Monday, December 30, 2013

♪♪♪What Does The Fox Say?♪♪♪

 I made these cookies for one of my best friend's daughter's birthday recently.
I'm sure you are acquainted with, what most people consider, the most "annoying" or "catchy" YouTube video/song of the year.  People either love it or hate it.  But either way, once you hear gets stuck in your head.

 I had fun doing this set.
 I love when people give my creativity free reign.
I was given the theme, but allowed to just run with it!
Now that you've read this blog post and seen these cookies...what are the chances you have this song running through your head?  Probably a good 99%, haha!
"Dog goes woof, cat goes meow..."
"What does the fox say..."

Happy birthday Jenni!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Salted Caramel Popcorn (recipe)

If there are the words "salted caramel" in ANY recipe...I am all over it!
I found this recipe on Pinterest and the recipe was linked to Cooking Classy.
I had never visited this site before but it has some pretty nifty recipes!
When I saw this one, I KNEW I had to try it.
So I did...and it is...A-W-E-S-O-M-E!
So here's the recipe from Cooking Classy.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
  • 1 - 1 1/4 cups popcorn kernels, popped (use the lesser for thicker caramel coating)
  • 2 1/4 cups packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 2 tsp fine sea salt, or to taste, divided
  • 1 (14 oz) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

  • Pour popped popcorn into two large mixing bowls or 1 giant mixing bowl. In a medium saucepan combine brown sugar, butter, corn syrup and 1/2 tsp of the sea salt. Bring mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring constantly. Once it reaches a boil, add sweetened condesnsed milk, then return to a boil and cook mixture, stirring constantly, until it reaches 236 - 238 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla then stir in 1 tsp of the fine sea salt (you can also stir in remaining 1/2 tsp sea salt or reserve to sprinkle over popcorn, whichever you prefer). Drizzle half of the caramel over popcorn then toss several times and drizzle in remaining caramel and toss, sprinkling in remaining 1/2 tsp salt (or to taste) during tossing and toss popcorn until evenly coated with caramel. Allow to cool then store in airtight containers. 
P.S.  If you like your caramel corn "crunchy" like I do...just pop it in the oven on a baking sheet after covering it with caramel.  Depending on if your oven, I recommend setting it at somewhere between 250-300 degrees and stirring the caramel corn every 15 minutes until desired crunchiness.  You will then have more of a "Cracker Jack" or "Crunch & Munch" consistency caramel corn.

"Other" Sweet Treats...(Christmas Goodies)

Well, Christmas has come and gone.
I thought I'd share a few "other" goodies I made this year.
I enjoy "DECORATING" fancy sugar cookies...
But I enjoy "EATING" drop cookies and bar cookies!
I tend to bake pretty much the same "stand-by" favorites in our family each year and maybe throw in one or two new recipes for the heck of it.
This year I did Butter Balls...some folks call these Snow Balls or Russian Tea Cakes.
Next came the Magic Cookie Bars...some folks call these Hello Dollies.
I tried a new recipe called Snickerdoodle Cutouts.  They weren't quite the same as a Snickerdoodle...more like a cinnamon sugar cookie.  
We also did some Rolo Pretzel Turtles...pretzel, Rolo candy, pecan.
Salted Caramel Thumbprint of my all time favorites!
White chocolate dipped pretzels...with a variety of sprinkles for good measure!
Holiday wreaths...corn flakes, marshmallows, red hots.
Peanut butter Delights...Wheat thins, peanut butter, dipped in chocolate.
Yes...we had quite a variety.
And we're STILL finishing it all up!
What did you make this year?
Do you make the same things every year?
Or do you try new things?
We hope you had a very Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 27, 2013

♪♪♪ O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree...The Baker Is So Goofy! ♪♪♪

 What a complete GOOF!
I had a total blonde moment.
I was so busy getting these cookies baked, decorated, packaged, and arranged on platters...
That I totally forgot to take pictures of them BEFORE bagging them!
I got ALL of them bagged except for that one set of green trees you see in the top left when I exclaimed, "Oh cripes!  I didn't take pictures!"
 I really wanted nice close-ups of these trees too because each set is different!
Oh well...what are ya gonna do?
Here they are, in all their glory...BAGGED...ugh.
In the end, I really enjoyed doing these trees.
 They were kind of like doing the snowflakes...
Each one was unique and different.
 Cookies like these are great because you don't have to follow a picture or pattern.
 As I've mentioned before, I do enjoy creating cookies with particular images on them...for example when people give me a picture and say, "Can you recreate this on a cookie?"
 But that is difficult.
Because there's an expectation of what it "should" look like.
And let's face it, when you're dealing with art on food...
Anything can (and usually does) happen, LOL!
These were the other half that I put on the platters for my clients.
I added them to the snowflakes that I posted about the other day.
Well, Christmas is once again behind us...
I've already seen bakers posting Valentine cookies!
(sigh)...I still need time to recover from Christmas!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013


 I love snowflakes!
I love creating snowflakes!
 I think the reason I enjoy making them so much... because there is no wrong way to make them!
 Each one is unique!
 And it's so much fun coming up with a different design for each one!
 I like to challenge myself and see if I can come up with a different design for EVERY SINGLE snowflake that I make!  Ha!
 I love doing white-on-white too!
 I've done red and green snowflakes...
Blue snowflakes...
 But I think the white-on-white is the most elegant!
 I used pearl dragees on them too.
 I wanted the silver ones, but they are super hard to find.
 These were made to go on gift platters for my clients.
 I put these snowflakes and some Christmas trees on the platters.
I'll share the Christmas trees in the next post.
Do you have snow where you live right now?
It has been snowing non-stop for days now here in the Mitten State (Michigan).
I am enjoying every minute of it...especially since I work from home and don't have to drive in it.  Wishing you a wondrous winter!

