Saturday, June 29, 2013

The Play's the Thing: Literary Bake-off Round 2

Last year, the students in my AP English class participated in a Literary Bake-off for their final exam. The assignment was to create a baked good that reflected in some way a work of literature we read in class. The assignment was such a hit that this year's class began asking about their final exam back in September. Several students told me they thought about what they would bake all year.
I thought long and hard about what to make for my own entry, but settled on baking something reflective of the play Hamlet, the last thing we read this year. After the AP test in May, my students rehearsed and performed a 30-minute adaptation of Hamlet. Watching students perform and love Shakespeare makes my teacher heart smile.

When I saw this comedy and tragedy mask cookie cutter at downtowndough.com, I knew I had to use it for this project. I also decided to make some Yorick skulls to go with the theme.
Looking at the pictures I took on the day of the bake-off, I realized I had mostly pictures of the students and little of just their baked goods. They truly impressed me this year. One student ordered a baby mold and made chocolate babies swimming in Jello soma to represent the society in the novel Brave New World. Amazing. 

After I set up my cookie display and explained the symbolism of the cookies, you would have thought I was giving away money. Within minutes, not a single cookie was left.
I can't wait to see what my students create next year!

If you'd like to see more information about the assignment, with an assignment sheet and rubric, you can visit my store at Teachers Pay Teachers for a preview.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Yellow and Grey Baby Cookies

A friend of mine had a baby (surprise!) a few weeks ago and I figured the new mom and dad could use some treats for those late nights. 
Miniature onesies were an obvious choice, but I also wanted something cute and fun. Elephants?
I think these little guys are too cute -- but not as cute as the baby!
Mom, dad, and baby also got their own personalized cookie. 

I hope they all made it in one piece. Packaging cookies for shipping is also a bit scary! 

Here's to baby Owen!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Boop-oop-a-doop, It's Betty Boop! Betty Boop Cookies

In addition to thanking my math teacher friend, I also wanted to bake some special cookies for my school's secretary. I've worked with her for the past 10 years, and she is responsible for making sure I get all the things I need to do my job. Betty Boop is her favorite cartoon character, so clearly Betty cookies were needed.

I was able to get my Betty Boop cookie cutter from WarpZone, the same Etsy shop that made my Grinch and Shakespeare cookie cutters.
The cookies were surprisingly easy to make. I was able to use one of the new items I purchased at Biscuiteers while in London -- edible gold paint. 
The same metallic look can be achieved using luster dust, but that method is messy and takes longer. I'd never seen these products before and thought I'd try one. Now that I've used it, I wish I would have bought all the available colors I could find. The paint can be bought on ebay, but each little bottle costs about $9, including shipping. Yikes!
The metallic paint was a great addition to make Betty's earring stand out. I used a small, dry paintbrush that I dipped into the paint and then lightly painted over the dry royal icing. Super easy!

I have to say, I'm super pleased with the way these cookies turned out. And, I think the super secretary was too!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Thank You BERRY Much! Strawberry Cookies

It's the last day of school and I'm so thankful for summer vacation. This last month has been crazy busy with state testing, graduation, and lots of planning meetings. I'm ready for some lazy days of doing a whole lot of nothing!

As the school year wrapped up, I wanted to do something extra special for one of my colleagues. I'm so fortunate to work with some pretty amazing teachers! My friend and math teacher-extraordinaire has a side job at Barnes and Noble and constantly surprises me throughout the year with cute books she thinks I'll like. Clearly she deserves some cookies!

I got the inspiration for these cookies when I saw this cute card at Trader Joe's. Seriously, Trader Joe's has the best cards -- and they're only 99 cents!
I made these cute strawberry cookies and then packaged them in a berry container I found at Sur La Table. Of course, I had to buy two containers -- one to keep for myself!

Needless to say, my friend was pleasantly surprised today with her goodies. 

Now that it's summer, I will have a lot more time to keep this blog updated. I have been busy baking, just haven't had the time to post. 

Happy Summer!