Penguins on a Cookie - Christmas Cookie Tutorial

Another one of the designs I went for this Christmas. I love penguins. I think they are cute, and so adorable. They fit in with the winter theme so nicely, and they look cute on cookies.

They were a great hit among my friends, for how cute they are. You can make the same ones too by following my picture tutorial!

Lets get started.

1. Using royal icing, pipe an outline around a round cookie, and flood it immediately with white icing. Let that dry for 24 hours.

2. Pipe the shape of the penguin on the cookie. Let that dry for 24 hours, do not skip the drying part, otherwise the black will bleed into the white icing. Don't fill in the belly yet.

3. After drying for 24 hours or more, fill in the belly of the penguin. Let that dry for 16 hours.

4. Pipe a blue scarf across the penguin's body. Pipe the part of the hat. Let dry for 15 minutes.

5. Pipe the first dangling part of the scarf. Use a toothpick to drag out fringes for the scarf. Pipe the feet. Let dry 6 hours.

6. Pipe the second part of the dangling scarf. Eyes, mouth, and rest of the hat.

7. You're done. Let dry overnight before packaging.

Gingerbread Christmas Cookies

I know I just posted the holly leaves cookies. I just had to post some more Christmas themed cookies. This one is an attempt at copying an image from a ribbon onto a cookie.

I got the ribbon at a Michaels craft store. This is my first attempt at copying an image onto a cookie.

What do you think? Did I do a good job?

I'm sorry I don't have a picture tutorial for this cookie design. It actually slipped my mind.

The gingerbread recipe can be found here:

Holly Leaf Cookies

I wanted to practice my piping skills again. I want to perfect it. I even dream about what designs I can make and new techniques. It has become quite the addiction.

I made these holly leaves cookies. They are the easiest ones to make out of the entire Christmas series I am making. Which I plan to post picture tutorials about soon. I think these holly leaves are easy enough to make without a picture tutorial, so I got them up and posted first.

Here is a SMALL preview of what I am working on:

In fact, from the above picture, you can tell the holly leaves are separate cookies, but together, they form that image you think of a holly leaf.

I used a #2 piping tip to outline and flood the cookie. After drying for 1 hour, I outlined the cookie with a #1 piping tip. After another hour, I pipe a mountain of green icing at the tip of the holly leaf, and stuck a red m&m on the leaf.

The cookies here at gingerbread. Here is the recipe I used:

800 grams of all purpose flour
250 grams of softened butter, unsalted
1 cup of dark brown sugar, packed
3 tps ground cinnamon
3 tps ground ginger
1 tps ground cloves
1 tps salt
2 large eggs
1 cup molasses

1. Cream the butter and sugar in a mixer bowl until creamy.
2. Mix in spices. Combine. Then add eggs, one at a time. Then add molasses.
3. Mix flour and salt together. Add to bowl. Mix until just combined
4. Refrigerate overnight, or at least 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 350F.
6. Cut out shapes. Use rolling bands for same width.
7. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes.

Heath Peanut Butter Cookies

My husband's favorite topping on ice cream is a mixture of chocolate brownie and the heath candy bar. I was grocery shopping one day, when I spotted a bag of heath bar bits. Basically, a heath bar...already smashed into tiny bits. I bought it without a second thought. My husband is sure to like anything I make with these.

Then...a couple days later. The heath peanut butter cookie came into our lives. My husband loves it!

The toffee bits in the cookie give the cookie a yummy sweet crunch. It's a soft cookie, something he also loves.

The only annoying thing about the cookies, is topping it with heath bits before baking it. I find that the bits melted between my fingers. A messy job, but totally worth it.

1/2 cup shortening
3/4 cup of your favorite peanut butter
1 1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
3 Tbs milk
1 Tbs vanilla extract
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
3/4 tps baking soda
3/4 tps salt
1 1/3 cup (8 oz) heath bar bits, divided

1. Preheat oven to 375F.
2. Beat shortening with peanut butter, brown sugar, milk and vanilla until blended.
3. Add egg, beat until blended.
4. Add flour, baking soda, and salt. Beat until blended.
5. Stir in 1 cup of the heath toffee bits.
6. Drop teaspoon full onto a baking sheet. Top with some more heath bits.
7. Bake 8 minutes. Do not over bake.
8. Cool on a rack. Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Canape Bread Mold

So I bought a new toy for myself to play with in the kitchen last week. Behold, a canape bread mold.

Canape basically means decorative, one-bite food, or hors d'oeuvres. I like to make these finger foods for gatherings when friends come over. Instead of buying these small breads at the grocery store, I figured I would make them myself. It was extremely easy, and fun as well.

I started off by making the original canape bread recipe provided with the kit. I divided the dough up by 3, and flavored two of them to my liking.

