Popcorn Cookies

Yes, yes, these would have been super handy for the Oscars last week. It seems that timing like this is how I roll ūüôā But hey, if you’re planning a movie night or a circus theme party – I got you covered!

These cookies are super easy to make and the best part is you don’t have to buy new cutters! These were made using two cutters that you may already have:

*Cupcake cutter & Wilton Fancy Shape Cut-Out Flower Cutter

Note: My cupcake cutter has a candle included. If yours is like this, take a sharp knife and cut the candle off the cookie before baking it. If you have a cupcake cutter without a candle, perfect! I used that particular flower cutter but if you don’t have that one, any flower cutter would work.

Along with these you’ll need:

Rolled cookie dough

White royal icing

Red royal icing

Yellow food coloring

Tips #2 and 12

Piping bags

Paintbrush (a clean one used only for decorating)

Start with your cupcake cookie.¬†Now I’ll be honest, I struggled for a while with the lines on the popcorn bin. I just couldn’t space them out properly. Then it finally hit me! If you have a cookie drying rack, use the lines on the rack to space your lines out. If you don’t have one that will work, you could always use an edible food marker to mark your lines too. I just couldn’t do that because my cookies were chocolate and therefore, too dark for any marker to show up on.

Using your drying rack as a guide (or your marked lines), pipe on four white lines like so:

Connect the white lines to form two white bands and give them arches at the top.

Flood these two white bands (Sorry, I completely forgot to take a photo of this step). Let the cookies dry for 15-20 minutes to avoid bleeding.

Then take your red icing and outline 3 red bands around the white bands. As you can see, my red icing was waaaay to watery (grrr).

Flood the red bands.

Let this part dry. In the meantime, take a piping bag and put the #12 tip in it. Using the paintbrush dipped in the yellow food coloring, draw a line down one side of the piping bag.

Fill the piping bag with thick royal icing. At first the icing will come out all white. Squeeze out the extra until it comes out both yellow and white. Then pipe different sized dots at the top of the cookie to resemble popcorn. Clean your paintbrush so it doesn’t have any coloring on it anymore. Dampen the paintbrush a bit and use it to push down the piped dots and squish them together a bit.

Once your popcorn bins are done, you can pipe white and yellow dots on the smaller (flower) cookies.

If you want to go the extra step, you could always pipe “POPCORN” on the cookies or names for a great personalized party favor! Enjoy folks!

Mardi Gras Masks

When I was young (middle school ish) my aunt came to the US to study abroad. Since she was studying in New Orleans, we went to visit her. I don’t remember much. Mostly I remember the T-shirts she got us from her school because, at the time, the thought of owning a College T-shirt was very exciting. I don’t remember much about New Orleans, which is why I hope to go back very soon to take it all in and actually appreciate it this time. What I do remember quite vividly is my parents buying me several ceramic masks that later hung on my bedroom walls. They were bright, beautiful, and I loved them. So for this year’s Mardi Gras, I decided to make these masks into cookies. And I’d like to share the process with you, in case you’d like to try as well!

What you will need:

Roll out cookie dough

Paper plate/Cardboard/Plastic Lid

Sharp Knife

Plastic Straw

Royal icing in white, purple, black, yellow, and green

Piping tips #1 and #2

Piping bags

Sanding sugar

Matching ribbon

To begin, you’ll have to find a mask template that you like. I used this graphic as my template because it wasn’t too big (the size of my actual face) but it was big enough to pipe enough detail.

Using this, I cut out a template from a paper plate to use as my cookie cutter. You can use a paper plate, cardboard, a plastic lid, etc.

Before cutting out my shape, I rolled my cookie dough between two sheets of wax paper and let it chill for 20 minutes in the fridge. This will make the cutting process much easier. Using your template, cut out the mask shapes with a sharp knife. Note: I did not cut out the eyes in the cookies and chose to pipe them on instead with black royal icing. You can choose to cut them out if you’d like.

Once the shapes are cut out, place them in the freezer for 5 minutes. This will help avoid expansion while baking.

Bake your cookies as you normally would. The minute your cookies come out of the oven, use a plastic straw to punch out two holes on either side of the mask, for the ribbon.

