Search Results for: Cookies

Valentine’s Day Quilted Heart Cookies

Over the past few years I’ve acquired a fair amount of baking and decorating paraphernalia.  OK, quite a lot may be an understatement.  It’s actually case loads. I’ve got good intentions to use it all, but the reality is I rarely have time to sit down anymore and have a play around with all my decorating tools.

Fondant heart cookies

Luckily for me there was a day this week when the stars aligned and what seemed like the impossible was actually possible. I’ve wanted to make fondant topped sugar cookies for ages now, so Valentine’s Day was the perfect excuse to make some pretty heart cookies.

I whipped up a batch of cookies using my favourite recipe (here), and tinted my fondant while I waited for them to bake. After rooting around for a few minutes in one of my decorating boxes, I pulled out a quilted patchwork cutter, and a set of fondant crimpers.  I hadn’t used either of these before so was a bit unsure how to actually use each of them but they were pretty easy to figure out.

Fondant heart cookies
The patchwork cutter (here) is really simple to use, and produced a really pretty effect.  I can see it quickly becoming one of my favourite tolls to use with fondant. Simply press the cutter firmly in the fondant, making sure to to press evenly all over the cutter and then gently lift up. Cut out a piece of the patterned fondant using the same (but clean) cookie cutter as you did with the cookies.
 

Once your cookies are out of the oven and cooled, brush a little water on the back of your fondant shapes (this acts just like glue) and gently press them on top of your cookies.  Leave them aside for an hour or so for the fondant to stiffen up. 

Fondant heart cookies

The fondant crimpers took a bit of getting used to. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to use them, so tested them on a piece of rolled fondant first, and was pleasantly surprised with the results.  The crimpers (similar to these) produced a really delicate frilly design, so I used them to work my way around the outer edge of the fondant heart, and then back around the inside to add a second frilly row.

It was my first time making fondant topped cookies, and using the tools too create the different effects. As is the case with most of the things I bake, I’m taking these into the office so they’re not staring me in the face every moment of the day waiting for me to gobble them up.  But I did save a few of them so I could make a special batch of blue hearts for my two Valentines that will be home today.

Happy Valentine’s Day

 Fondant heart cookies

Kids Handprint Cookies For Mothers Day


I learned to bake when I was a kid, back in the day before there were blogs and celebrity chefs.  Like many young girls, I learned to bake from the women in my life – my mom and my mom’s mom.  I loved helping out in the kitchen whenever I got a chance.  I learned how to bake cinnamon buns, donuts, cookies, chocolate truffles, and the most amazing cakes ever.  Many of my fondest memories happened (and still do happen) in the kitchen.  

I can only hope that Jayden will enjoy helping me out in the kitchen as much as I enjoyed helping my mom out.  But for now I’ve got him practising his “mixing skills” with a wooden spoon and a soup pot.  And he’s doing a pretty good job if I so say so myself! 

Although he can’t officially help me out with my baking yet, he did play a crucial role in these funfetti sugar cookies.  I used his little hand as a template and then cut out the dough around the template using a sharp knife.  

The idea for these cookies actually came from my mom when she forwarded them to me in a Martha Stewart email last week.  You see, a couple of weeks ago we were supposed to fly home to Canada to visit our parents.  It had been over a year since Jayden last saw his grandparents, but unfortunately some dishonest and manipulating people ended up preventing us from taking our trip home to see them.  It still amazes me how certain people can live with themselves despite the promises that were previously made.  

In the end my mother in law ended up making the trip over to the UK to see us instead.  I figured since my parents couldn’t see how much their grandson had grown since they last time they saw him, I’d send his little handprint to them in cookie form.  I made these at the last minute, the night before my mother in law left so I only managed to take a few pictures on my iphone.  Apologies for the poor photographs.

Seeing as today is Mother’s Day in the UK, I figured what better way than to celebrate with these fun and creative cookies that you and your kids can make together.

Although the idea for these cookies came from Martha Stewart, I used Peggy Porschen’s trusty sugar cookie recipe which is the only sugar cookie recipe I use.  I’ve had nothing but success with it.  I don’t even bother trying new recipes, especially when they call for baking powder which causes the cookies to rise and loose their shape.


Mummy’s Little Helper Handprint Cookies

1.  Start out by tracing the outline of your child’s hand on a heavy piece of cardstock – I used the back of an old cereal box.  Cut out the handprint and set aside.  

