Margaritas, anyone?

    Go ahead, have a few! Guaranteed hangover-free! :)
    To make the margarita cookies:
    • Using a #2 tip, outline the cup and stem of the margarita glass in white.
    • Using a #2 tip, pipe a lime rind on one corner of the glass. (AmeriColor Leaf Green)
    • Thin both white and light green icing with water until they reach the consistency of syrup, cover with a damp dishtowel and let sit several minutes (AmeriColor Leaf Green).
    • Stir the green icing gently with a rubber spatula to break any bubbles on the surface and transfer to a squeeze bottle.
    • Fill in the majority of the glass with green flood icing to just underneath the rim of the glass.
    • Fill in the lime wedge.
    • Stir and transfer white icing to a squeeze bottle. Fill in the top of the glass with white (touching the green), making a somewhat wavy line. for a frosty glass look.
    • Fill in the stem of the glass in white.
    • Let dry overnight.
    • Using warmed corn syrup or a mixture of meringue powder and water, paint a line across the top piping on the glass with a small paintbrush.
    • Sprinkle with clear sparkling or sanding sugar to make the salted rim. Shake off any excess.

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Sweet Swimmer

    A sweet surprise for swim coaches or a snack at the meet....

    • With a #2 tip, pipe the outline of hair on the cookie in brown. (Spectrum Chocolate Brown)
    • Using a #1 tip, pipe lenses of the goggles on the face in gray. (Spectrum Super Black)
    • With a #2 tip, pipe the face outline in fleshtone, meeting with the hair outline. (AmeriColor Fleshtone/Copper)
    • Thin brown, fleshtone and gray icings to the consistency of syrup. Cover with a damp cloth and let sit several minutes. Stir gently to pop bubbles that have formed on top.
    • Pour brown into a squeeze bottle and fill in hair. Use a toothpick to coax the icing into all corners and to edges.
    • Follow the same instructions with the gray icing and fill in goggles.
    • Follow the same instructions with the fleshtone icing and fill in the face.
    • Let dry at least 1 hour.
    • Again using the #2 tip and brown icing, pipe hair detail, going back over the outside outline as well.
    • Using a #1 tip, go over outline of goggles and add a nose piece.
    • Using a #2 tip, add goggle straps in red. (AmeriColor Super Red)
    • Change red icing bag to a #1 tip and pipe smile.
    • Mix a little silver lustre (luster) dust with vodka. (The vodka will evaporate.)
    • Using a small paintbrush, apply silver to the goggle lenses.

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For June brides...

    With this simple tiered cake cookie cutter, the possibilities are really endless. Don't limit yourself to just wedding cookies, this makes a perfect birthday cookie, too. Over the years, I've probably used this cutter and my scalloped square cutter the most.

    The edge on this cookie was finished in gold lustre dust.
    This "squiggle cake" is a really simple design and still one of my absolute favorites! Here's how to make them:
    • Outline cookies in white royal icing, using a #2 or #3 tip.
    • Thin icing with water to the consistency of syrup. Let sit for several minutes covered with a damp dishtowel. Use a rubber spatula and run through the icing after sitting to break most of the air bubbles that have risen to the top. Pour this into a squeeze bottle.
    • Fill in cookies with the thinned flood icing, using a toothpick to guide into corners.
    • Let dry at least 1 hour.
    • Using a #1 or #2 tip (these cookies were piped with a #2, look at the top pic for #1 tip example), squeeze piping icing in a free-form squiggle pattern. (Be sure on this design to fill your piping bag no more than half full....any more and your hand will start to hurt and's a lot of squeezing!) :)
    • Ta-da! Place in a bag and tie with coordinating ribbon.
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Cookies for soldiers: part 2

    Thank you to everyone who volunteered to make cookies for the soldiers for Father's Day! Here's a peek at our contribution. I figured decorated cookies weren't going to make it traveling all those miles, so we made checkerboard cookies and peanut butter cookies.
    I wanted to send something chocolate, but thought that chocolate chips might be a mess, so I decided on these checkerboard cookies made with vanilla and chocolate dough. The recipe and instructions come from The King Arthur Cookie Companion. The cookies aren't hard to make, they just take a little time. There is a lot of cutting (my bench scraper worked best for this) and stacking, but a lot of the time is letting them rest in the freezer between cuts.
    This has to be my favorite part of the package. I asked my son to make a Father's Day card or picture for the soldiers and this is what he can up with. You can see what constitutes a celebration in our house...cookies & beer! :) I know his grandfather is so proud!

    1-2-3-4 Peanut Butter Cookies (this is a great recipe for cookies in a hurry, you probably have these items on hand):
    adapted from The King Arthur Cookie Companion

    1 c peanut butter (crunchy or creamy, not low-fat or natural)

    1 lg egg

    1 c sugar

    1 tsp baking soda

    Preheat oven to 375 and line baking sheets with parchment. Beat together all ingredients until smooth. Drop by the teaspoonful into baking sheets. Bake 10 minutes or until cookies appear set. Cool on the pan 5 minutes before removing to cooling rack.

    (The recipe states this makes 4 dozen; I got exactly 26 out of each batch.)
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