Now a cookie can put someone in their place! um. at the dinner table. A dear friend has used my cookies for years to personalize her Christmas Eve table scape. Trees seemed to be my theme for Christmas 2014 and so it was for her place cookies.
So I have this wonderful card group that gets together for a rambunctious game of 500 every month. We have gone away on weekend trips together, shared our childrens’ ups and downs, and laughed loudly and gleefully while supporting one another. This was my last time to host/play (did I tell you that we are moving to Denver?) so I wanted to do something special for these lovely ladies. The cookie was a double play on words, as it was holiday gift giving season (Hanukkah and Christmas for our card clan) and I wanted it to be a gift from my heart.
They were made by allowing a base coat of white RI to dry overnight and then hand painting the packages with thinned gel (clear vanilla or vodka to thin). When that was dry, I used an edible ink black pen to outline. Took a bit of time but these friends are so worth the effort. Forgot to take a picture of the final presentation but you can see the tag that was attached.
Inspiration came from a picture I saw when ordering from Fashion and Compassion (helps women overcoming poverty & injustice in the US, South America & Africa). Hope your holiday season is filled with surprisingly pleasant gifts!
I wanted to design some simple but sweet cookies this year involving Santa. Something geometric but not complicated. Here is that design!
These are the steps involved in creating them. Sorry about the poor quality of the first photos. One day I will make myself a photo booth…
I first made the “oval face” using a bit of ivory food coloring. That dried for 4 hours before I added his red hat.
While the red hat was still wet, I sprinkled on coarse, clear sugar crystals.
Then I worked on his beard. A quick coat of RI white with little round white non-pariels and voila!
I let this all set overnight (isn’t necessary if you are careful) and got to work on his face. A Q-Tip to add his blush and two simple wide eyes with black royal icing, Santa was complete.
The finished product! Ho.ho.hope you like!
It’s usually quite busy around the holidays so I was trying to think of simple but quick ways to feed a relatively large number of people. Two of these trays were inspired by 2 different cookie queens (I bow before their amazing talents): the original idea for the tree was from MelissaJoy and the poinsettia from Sweet Sugar Belle. Melissa Joy’s tree offered 30 cookies and I needed more like 60. So I made the trees smaller, 2-3 bite size/3″ tall but narrow. The poinsettia platter was made for a specifically requested number of cookies but this is another design where lots of small leaves and several small rounds in the center could make it a large group winner. The last plate is a santa hat along the same lines. I think I would change up the red cookie size or shape next time I made this but at least the cookies were delicious. In any case, these simple and sweet designs allow you to bake and decorate and still have time for wrapping presents, eggnog, mistletoe?.
Move over, York. These peppermint Patties are made with chocolate shortbread (thank you for sharing the recipe Lila Loa) and standard buttercream icing flavored with peppermint extract. Crushed a couple of peppermint candies to decorate the borders and voila. Very Minteresting!
The periodic table has enjoyed a rejuvenated coolness ever since Breaking Bad. Personally, I always thought there were loads of interesting stories associated with the elements (ie: Copper and clean air/water systems and the 1976 outbreak of Legionnaires’ disease OR Iodine and Mahatma Gandhi and the British salt tax. Apparently the British have an inspirational way with taxes and revolutions.). So I’m “breaking” out the elements again- this time to celebrate that jolly, old elf. How does he know if we’ve been bad or good? NSA?