2.  Make one batch of Peggy Porschen’s sugar cookie dough – recipe here.  Add in 1 – 2 tablespoons of coloured sprinkles to the cookie dough near the end just as the mixture is forming a dough.  Chill for at least an hour.

3.  Roll the dough out according to the directions in my original sugar cookie post here.  Place your child’s handprint template on the dough, and trace around it with a sharp knife, and repeat with the remaining dough.

4.  Chill the cookie cutouts in the freezer for 10 minutes, before baking in a 350ºF (180ºC) oven for 8 – 10 minutes.   

I packaged Jayden’s little handprint cookies in a plastic container with lots of bubble wrap, so I’m hoping they made it home to my parents safely with all 5 fingers present and accounted for!


Valentine’s Day Chocolate Chip Cookies

In the UK it always seems like we’re a bit cheated when it comes to fun baking ingredients. Whenever I make a trip back to Canada or the US I always go a bit mad by chucking every type of chocolate chip, different flavoured Oreo cookie, and seasonal candy in my shopping cart so I can bring them all back to the UK to restock my baking shelf.  


I’ve brought some pretty cool chocolate chips back from my overseas travels including milk & white chocolate swirls, green mint chips, mini Reese’s Pieces, lemon chips, etc.  You get the picture…. they have LOTS to choose from.  But there’s one chocolate chip I’ve never been able to find – PINK ones!  And to be honest, I hadn’t even thought of pink chocolate chips until a couple of years ago when I noticed that one of the top search terms that people used to get to my blog was “pink chocolate chips”.  So it was really all of you guys who gave me the idea for my next project.  


After scouring the internet for a mainstream brand of pink chocolate chips, I couldn’t find anything.  The only thing I could think of even remotely similar were the coloured candy melts I had sitting on my shelf.  But they were far too big to be used as chocolate chips in a cookie. I had two options – chop them up into little pieces, or melt them and make my own pink chocolate chips.

Obviously I choose to make my own!  And it was so easy!  Not only did I make my own pink chocolate chips, but I also made red ones as well as a few other colours which will be revealed in a future post. 

Making your own chocolate chips is so easy!  Follow my directions below, and you’ll soon be able to make chocolate chip cookies with chips in every shade of the rainbow!  

How to Make Your Own Coloured Chocolate Chips

Materials:


Candy Melts
Disposable Piping Bag
Silicone Baking Mat
Food Colouring, optional

Directions: 

1. Start off by melting some candy melts in your colour of choice over a double boiler.  If you don’t have the exact colour you want, then you can use some white melts and tint them whatever colour you choose using a gel / paste / powder colouring.   (I tinted some of mine this way, and they turned out perfectly fine). 

2.  Snip off the tip of a disposable piping bag (make sure not to snip too much off, otherwise you’re chips will be too big).  Transfer the melted candy melts into your piping bag.  

3.  Hold your piping bag at a 90 degree angle, and gently pipe a dollop of the melted candy melt onto your silicone baking mat.  To make a perfect little coloured chip you’ll need keep your piping bag pointed straight down towards the mat, and keep the pressure even until a blob starts to form.  Then gently pull up, and make a little flicking motion at the end to create the little “drip” top.  Repeat until you’ve finished piping all your coloured chips. Allow the chips to set for at least half an hour before removing them from the silicone mat.  I found that the easiest way to remove all my chips form the mat was to slide an offset spatula under them.


I used a combination of the pink and red chips that I made myself, along with some leftover white & milk chocolate chips I had from a previous trip to the states to make some extra special cookies for my Valentine.  

I made his favourite double chocolate chip cookies, but switched up the regular chocolate chips for my pretty homemade Valentine’s day ones.  


Triple Chocolate Chip Cookies    

Ingredients:  

1 Cup (227g) Butter, softened  
1 1/2 Cups (337g) Sugar 
2 Eggs 
2 tsp Vanilla Extract 
2 Cups (250g) Flour 
2/3 Cup (65g) Cocoa Powder 
3/4 tsp Baking Soda 
1/4 tsp Salt 
1/2 Cup Pink Chocolate Chips 
1/2 Cup Red Chocolate Chips 
1/2 Cup White Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Chocolate Chips

Directions:  

1.  Pre-heat oven to 350ºF (175ºC).  Sift together flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt, and set aside.  In a separate bowl, beat butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.    

2.  Gradually stir the flour mixture into the butter mixture until combined.  Add in all of the coloured and chocolate chips and stir until they’re combined throughout.  Drop the cookie dough by spoonfuls onto an ungreased baking sheet.

