Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Happy "Buggy" Birthday!

When one of my dear friends called me a while back and requested "Bug" cookies for her darling daughter's 6th birthday, I had visions of pink and purple butterflies and cute ladybugs.  After some initial research I called her back to figure out exactly what she was thinking... "The grosser the better" was the direction I was given! ;^)  Her special birthday girl is a budding entomologist and LOVES bugs!

One thing that we decided on was that for young children, equality in cookie size would be important. An ant cookie and a butterfly cookie could be VERY different size wise... so we decided to make them all circular and then add the bugs on top.

I made these ant and spider cookies a little too realistic... they give me shivers when I look at them.

One of my cookie nightmares is that one morning I will come downstairs and my kitchen will have been invaded by ants crawling all over my cookies!  This cookie is that nightmare come true!
As long as I am confessing, my WORST cookie nightmare is that someone you love will have an allergy we didn't know about and get sick from eating one of my cookies... (that is why I will BUG you to find out if we need to be concerned about any allergies when you place your order.)

My other cookie nightmares include: that I will drop a whole batch of cookies on the floor (which HAS happened, so now I keep extra dough in the freezer in case I have to start over at the last minute);  that I will miscount and not have enough cookies (so I count and count and count); that someone at MY house will eat one of YOUR cookies (so I carefully label all cookie containers "DO NOT EAT!" or "OK to eat."); and that I will spell the birthday child's name incorrectly (so I check and check and check, bake plenty of extra cookies, and charge a little extra, when you have asked for personalization.)

So if you are ever tempted to wonder if I care about your cookies... the answer is "Yes!"  I bake plenty of love and worry (which is almost the same thing) into every batch! ;^)

One of the things that I am happy to do to make the party-planning-parent's job a little easier is to package your cookies with the right number for each party.  Lillian needed 20 cookies for her classroom party at school and 16 for her family party at home.  This way, you don't have to open the box and shuffle them around or worry about have the school class accidentally eat the cookies you meant for the family party.  Just let me know what you need when you place your order.
While I was making this order, I also made a set of smaller "counting" cookies for my girls!

These are the "Special Extra" praying mantis cookies that I made for the birthday girl!  (The one on the left is camouflaged!)

Happy "Buggy Birthday" Lil!
Thank you, Rebecca & Joe!


P.S. - Here is the super cute birthday girl in the AMAZING Praying Mantis costume that her wonderful Momma and Loving Grandmother created for her!  TOO CUTE!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

National Library Week

Several of my "Cookie Mentors" collaborated this week on a project for Songbird Sweets in celebration of National Library Week.  Their projects are amazing!

In order to join in on the fun... I thought I would post a page from one of my favorite books! I LOVED this book as a child.  Now, my girls love this book, too!

"Pat the Bunny"
Judy can pat the bunny.  Now, you pat the bunny...
Actually, I have been wanting to do some book cookies for a long time.  This one was just a practice cookie on a leftover.  It was very fun and I can't wait to cookie more of my favorite books!


Friday, April 13, 2012

Go Royals!

Happy Opening Day!

Thank goodness that I have my Facebook friends to share what is going on in the world,
or I would have totally missed this opportunity to share my baseball cookies!

In fact, I was walking through the HyVee this morning and saw these awful looking blue hamburger buns... and wondered briefly what possessed the usually very good bakery department to create such atrocities...
I knew I should have taken a photo.

The truth is... ever since George Brett and the 1985 World Series, I have been a Royals fan.
(But really only a hometown-pride, go-if-the-tickets-are-free or you-get-to-sit-in-the-press-box, 
and stay-until-the-7th-inning-stretch type of fan.)

We did live in St. Louis for three years after we were first married, so I am a closet Cardinals fan too. 
(But really only the when-they-are-about-to-win-the-World-Series kind.)

But to all you REAL fans out there... 
Happy Blue Buns Day!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A Spot of Tea and a Cookie...

I think that I have always been an Anglophile.  I love almost anything British.  I do not care for Mar-mite, "football," or stewed tomatoes with my breakfast, however, studying in Oxford, England as a college student, I developed a love for afternoon tea and biscuits. (Hobnobs are my favorite!)  I have long collected tea related paraphernalia...  I have teapots, tea cups, tea kettles, tea towels, tea strainers, etc. and I also have "several" teapot cookie cutters, SURPRISE!

In fact, I decided recently, if I were a tea pot or a cookie,
I would probably look like this...