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Leftover Icing + Extra Cookie Dough = Nautical Themed Cookies

What do you get when you have leftover icing and extra cookie dough?
In this case, nautical cookies!
I love when I have leftover icing and extra cookie dough from orders and projects.
It gives me the perfect opportunity to practice.
In this case, I didn't really try any new techniques.
I just enjoyed trying out some new cookie cutters that I purchased over the summer and hadn't used yet.
I got the anchor up at Mackinac Island when we were on vacation in July.
I found it at the gift shop up at Fort Mackinac.
You just never know where or when you're going to come across a unique cookie cutter!
The lobster, I got at a garage sale!
I wasn't even looking for baking items.
They had THREE BRAND NEW lobster cookie cutters with the tags still on them from them from the store!
You you KNOW I grabbed one and bought it!
The seagull came from a nautical boxed set I bought a couple years ago and never used.
And then the little sailboat...
My sweet Nate bought it for me at school at an auction his class had one day!
Like I said...
You just never know where or when you'll come across a great cookie cutter!
They all have a story! 
Where are some of the unique places you've gotten your cutters from?

Monday, December 9, 2013

The Great State Of...MICHIGAN!

 Each time I have extra dough from a cookie order...I cut out some shapes I've never done or something new I'd like to try.  I bought this wildlife set of cookie cutters QUITE a while back and had never attempted them.  So the last time I had extra dough, I cut some out, baked them, and then put them in the freezer to decorate later.  Well I had some extra icing yesterday and decided to "play".  I just did a variety of textures on the animals.
Nothing fancy.  But kind of different and fun.
 Had to include "The Great State" as well!
I'm not sure which is my favorite.  I love the texture on the bear...but the duck turned out cool too.  Maybe one of these days I'll get around to doing details on them!
Ha!  Or not... ;)

Friday, December 6, 2013

Peanut Butter Delights/Nutella Delights (recipe)

Every Christmas I make these...and every Christmas I get loads of friends asking for the recipe.
I have to first give credit where credit is due.
This recipe comes from my sister Jessica and her in-laws.
She introduced our family to this sweet treat and my husband and sons have been addicted to them ever since.  I don't know why, but I only make them at Christmas.
Somehow, they just fell into the "Christmas Goodies" category.
I have to also say...they started out as just "Peanut Butter Delights".
However...this past year, we found out my oldest son has a peanut allergy.
So...we decided to modify his portion of these goodies by adding Nutella instead!
Here's what you need:
1 box Wheat Thins crackers
1 jar creamy peanut butter (or Nutella)
1 package Candi-Kwik (chocolate candy coating)
Spread peanut butter (or Nutella) on one cracker.  Add another cracker to the top to "sandwich" them together.  Do this to all of the crackers in the box, spreading each cracker with peanut butter or Nutella and sandwiching them with another.
Next melt your Candi-Kwik in the microwave according to package directions.
Dip the "sandwiched" crackers in melted chocolate...let excess drip off.
Lay each chocolate dipped cracker on waxed paper lined cookie sheet.
Once you've dipped all crackers place cookie sheet in refrigerator to chill/harden chocolate.
Remove from waxed paper and place in air tight container.
Store in refrigerator.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cityside Middle School "Blender Party"...Chix

 This year my son was old enough to go to his first "Blender" at his middle school.
It's a party for 7th and 8th graders with loads of activities...
Limo rides, mechanical bull, caricature drawings, bounce houses, laser tag, manicures, swimming, all you can eat pizza and cookies...and much much more!

Well, naturally, when I found out they needed parent volunteers to bake cookies, you KNOW I was thrilled!
 I decided to do their mascot "Chix" and also plaque cookies with the "Cityside Blender 2013" logo on it in school colors.
I tried a new recipe for these.
I have heard rave reviews about LilaLoa's chocolate cutout cookies.
And it's true...they are amazing!
Personally, I'd be happy just to eat them plain, right out of the oven without icing!

I had a lot of fun doing these.
I hope the kids enjoyed them!
Go Chix!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Sci-Fi/Fantasy Themes...

 I was recently challenged.
Well, let's face an amateur cookie decorator...anything is a challenge.
But this theme was totally out of my league, as I'm not much of a sci-fi gal.
But when my friend contacted me and asked if I'd make cookies for her fiance'...I jumped at the chance because I'm always up for a challenge!
 I only did one dozen cookies.
But within that dozen, I did FOUR different themes.
I don't usually do that many different themes in one set, but like I said...I was up for a challege!

 First up, was The Lord Of The Rings.
I've seen the movie, but like I said...I'm not really into this genre...the real reason I watched the movie until the end was simply because Orlando Bloom was in it...albeit an elf...but a hunky one that!  I wasn't quite sure how to do the ring on this cookie.  So, for the first time...I did some PAINTING!  No, it's not that great...but it was a fun attempt at using a brush!
 I piped a shell border around all of the cookies.  I'd never done this before and really liked the way it turned out.
Next up was Star Trek.
Again, I'm not a Trekkie...but I knew enough about the theme to get by.
Yes, that's "supposed" to be Mr. Spock, LOL!

 We move along to Star Wars.
Now this one, I know a "little" more about, as my sons are TOTAL Star Wars fanatics.
Although I didn't know what the two symbols on these cookies were until my friend explained them to me, ha!  I'm better at naming the characters, LOL!

Now that's something I'd NEVER heard of.
I had to do some "Googling" on this one.
I went with the only items I could find on Google, LOL!

The cookies are due to arrive tomorrow via FedEx to my friend.
I hope her fiance' likes them!
Happy birthday!
And God Bless!