Thursday, February 28, 2013

Let's Go Yankees! Baseball Cookies

My husband was really excited last weekend. It was the first New York Yankees game of the season to be televised. Granted it was only an early spring training game, but he was excited nonetheless. I've often joked that during baseball season our TV has only three channels: the YES Network, ESPN, and the MLB channel. 

Over the years, my appreciation for the team has grown. I'm still a Cleveland fan at heart, but I know more players on the Yankees' roster than the Indians'. 

To help my husband celebrate the start of (a very long) baseball season, I made him some cookies.
For my husband's sake, I hope the Yankees have a nice long season that ends in October with a trophy. Only 31 days until opening day!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

A blog makeover!

Welcome to my redesigned blog! After much debate, I decided on a cleaner look that focuses more on the cookies -- and a little less pink.

To celebrate the new look, I baked some cookies (surprised?). I decided to use a grey and pink color scheme in an attempt to recreate a cookie I'd seen from the talented Hayley Cakes and Cookies.
With the redesign, I'm going to try and post more. I've already got a folder full of St. Patrick's Day and Easter cookie ideas. Have an idea for a cool, unusual cookie? Let me know!

Hope you all are having a great week! 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Hearts on Fire! Valentine's Day Cookies

I know Valentine's Day was last Thursday, but I think it's kind of like Valentine's Day/President's Day weekend, so I'm not too late to the party. 

I was busy in my tiny kitchen the past few weeks, baking some heart day treats for the kids and teachers at school. My favorite cookies are the ones above, which ended up being a last minute creation and so easy to make. The flame effect was created by swirling the yellow, orange, and red flood icing with a toothpick. 

Here are some of my other creations:
These are probably my second favorite. So simple, yet so cute.

I adore these cute little lions. I got the idea from Jill FCS. Super cute!
These were Pinterest inspired typography cookies. My hand hurt after piping the ee cummings poem ("i carry your heart"). 

I hope you all had a happy Valentine's Day! 
Much love!

Monday, February 11, 2013

My Life, My Joy, My Cookies: Shakespeare Cookie Cutter and Cookies

"My life, my joy, my food" - Shakespeare, King John

I was a junior in high school, in Mrs. White's British literature class, when I first discovered Shakespeare. We were reading Hamlet and I was captivated. Never before had I read a story so intriguing and complex. I was hooked. Fast forward twenty years (yikes), and now I'm the teacher teaching Hamlet and hoping my students love it as much as I did on my first read.

I've been thinking about baking Shakespeare cookies for awhile, but I wasn't quite sure how to get them to look like the Bard. After the success of my Grinch cookie cutter made by WarpZone, I asked if they could make one to look like the image of Shakespeare I found online. While there are tons of Shakespeare graphics online, I tried to find one that wasn't too busy (and therefore too hard to cut).
Athey Moravetz from WarpZone quickly got back to me with a screen shot of the cookie cutter (made from her 3D printer). Here is the final product:
The lines on the inside of the cookie cutter act as a stamp, making an imprint on the cookie to help with decorating. I learned after a few tries that you only wanted to lightly press on the stamp parts, so you don't create a deep line in your cookie. Here's what the cookies look like after they've been cut and before they've been baked:
After baking, you can still see the stamp lines.
The nice thing about the stamp is that if you were in a hurry or didn't want to decorate with icing, you could leave the cookie exactly as it is at this point and it still looks really cool. 

I wanted to give Shakespeare a little color, so I mixed some icing. Start with his face, following the outline on the cookie.
Next outline and flood his hair, followed by his ruff. I was too excited at how cool the cookies were looking and forgot to take pictures of those steps. Once the flood icing has dried (about 6-8 hours), go back and add the detail piping on his hair, face, and attire.
Let the cookies dry again for several hours before packaging. Use the time to read a couple scenes of your favorite Shakespeare play (Hamlet? Macbeth? Midsummer?... It's so hard to choose!).  
I'll leave you with my favorite Shakespeare quote, one I learned during that first read of Hamlet: "This above all, to thine own self be true."

Happy Baking! I'll be posting some Valentine's Day cookies later this week. I've been on a baking kick lately, so I have lots to share!