortening.  You know when people say they don't like grocery store cake because of the frosting?  I'm the girl timing my approach to the cake table so I'll get the corner piece with the big ol' honkin' rose.  Apparently, shortening is my love language.  Anyhoo...I know we all have foods we don't do; mine is aspartame.  If this you don't do shortening, this is not the recipe for you. :)}

yellow rose cookies 2013 rack photo yellowrosecookies2013rack.jpg
Place the buttercream in a piping bag, start in the middle of each cookie and twirl the frosting around.  It's almost like a fat number 6. (I used an Ateco #828 for the large and medium cookies and a #96 for the small.) Peel the leaves off of the waxed paper and place right onto the frosting.

{Don't even get me started on how much I love this little guy...}
yellow rose cookies ::: bake at 350 blog
Happy Birthday, Mom!!!  You are missed every day!  ♥  




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