Sunday, April 22, 2012

April 22 - Earth Day

Happy Earth Day!  Not only do I super love Earth Day because of the awesome sentiment and the beautiful greenery that goes with it, it's also my birthday! In my quest to find ideas for designs, I came across some lovely cookies from a young lady who had a giveaway and declared Earth Day was someday in March and I went 'Nuh uh never!!'  It's always April 22nd!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

April Showers!

So the cookie obsession continues and each time I'm trying new techniques (sugar coating, wet-on-wet flowers) and learning through trial and error.  I tried a new recipe (not these pictured) and they held their shape wonderfully but didn't taste great. They were kind of your typical bleh sugar cookie. I really like Sweet Sugar Belle's recipe however, as you can see (especially on the umbrella), they spread a bit.  Even in her notes, she acknowledges this issue and suggests adding a little more flour. I'll try that next time because I thought chilling the dough might help but it had no effect at all! Next time: more flour.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Cookies, Part Deux

Happy Easter!

In case you missed my Game of Thrones cookies post, I am kind of crazy into the cooks these days. Like, researching best techniques, buying all the tools, finding designs, etc.  This week was crazy baking-wise but I knew after the relative failure of the GoT cookies, I wanted to try, try again.  Easter was the perfect excuse!

I had better success on these but still not perfect. At this point, it's just about practicing. New techniques, seeing what works and what doesn't. My biggest issue was definitely the consistency: I was gun shy this time after the GoT royal icing was way too thin so for these I went a smidge too thick. I mean, they leveled off eventually (most of them) but I've watched dozens of tutorials and some decorators just squeeze it out of the bottle and it makes a lovely roundness and sets perfect and fast. That was the thing; I had to work it into place too much.  So.  Consistency still needs work!

(Bunnies love clover!)

Also, I used the same cookie recipe from Sweet Sugar Belle and they taste great but mine spread a little bit too much. Might be an oven that runs too hot.  Will experiment and report back!

As for the royal icing, I tried a new recipe from Lizy B Bakes and found it dried and worked wonderfully. I may just make this my go-to recipe!

Lizy B makes kind of amazing things so I was inspired by her design work, Sugar Belle's and many others.  I can wholeheartedly admit my own designs were the ones I liked least. HOWEVER, I will get better as I practice more and get more ideas from the brilliant bakers who blog and share their gorgeous work! (Thank you, thank you for sharing!)

A small note about the watermarks/blog name on the pics: I've never marked my pictures in the past because I thought no one would really take anything of mine. There's two reasons I'm doing it now. #1. It's kind of heartbreaking to see a picture you worked on setting up and making junk for being reused without credit. Like, my stomach falls out when I see one of my pics just randomly somewhere. So avoiding that feeling is a good thing.

And #2. I've noticed a few other blogs doing the same and realized, as I saved the picture to study later, it was a GREAT way to remember whose it was! I was cruising blogs, right-clicking away and when I went to study the pictures, there's the name of the creator right there! Now I can credit them easy! It takes the hassle off me to remember who made what and making my life easier is always a bonus! So that's that!

And everyone in my family got personalized egg cookies so, since my dad is in Houston, here you go, Dad! Love ya!

(The little chicky was my favorite!)

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Birthday Season!

It's birthday season in my family! Well, I say that because of the immediate family, the coolest of us have April/May birthdays (that would be me, my mom and my fellow Taurus niece). WE'RE BOSS.

So my mom's birthday just passed and she requested an utterly boring vanilla cake mix with vanilla buttercream. yawn. But I made baby shower cupcakes for a coworker a few months ago with a new technique that I fell in love with.

Hey, look at this bouquet of roses I got for her birthday.