When your cookies are finished cooling, take your white royal icing in a bag with a #2 tip and outline the masks and the holes. Let them dry for 5 minutes.

Once they are dry, flood the cookies entirely with the white royal icing. Let these dry overnight.

Before decorating your cookies, you’ll want to pipe on some eyes, a nose, and a mouth. I tried to stay pretty simple with these in order to save time, but you can get as¬†elaborate¬†as you want. You’ll notice that my facial features are pretty small and that’s because I didn’t space the holes properly. Just know that if you do the same, it’s ok and it still works out.

Once your facial features are dry, start the first layer of your designs. You can make outlines in black first or immediately start decorating with the colors. Go online and search for inspiration as well. Remember: make it bright and bold! For large details, use your #2 tip. For much smaller details, use your #1 tip. Once you are done with the first layer of decoration, let this dry for 30 minutes or so to avoid bleeding.

Then, continue to add details to your masks. Fill in the outlines, highlight certain areas, and add some sanding sugar. Once your cookies are completely dry, take some ribbon and tie it around the masks.

When you’re through, you’ll have beautiful Mardi Gras masks!

A Pinterest Inspired Valentine’s

I think it’s safe to say that I’m obsessed with Pinterest. I could (and do) waste hours pinning. But, out of wasteful hours comes inspiration. Although most of the pins only amount to daydreams, it’s become a great place for me to store baking ideas. My favorite thing to¬†stumble¬†upon is an adorable graphic that I simply must turn into a cookie.

I’ve had these pinned for quite some time and couldn’t wait to make them.

Image courtesy of pumpkins and posies

Image courtesy of Pink Ink Doodle

I thought they would make adorable Valentine’s Day cookies. Who wouldn’t want an edible Valentine card?

So, without further ado, here they are in cookie form:

Have a happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

I love you like…

Who says all Valentine cards have to be corny?

My take on it:

These are super easy to make and they make great gifts. And you can pick your own “I love you like” quotes to make it even more special. Remember: nothing says “I love you” like a good inside joke ūüėČ

I LOVE YOU LIKE NEWT LOVES THE MOON

I LOVE YOU LIKE HIPSTERS LOVE PLAID (don’t worry, I love me some plaid too)

I LOVE YOU LIKE KE$HA LOVES GLITTER

I LOVE YOU LIKE PAULA DEEN LOVES BUTTER & BILL COSBY LOVES PUDDIN’ POPS

And my personal favorite: I LOVE YOU LIKE DOBBY LOVES SOCKS

What “I love you like” quotes would you use?

A Quick Hello

Yes, yes…I’ve been extremely absent from the blog. I’m going to go ahead and blame it on the baby. If you’re a parent, you know what I mean when I say that your child is now your permanent excuse. But seriously, I’ve been quite busy with the little lady (teething, crawling, etc.). I promise I’ll be back very soon with some Valentine’s Day tutorials.

Nevertheless, I took a quick break from the mayhem today to share a great recipe that I came across the other day. I was going to visit my niece and nephew and needed to make sweets fast. These two are very big fans of my cookies and showing up twice in a row without treats would have been severely frowned upon. I came across these Easy Cake Mix Cookies from Sugarbelle and decided to give them a go. I figured they were worth trying since I had several boxes of cake mix just sitting, waiting in my pantry.

image

The results were pretty awesome. She’s not lying when she says that they’re the easiest cookies you’ll ever make. All the ingredients go straight into the mixing bowl – no need for separate bowls or utensils. She suggests rolling them in sprinkles, but my mix ended up too sticky to roll so I just topped each cookie dough ball with some sprinkles and they ended up spreading when the cookie flattened out in the oven. A word of advice: these babies spread quite a bit so make sure you give them lots of space.

If you’re in a hurry, or just in the mood for something tasty, go ahead and give them a try! You can find the recipe here.

And a very special thanks to Sugarbelle for sharing her recipe ūüôā

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies {The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap}

I’ve been super busy lately (ahem…holidays). The lack of a post in over a month is really,¬†truly¬†unforgivable. But part of that has been due to my participation in my FIRST EVER COOKIE SWAP!

