Things are not always what they seem...

    I love cookie cutters. For me, they are hard to resist. OK...the copper cutters that cost $12.95 plus shipping are a little easier to resist than the tin ones costing $2.95, but having the perfect cutter is really fun.

    Do you always have to have the perfect cutter? No. Take a look at the cutters in your stash/basket/closet. Turn them around, look at them with a different eye. What else could they be?
    These little bees were made with my pumpkin cutter. Is the shape perfect? No. Did it work? Absolutely. Not a soul said, "hey...this is supposed to be a pumpkin!"

    I love this bee! It is perfect for so many occasions. With a note attached, the cookies can say:

    BEE my honey
    You've been a busy bee!
    Thanks for BEEing there!
    BEE sweet
    You'll BEE great!

    Have you re-purposed any of your cookie cutters?
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Scottie Dog cookies for a birthday

    My friend Janet and I met when we worked at the Mary Engelbreit store in Chicago together. We had the most fun...whenever something new came into the store, we would play a little game called, "Do we NEED this?!?" Well, whether it was a cherry Christmas ornament in July, a scottie garden statue or a set of kitchen canisters, with a forty percent discount and a friend to talk us into it, we found that we usually did need it, whatever it was!

    These cookies are for Janet's birthday. Even though we haven't laid eyes on each other in years, I still think of her every time I see a scottie dog or something with cherries on it. One more thing about Janet...she is the queen of gift giving! I don't know where she shops, but she always finds the absolute perfect gift and it is always wrapped in the cutest way!

    This plaid cookie design is from a Martha Stewart cookie book. I decided on white scotties instead of black because who wants black icing teeth on their birthday?!?

    Janet...thanks for being such a great friend! I miss seeing your smiling face every day!

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And the winner is...

    My official, impartial name selector...

    ...and the winner is....

    I am so happy that anyone entered at all!!! Over 20 comments and only 3 were relatives!!! Wow, I'm amazed! :) I will do this again; it is fun!

    The funny thing about the drawing was that I was reading the comments to my husband and Bethany asked in hers if I was "the cookie angel." I said to my husband..."well, that's it. I'm sending them to Bethany right now." :) I guess a cookie angel was looking over her name in the drawing!!!

    Bethany...I didn't see a way to contact you, so please email me. There is a link to my email at the very bottom of the blog (and in the comments from the last post). Thanks! Off to decorate some cookies...
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Birthday cookies and a GIVEAWAY!

    I am currently working on a batch of cookies for a friend's birthday and am making a few extras for a giveaway! Anyone interested? Leave a comment by 7:00pm Central on Sunday (July 20th) and a winner will be randomly selected. I'll contact the winner Sunday night to get your address. The only rule is, the cookies have to be shipped within the US. (Yes, Molly...Hawaii counts!) I'll ship the cookies out on Monday. Yay! :)
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Farm Fresh: Cookie Exchange!

    Laura from A Dozen Eggs was kind enough to let me share her "eat your fruits and veggies" cookies for a little cookie exchange. These are so adorable! I can't decide which is my favorite...I'm a sucker for cherries, but that peach cookie is so gorgeous, and the broccoli...don't even get me started!

    I love this time of year with all of the local farms being open, but honestly, this is the way I prefer to get my fruits and veggies!!! Thanks, Laura!
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Blog of the Week, who me?!?

G is for Gabriella . . . and GIRL!

    A little background on these cookies....while my mom was living, she was lucky enough to make some of the best girlfriends ever; my sister & I call them the ya-ya's. In the 25 years or so they've known each other, their families have become part of our family. Now, the 5 ya-ya's have 10 kids total, 8 daughters (I'm one of them). Of all of us girls, we have 9 boys...NO GIRLS! Until now! Erin, mother to 2 adorable boys already, is having a girl and these cookies are for her shower.

    I think the stores in the area may be out of pink at this point! We have been waiting a long time to shop in the little girls' section!!! Don't get me wrong, I'll choose playing Legos over My Pretty Pony any day of the week, but there is something so sweet about tiny smocked dresses and little ruffled diaper covers! Thank you, Erin!!! It was fun going to the "other" side of the kids' section for once! To make these cookies:
    • Using a #3 tip, outline a scalloped border in white icing.
    • Thin pink and white icing with water to the consistency of syrup and cover with a damp dishcloth. Let sit for a few minutes. (Spectrum Deep Pink)
    • Run a rubber spatula gently through the icing to pop any bubbles that have formed on the top. Pour the flood icings into squeeze bottles.
    • Fill in cookies with the pink icing, using a toothpick to guide into the edges.
    • Once about 6 or so have been filled, add dots of thinned white icing on top.
    • Gently place the pre-made monograms onto the wet icing. (See previous post for monogram instructions.)
    • Let sit overnight to dry.

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A new way to monogram

    I've already posted about using royal icing to make cookie monograms, but take a look at a twist on that technique. Recently, I took a cupcake decorating class taught by Karen Tack of Hello Cupcake and I've been reading a wonderful blog, Bakerella. Both Karen and Bakerella use candy melts to do some beautiful decorating, so I thought I would give them a try for monogramming cookies.

    Candy melts are easy to find. WalMart even has a limited supply in their craft section. They are simply melted (on the stovetop or microwave) and they are ready to use. Food coloring and/or flavoring (they taste like chocolate on their own) can be added to them. Pour the melted melts into a disposable decorating bag fitted with a plain tip...I used a #2 tip.I needed "g's" for some baby shower cookies I am making for this weekend...more on those later. I printed out G's and traced the letters on wax paper, just like using royal icing. While they were still wet, I sprinkled white non-pareils on top. Once a tray was filled, I popped in the fridge for a few minutes. Once set, the letters can be removed from the paper and stored in a container at room temperature.Here's the big difference between candy melts and royal icing monograms, the candy melts peeled off the wax paper like a dream! No breakage, whatsoever! The only drawback I see is that the "white" candy melts are not white, but more of a white chocolate color...creamy. This might pose a problem trying to match a monogram color to a royal icing color on the cookie. At the cake decorating store, I think I have seen white food coloring. Has anyone used it? If the store wasn't a hour from my house, I'd run down and pick up a bottle right now!

    I just couldn't bear to throw out all of the extra melted goodness :) last night, so I made a little something for my son's breakfast this morning. Source URL:
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Stars for the 4th

    If you're in need of something to bring to a 4th of July get-together, these cookies are worth a try! You can make them big like above or mini-stars like below.
    For the Dotty Stars:
    • Using a #3 tip, outline the star in white royal icing.
    • Thin red and blue icing to the consistency of syrup and let sit covered with a damp dishtowel for several minutes. Run a rubber spatula through the icing to pop any air bubbles that have formed on top. (AmeriColor Super Red, Spectrum Royal Blue)
    • Transfer thinned icing into squeeze bottles.
    • Working with about 6 cookies at a time, fill in the cookie in the blue icing using a toothpick to coax into the corners.
    • Once 6 or so are filled in blue, dot the red icing on top.
    • Let dry 1 hour.
    • Go over the border piping in white again, using the #3 tip.
    • Let dry overnight.
    • Using either warmed corn syrup or meringue powder mixed with water, "paint" over the raised border using a small paintbrush.
    • Sprinkle with clear sparkling or sanding sugar.
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