3.  Bake for 8-10 minutes depending on your oven.  The cookies should still be slightly soft in the middle, but not liquidy or undercooked.   Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for approximately 5 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.  


These cookies have been, and likely always will be my favourite cookie.  I made this batch for my special Valentine who’s usually a health nut, but these are also his favourite cookie so he ended up eating 5 in one night!  They’re also the same cookie I used to make my Quadruple Chocolate Lindt Stuffed Cookies, which are even more decadent with the added chocolate pillow inside!

Shimmery Pink Bow Sugar Cookies


It’s amazing how much your life can change in a year.  It wasn’t long ago that I was able to bake whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.  I had time to roll out sugar paste and make fiddly little flowers.  And I didn’t have to worry about leaving them on the table to dry for a day or two.  I could take my time playing around creating new recipes, and then take pictures of the finished product for you all to see.  I could make pretty things.  I had the time.


Things aren’t like that anymore.  As most of you probably know, I’m now mum to a one year old little boy.  He’s perfect in every way, but he does take up a lot of my time.  But it’s time that I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.  

So now if I want to have a little time to my self experimenting in the kitchen I have to do so between the hours of 7:30pm and 11:30pm.  And then I have to find some available space in our little flat to store my creations, otherwise a pair of little prying hands will quickly demolish my handiwork.  

As a result of my lack of time I’ve been sticking to relatively simple projects, and have found myself resorting to using boxed mixes as the base for some of recipes in order to save a bit of time.  I don’t have anything wrong with boxed mixes. Quite the contrary actually, but I just prefer to bake things from scratch in an attempt to tick off another recipe from my ever growing “to bake list”.

But as much as I enjoy whipping up quick and delicious desserts, I enjoy making pretty things even more.  But making pretty things can be time consuming, so I’ve had to learn to adapt and make them over a few nights, rather than on a Saturday afternoon.  


I’ve been on a bit of a cookie decorating kick lately, so I wanted to use one of the new cookie cutters I’d bought during a recent trip home to Canada.  I’d also been wanting to experiment with some of the decorating techniques that I’ve seen online, and at cake shows.  

I thought these bow cookies would be the perfect project.  I made the cookies on the first day, iced them the next and let them dry over night.  Then, on the third day I painted them with a mixture of lustre dust and alcohol.  If you don’t have small kids running around demanding your attention, you could probably combine all the steps into one day.  I actually liked coming home from work knowing that after I finished the daily bath, bottle and bed routine that I could sit down and relax and just focus on decorating my cookies.  Some people may find the whole process extremely tedious, but I find it really relaxing.  Is that weird?

If you want to know how I made these pretty pink bow cookies, then follow the steps below.  If you don’t care, then scroll down quickly and just look at the pictures.  I won’t be offended.



Shimmery Sugar Cookies Bows

You will need:

Bow Cookie Cutter
Pink Lustre Dust
Purple Lustre Dust 
Craft Paintbrushes
Piping Bags – fitted with no. 2 & 3 tips

Sugar Cookie Dough – recipe is in this post 
Pink Royal Icing – recipe in this post, although I used a boxed mix to save time

Instructions: 

1.  Prepare your dough according to the recipe in the link above.  Roll out the dough, cut out, and bake your cookies according to the directions in my sugar cookie post here.  Let your cookies cool fully (or over night) before you start decorating them using royal icing.

2.  To decorate the bows, use a number 3 decorating tip to pipe around the edges in pink royal icing that’s thick enough to hold it’s shape, but not too dry.  You should be able to tell if your icing consistency is right if you run a knife through your bowl of icing and it comes back together in about 10 – 15 seconds.

3.  Next it’s time to flood your cookies using the same number 3 tip – you can do this in two ways:  fill them immediately after you’ve piped the outline, or allow the outline to dry for several hours and then fill.  I prefer it when the outline blends in with the rest of the icing, so I flood my cookies immediately after I pipe the outline.  Give the cookie a gentle shake from side to side a few times to help smooth out the icing.  Set the flooded cookies aside to dry for an hour or two so they’re dry to the touch, and then use a number 2 tip to pipe the outlines of the bows.  Leave the cookies to dry fully over night.

Let your flooded cookies dry before painting them with lustre dust


4.  Mix approximately 1/4 teaspoon of pink lustre dust together with 1.5 teaspoons of vodka, or other clear alcohol in a little dish (I use alcohol because it evaporates quickly).  Using a paintbrush of an appropriate size, dip the brush into the pink lustre dust mixture and brush over top of the royal icing to give it a pearlised finish.  Let dry for 15 – 30 minutes.