Can you tell I’ve been excited to do one of these? ūüėČ

This year, I participated in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap of 2011! The rules were simple: make 3 dozen cookies/bars, send to 3 other bloggers, and then share your recipe with everyone. And in return, you’d receive 3 packages with different cookies. Let me tell you: I have NEVER been so excited to check my mail. ¬†Over 22,000 cookies were sent around the world because of this swap. How awesome is that?¬†So far I’ve received 2 awesome shipments full of goodies. Once I receive the third, I’m going to dedicate a whole post to these awesome bloggers.

For my cookies, I decided to make Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies. I mean, who doesn’t love butterscotch? (This was probably also heavily influenced by the awesome batch of Butterscotch Brownies we received in the mail earlier on. Probably.)

My hubby really dug them and one of the recipient’s hubby dug them too. Must be the butterscotch that attracts hubbies. These cookies bake super big but stay super soft and scrumptious. And they’re loaded with chocolate and butterscotch chips. I ain’t fooling. Let’s get all up in there to see those chips!

Once they finished baking and cooling, I wrapped the cookies in pairs with wax paper in between them and placed them in goodie bags. Then I packaged them in holiday bins.

So go ahead, give them a try this holiday season. I hope you enjoy them as much as I enjoyed the cookie swap!

Chocolate Chip Butterscotch Cookies

*Recipe adapted from The Essential Chocolate Chip Cookbook by Elinor Klivans

Ingredients:

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

2 sticks of unsalted butter, room temp

1 cup packed light brown sugar

12 tablespoons sugar

2 eggs

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

22 ounces butterscotch chips

23 ounces chocolate chips

Make sure your rack is in the middle of the oven. Preheat to 350 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat.

Whisk the flour, baking soda, and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

Using your electric mixer, beat the butter and sugars together until smooth on medium speed. Make sure you scrape the sides of the mixer bowl if necessary. Add the eggs and vanilla and mix until blended. Lower the mixing speed and slowly add the flour mixture until fully incorporated. Then add the butterscotch and chocolate chips in.

Drop the cookies on the cookie sheet. Your cookies should be 3 tablespoons big and set 3 inches apart. I managed to to fit 9 cookies per cookie sheet. Make sure you leave enough room because these cookies definitely enlarge while cooking.  Bake the cookies for about 14 minutes, or until golden. Let them cool for 10 minutes on the cookie sheet before transferring them to a wire rack to cool completely.

Makes about 36 cookies

I’d like to send out a big THANK YOU to Julie of the little kitchen and Lindsay of Love and Olive Oil for hosting the cookie swap and to all the bloggers that participated!

If you’d be interested in next year’s cookie swap, please feel free to¬†visit this page to receive notifications.

Back To School Cookies

I love finding baking inspiration in everyday things. Especially cookies. So when I saw the cute school themed items at Jo-Ann Fabric & Craft Stores, I knew I had to make them into cookies.

I ended up making some cookies for my nieces and nephews.

I was pretty happy with how these turned out. Cute and simple.

I needed to ship them to Florida so I found some white boxes perfect for packaging. They were just the right size for the cookies. I wrapped each cookie individually and placed them in the boxes with some tissue paper to protect them.

The cookies arrived there safely and my nieces and nephews were super thrilled. Can’t ask for anything better!

We’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat

Yesterday, the lovely Jackie posted my tutorial for Shark Cupcakes on her blog, La Casa de Sweets. Today, I’ll show you how to make the shark fin cupcake toppers!

If the shark cookie toppers are too much work or if you want additional toppers to accompany them, these fin cookies are super easy to make! The best part is that you only need a simple heart cookie cutter to make these, like this one:

To make these toppers, you’ll need:

– Rolled cookie dough

– Heart cookie cutter

– Knife

– Craft picks or lollipop sticks

– Gray royal icing

– Piping bag with tip #3

– Cupcakes

– Buttercream tinted blue

– Spatula

Start by cutting out the heart shape.