This one is my favorite cookie cutters because it makes dainty little cookies which are perfect when you are having a formal tea party with several types of treats!  I made these tea pots for the "Titus 2 Tea & Testimony" lunch at my church a couple of weeks ago.  

We had quiet a spread of scrumptious treats! 

It was a wonderful time of food, fellowship, and sharing God's work in our lives, especially encouraging one another to be godly wives, mothers, workers at home, and sisters-in-Christ.   

These are some "Delft" teapots I made a while back.  I decided to go with the more simple look for this tea party.   Primarily, because I had been up all night the previous night making Jayhawks and Easter cookies for my daughter's school auction. ;^)

This is my favorite teacup.  Actually, I am drinking out of it now...
I brought it (and 11 of it's sisters and brothers) from England in my backpack.
(Thanks Sister Shari for the photo of the tea cup and the spread!)

As a side note, now that I am a grown-up, I primarily drink coffee as my caffeine of choice (because chocolate for breakfast is less socially acceptable).  I started drinking coffee the summer I worked in New York City.  I lived on Staten Island with a cousin, and commuted, by train, ferry, subway and foot, 90 minutes, each way, every day.  (I know it sounds like a "walked both ways, uphill" story, but it is true.)  As a part of my daily commute, I almost always walked through the Duncan Donuts at the ferry terminal and picked up two donuts and a cup of coffee to enjoy during the ferry ride past Lady Liberty.

I do, however, still enjoy a nice spot of tea from time to time.


Saturday, April 7, 2012

Happy Easter!

Wishing you all an amazing Easter!

These are the Easter cookies that I made for my daughter's school auction last week!

Sweet little lambs - Thank you, to Marian from Sweetopia for the tutorial and Georgeane from LilaLoa for tutorial on the "dotty" ones!
Brush Embroidery Eggs - I love the look of these...  Although, I need to learn that "less is more" in the decoration department.

My curious K. loves butterflies... so I made these in honor of her. ;^)
"Rejoice"  "Hallelujah" "He is Risen"

Fun Easter basket filled with Eggs - Thanks for the tutorial Callye!
I love this cherry blossom cookie too!
Thanks for the tutorial from Montreal Confections!
I really wanted to try this technique on some tea pot cookies (that I will share next week), so this was my practice cookie.
This was my first attempt at a "lace work" cookie.  It is WAY hard.  I will have to practice this more...Recently, Callye at Sugarbelle's had a great tutorial on piping lace on cookies, so I thought I would give it a try.  It probably would have gone more smoothly if I had actually followed her wonderful instructions.  Oh well, the colors are pretty...

Some of my favorite creators of this kind of cookie are:

I loved these crosses!   Thanks for the idea and tutorial, which I copied completely for these practice cookies, Melissa!

One of my favorite Easter decoration is the sugar egg that we bought my oldest daughter several years ago.  It was too pretty to eat, so we have saved it!  I remember having similar eggs as a child.  A great little candy shop in Kansas City sells them and will even personalize them for you.  I also saw some at the World Market this Easter season.  There's all had bunnies and chicks in them, which were super cute, but I LOVE the ones with a cross or an empty tomb in them.

I did make one effort at an empty tomb cookie with some leftover frosting... It didn't turn out the way it looked in my head.  This one goes back on the list to try again next year.  What I did like about the cookie was the fun technique of making the stone speckled by using colored sugar (I didn't have any black, so I made my own following this tutorial from Callye at Sugarbelle) and sprinkled it on like Georganne suggested for her "Easy Speckled Eggs."

This cookie had two lives.  It was a turquoise Easter Egg that got over flooded.  Then, I realized that I was out of egg cookies, so I scraped it "clean" and created this cookie.  I love how the flood left a "washed" look for the sky.  I might even try it on purpose next time.

At Easter time, we talk about how eggs symbolize "New Life" specifically, the new life that we have in Christ.  This year, we have a momma robin who has built her next on one of the support beams under our  deck.  She has three little eggs in her nest.  I love the nest symbolism of home, comfort, warmth, too, and have often thought of our home as a nest, especially after a wonderful discussion about it with to Mary Catherine Newman a few years ago! (Thanks, MC!) We can actually peep through the cracks in the floor boards and check on the eggs.  If you stop by my home and happen to see one or more of my girls laying face down on the deck, now you know why.  

Wishing you and your nest a Blessed Easter!