Thursday, December 22, 2011

Frosty the Snowman Re-Visited (aka: the overacheiving cookie decorator)

There's just something about this time of year that makes me want to bake - usually unhealthy stuff, of course!

  I made these adorable little "Melting Snowmen" last year for Kyrie's class party - I signed up to bring treats again this year and after searching Pinterest for the "perfect" treat idea, Kyrie decided she needed "melting snowmen" again this year!

  Come along and make them with me!

It all starts with a great recipe - which you will find at the end of this post ;)

After the cookies have baked and cooled completely,  it's time to add the icing - er - melted snow. What I love about this icing, is it spreads nicely, dries fairly quick, (don't wait too long to set the marshmallows in!) and it smooths out SO nice! I used a decorator bag and a #12 round icing tip.

But you can also spread it on with a spatula. (I recommend an angled spatula.)

Stick the marshmallows in, toward the back of the cookie. Then draw faces on the marshmallows with a food coloring pen (I HIGHLY recommend this AmeriColor brand writer!) When the "melted snow" icing is firm enough, draw stick hands (only light pressure is needed.) in the melted snow.

Using Buttercream icing OR mini M&M's, add some buttons. Last time I used buttercream but this time I decided it would save me a little time filling icing bags if I just used mini M&M's! Press them down in the "melted snow".

Using buttercream icing and a # 16 icing tip, wrap some scarves around their necks. String licorice would work fine too, unless you too live in a small town and string licorice is unheard of!
Then pipe noses on with buttercream icing and a #3 icing tip. Don't be like me and do this BEFORE you pipe the scarves on - you might knock the noses off! (I didn't, but I had to stick my tongue out and tip my head just right to avoid them!)

Seperate oreo cookies and scrape the icing off. Break a few in the process, so you will have to eat them. Dab a bit of buttercream on the marshmallow head (there's an insult for you!), and stick the oreos on.

If you want to make them "TOP" hats, bake up a batch of brownies, and after they are cooled use circle cutters to cut them out. Stick the brownie circles on to the oreo's with a dab of buttercream.

Do this, and you too can be an overachiever like me. (Ka-Chwo!) (oops, guess there's been a little too much "Cars 1" going on around here lately!)

This recipe is GREAT when using complex cookie cutters. The dough holds its' shape and won't spread during baking. Make sure you let your oven preheat for at least 1/2 hour before baking these or any other cookies.

5 1/4 cups flour
3 tsp. baking powder
2 cups butter
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract or desired flavoring (I like 1 tsp. vanilla and 1 tsp. almond myself)
1 tsp. salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix well. Mix dry ingredients and add a little at a time to butter mixture. Mix until flour is completely incorporated and the dough comes together.

Chill for 1 to 2 hours (or see Hint below)

roll to desired thickness and cut into desired shapes. Bake on ungreased baking sheet (I cover the cookie sheets with parchment paper) at 350 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes or until just beginning to turn brown around the edges. This recipe can make up to 5-dozen 3” cookies.

HINT: Rolling Out Dough Without the Mess -- Rather than wait for your cookie dough to chill, take the freshly made dough and place a glob between two sheets of parchment paper. Roll it out to the desired thickness then place the dough and paper on a cookie sheet and pop it into the refrigerator. Continue rolling out your dough between sheets of paper until you have used it all. By the time you are finished, the first batch will be completely chilled and ready to cut. Reroll leftover dough and repeat the process! An added bonus is that you are not adding any additional flour to your cookies

Toba Garrett's Glace' Icing

1 lb. confectioners' sugar
1/2 cup milk
3/4 cup light corn syrup
flavoring as desired (peppermint oil and vanilla are my new favorite!)

Add more milk if it needs thinning.

In a mixing bowl, mix the sugar and milk first. Add corn syrup just until combined.
**HINT** Cover your mixer with a damp towel to keep your whole kitchen from being covered in powdered sugar!!!
Divide to flavor and add color. (if you don't want it all white.) If it's too runny, add powdered sugar to get it so you could spoon it on the cookies without it running all over the place! I also add some popcorn salt (because it's super fine) and use Creme Bouquet and Vanilla for flavorings. (but see my note above about peppermint oil!)

Friday, December 16, 2011

She will be loved

Here is a small preview of the birth I just attended - I got to be Doula AND Photographer!
My newest niece Bethany Dawn arrived Friday Dec 16th at 2:53am.

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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The better to see you with, my dear!

Little Miss Kyrie got glasses... pictures pretty much say it all! =)

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

The sewing machine has been humming!

 I'm not sure there's anything that brings on nostalgia quicker than the sounds and smells of your childhood! It hits me every time I pull out the serger... for some reason the sewing machine doesn't quite smell the same way!
I've been working on this project for awhile - too long - and since Kyrie wanted to be able to wear it for her school Christmas program, I figured I'd better get moving on it!
This pair of Jeans caught her eye while were were "back to school shopping" - I thought they were cute but I don't think there's anything modest about "skinny jeans" on a 7 yr old so I bought them with the plans to make them into a skirt! Found just the perfect Corduroy at Joann's Fabrics and an idea was born!

Here's pictures of most of the process. Kyrie & I were both happy with the finished product! =)

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Knot your typical braid!

I always like trying somethign different on Kyrie's hair! Relyssa has been doing these knots and they're cute - but Kyrie needs something that stays a little better at school. So I tried "gathering" knots today!

Loved how it turned out! Just start as you would with a french braid, but with two pieces. Tie in a knot, gather, tie another knot, etc, until the hair is used up!
  Happy Hair-do's!

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