With the heart shape flipped upside down, use your knife to cut the bottom off. It will look like this:

Using the heart cutter, cut an arc into the fin to shape the curved rear portion of the fin.

You’ll end up with a cookie shaped like this:

Gently insert a pick into the bottom of the shark fin. This will make your cookies more like cupcake toppers. I used Woodsies Craft Picks (they were the perfect size for the cupcakes) but you can use lollipop sticks as well – just make sure that the sticks are on the small side.

And now it’s time to decorate the fins!

Use the gray royal icing in your piping bag and outline the shark fin.

Immediately flood the gray outline. Let it dry for a couple of hours.

Now all you have to do is make some cupcakes and use your spatula to spread the buttercream on like waves.

And FIN!

*See what I did there?

EasyPeasy Shark Cupcakes

Dying to take a bite out of some mouth-watering shark cupcakes? Head on over to La Casa de Sweets where I’ll show you how to make these¬†fiercely¬†delicious cupcake toppers. Not only are they tasty, they’re super easy to make as well – you only need your oval and star cookie cutters. ¬†If you’d like to know how to make the fin toppers, stop on by tomorrow for another easypeasy tutorial!

Thanks again to Jackie, for allowing me my very first guest post! She’s¬†incredibly¬†talented and has an adorable blog – make sure you go visit her!

For Mikey: Nutter Butter Chocolate Cupcakes

These cupcakes are for Jennifer Perillo’s husband. He recently passed away from a heart attack. You can read her heart wrenching post here. I cannot even begin to imagine what Jennifer is going through. My heart goes out to her and her family. It saddens me that I had to come across her wonderful blog through such a tragedy.

Her husband loved peanut butter cream pie and she encouraged everyone to make a pie and share it within someone they love. I decided to make these cupcakes and share them with my niece and nephew.

She has received an amazing outpouring of support from the blogging community. I am not huge in the blogging community. I have never met any of the people whose blogs I read. But everyday, I check in to my favorite blogs and everyday, I am inspired by them. The support that she has received has made me proud to be a spectator in that great community.

I am very late in making these and even later in sharing them with all of you. But for anyone reading this, my hope is that you are as touched as I was and that it can remind you to hold on dearly to those that you love.

NUTTER BUTTER CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

Makes 36 cupcakes

For the cupcakes you’ll need:

2 eggs

1 1/2 cups light brown sugar

1 cup + 2 tbsp. heavy cream

1 cup butter melted

2 tsp. vanilla

4 tbsp. sour cream

2 1/4 cups flour

1/2 cup cocoa

2 1/2 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. salt

A bag of Nutter Butter Bites

Start by preheating your oven to 350 degrees. Line a cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners. Using your mixer, whisk the eggs and sugar together until you get a smooth consistency. Add the milk, cream, butter, and vanilla and mix until combined. Then add the sour cream. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt together. All of your dry ingredients to the wet mixture. Place two Nutter Butter Bites on the bottom of each liner. Fill each liner with the batter 2/3 full. Bake for 15-18 minutes.

For the frosting you’ll need:

1 1/2 cups softened butter

18 oz. of peanut butter

3 tsp. vanilla

7 tbsp. milk

8-10 cups of powdered sugar

With your electric mixer, cream the butter and peanut butter together until you get a smooth consistency. On the lowest speed, slowly add the powdered sugar. Then slowly add the milk and vanilla to the mix. Mix until you get a smooth frosting. If it is too thick, feel free to add more milk. If it is too runny, feel free to add more powdered sugar.

Finish by frosting your cupcakes. I ran out of Nutter Butter Bites but if you have extra, feel free to experiment. Try crushing some up and adding it to the frosting. Or, top each cupcake with one. In my opinion, you can never have too much peanut butter (unless you’re allergic, of course).

*Adapted from Jessica’s recipe at How Sweet It Is. Another wonderful blog I’ve recently found and fallen in love with.

  • Welcome!

    I inherited my passion for baking from the best baker and teacher I know, my grandmother Elisabeth. Today, I embark on my baking adventures with the help of my trusted sidekick, my sweet daughter Jude. Thanks for stopping by!
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