Once painted your cookies will be darker in colour


While your cookies are drying, mix together 1/8 teaspoon of purple lustre dust and 1/8 teaspoon of pink lustre dust together with 1.5 teaspoons of vodka or other clear liquid.  Use your paintbrush to coat the lustre dust mixture around the piped edges, and then set aside another half hour until fully dry.

Aren’t they pretty?  


So next time you feel like it’s been a while since you’ve taken some out time for yourself, do what I did and choose a project that you can make over a few days. Unlike cakes, cookies are fine to sit out for days, and they won’t go bad.

You can even divide the dough in half and use one half straight away, and freeze the other half to use later for another project.

First Tooth Cookies

There are few events in life that will change the way you look forever – I’m not talking about dying or cutting your hair, covering yourself in fake tan or makeup – none of those things are permanent.  Aside from plastic surgery or physically growing taller, the only thing I can really think of that will change the way a person will look forever is when they start to get their teeth.  And that’s exactly what has happened to my little boy. 
First Tooth Cookies
It is a momentous event you know.  No longer can I stick my finger in his little mouth and have him chew away on it – if I do that now, I might as well be sticking my finger in a rat trap.  Each time I put my finger in there to have a little feel, it’s a gamble as to whether or not it will actually come out intact.  Having a mouth full of baby teeth is like having a mouth full of little razor blades.  They’re tools that will come in handy with everyday life, but they can draw blood if you’re not careful. 
We’ve waited 9 long months for these teeth to show up.  And while many babies I knew were really struggling with their teeth, crying out in constant pain and needing dose after dose of baby pain killers, I was quite relieved and pleased to see that Jayden has gone relatively unphased by the whole teething process. 
We noticed the first bottom one appear the day after he turned 9 months.  A week later the second bottom tooth made its appearance.  I thought that was all the teeth we’d see for at least a month – the body needs to recover from these things you know.  But a week later while we were in Italy, I dipped Jayden backwards while playing with him in the sun and to my surprise I saw another new tooth – but this time on the top!  Within the next two weeks, the total number of teeth we’d see in his mouth had grown to six.  His little smile is looking quite different now – it’s hard to get used to!
So goodbye toothless gummy smiles – we will never see you again.  Instead let’s celebrate with a cookie – a cute little first tooth sugar cookie.  Well, actually let me celebrate with the cookies – Jayden gets some celebratory bread sticks and cheese.  After all, I wouldn’t want him to rot his teeth out  😉

First Tooth Cookies

First Tooth Sugar Cookies
Equipment:
Tooth Cookie Cutter
White Pearl Lustre Dust
Pink Lustre Dust
Craft Paintbrushes
Edible Black Marker Pen


Sugar Cookie Dough – recipe here
Royal Icing – recipe here, although I used a boxed mix to save time.


1.  Roll out the dough, cut, and bake your cookies according to the directions in my sugar cookie post here.  Let your cookies cool fully before you start decorating them using royal icing.


2.  To decorate, pipe the outline of the tooth in white royal icing that’s thick enough to hold it’s shape, but not too dry (you should be able to tell if your icing consistency is right if you run a knife through your bowl of icing and it comes back together in about 10 – 15 seconds).


3.  Now it’s time to flood your cookies – you can do this in two ways:  fill them immediately after you’ve piped the outline, or allow the outline to dry for several hours and then fill.  I prefer it when the outline blends in with the rest of the icing, so I flood my cookies immediately after I pipe the outline.  Give the cookie a gentle shake from side to side a few times to help smooth out the icing.  Leave the flooded cookies to dry over night.


4.  Mix approximately 1/4 teaspoon of white lustre dust together with 1.5 teaspoons of vodka, or other clear alcohol in a little dish.  Using a paintbrush of an appropriate size, dip the brush into the white lustre dust mixture and brush over top of the royal icing to give it a pearlised finish.  Let dry for 15 – 30 minutes.


5.  Use an edible black marker to draw on little faces.  Give your teeth some rosy cheeks by dipping a smaller paintbrush in a bit of the dry pink lustre dust.  Gently apply the lustre dust in a small circular motion for the rosy look.


Look at these little pearly whites all lined up in a row!  Don’t you just want to sink your teeth into them!?

First Tooth Cookies

And to announce the winner of my Sweet Paris giveaway – the winning comment is……..

Congratulations Nicola McCandless!  Please send your mailing details to me at madewithpink@gmail.com, and I’ll have a copy of Sweet Paris sent off to you!