I made a dry pepper salami & cheese bread, a cinnamon sweet bread, and plain canape bread. The salami & cheese one was the best!

Salami & Cheese, Cinnamon, Plain

The mold came in three shapes, a heart, start, and flower. Which will be great for holiday theme!

So here is the plain canape bread recipe:

1 1/4 Cup warm milk
1/4 Cup melted butter
1 1/4 tps salt
3 to 4 Cup of all-purpose flour
2 Tbs of warm water (115F)
1 package of active dry yeast
1 tps sugar

1. Stir together water, sugar and yeast in stand mixer bowl. Let foam for 10 minutes.
2.  Warm milk with butter, add salt. Add to the yeast.
3. Knead on medium for 7 minutes, or until the dough pulls away from the side of bowl. I used 3 1/2 cups of flour.
4. Put in an oiled bowl, let rise for 1 hr.
5. Punch down, divide into three pieces.
6. Flavor them or leave plain. I added 1 tps of cinnamon and 1 Tbs sugar to one piece, and 1/3 cup chopped salami and 1/2 cup cheddar cheese to the other.
7. Shape into logs and place into greased canape bread mold.
8. Let rise for 45 mins.
9. Preheat oven to 375 F.
9. Put caps on, and bake for 30 to 35 minutes.
10. ENJOY!

Thanksgiving Sugar Cookies

I was feeling creative this past week, and wanted to play with royal icing. I wanted to practice my piping skills. I made these.

Aren't they cute? They took a long time to make, since I am so bad at piping. I packaged the finished cookies up and sent them to my mother-in-law today.

This is the sugar cookie recipe I used:

This is the royal icing:
6 oz (3/4 cup) of warm water
5 Tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon cream of tartar
2.25 lb powdered icing sugar
In mixer bowl, pour in the warm water and the meringue powder. Mix it with a whisk by hand until it is frothy and thickened…about 30 seconds.
Add the cream of tartar and mix for 30 seconds more.
Pour in all the icing sugar at once and place the bowl on the mixer.
Using the paddle attachment on the LOWEST speed, mix slowly for a full 10 minutes. Icing will get thick and creamy.
Cover the bowl with a dampened tea-towel to prevent crusting and drying.
Tint with food colors or thin the icing with small amounts of warm water to reach the desired consistency.

I hope you guys find the time and creativity to make them too!

Teabag Cookies

So, as you all know (or will know). I will be getting married in August, and I need a bridal shower! This weekend is that perfect time to squeeze in the bridal shower. The theme of my shower is... Hello Kitty Tea Party. =]

I love hello kitty, and I love tea parties. What better excuse to make and bake cute desserts? I started on the teabag cookies today, to make sure I had time for the other desserts to come this weekend. Aren't they just cute?

They are actually quite easy to make. First, you will need your favorite rolled sugar cookie recipe. I used this one, but baked at a different temperature:

Then you will need to cut out a tea bag template out of parchment paper. Manually cut out each cookie with a knife or bench scraper outlining the template over the rolled dough. I used a #10 round piping tip to cut a hole for the string in each cookie.

Bake for 7-9 mins at 350.

Once the cookies cool, dip 1/3 of the bottom on the cookie in chocolate. Allow to dry on parchment paper.

Make the cute tea bag strings, I used hello kitty, since it is a hello kitty tea party!

I'm excited to show you the rest of the desserts and party favors for the tea party in the following days! I sewed each guests a hello kitty purse, filled with lovely loot. =]

Zebra Stripe Cake and Uniform Sized Fondant Ball Border

I made a cake yesterday. It was my first zebra stripe cake. I thought it would be pretty easy and fast, but it was very time consuming.

I planned out where to place the stripes before "gluing" it down to the cake. That's probably why it took so long. In addition to that, rolling the fondant ball border took a while also. I learned a neat trick though to get the balls to be all the same size.

To get uniform or same sized balls for your border, you roll out your fondant flat using spacers, or rolling bands to get it to the same width. Then, using any small cookie cutter, cut out several pieces. Then roll them into balls. Every ball will be the same size. Yay.

The stripes were pretty random, I just cut them out randomly, but carefully planned the placement of each stripe. On top of the cake, there is suppose to be the letter "G" in hot pink fondant. It was still drying when I took this photo. 

I learned another trick to get fondant to dry quicker and more sturdy. Add gumpaste. I made a 1/2 gumpaste 1/2 fondant mixture and formed the initial "G," it was the only one that defied gravity. The pure fondant ones broke. Sad =[ Gumpaste is my new love.

This is the letter "G" that will go on top of the cake.

Just imagine it on top. =]

I have been pretty busy this month making custom desserts for people. I'm having tons of fun and learning all these neat tricks that I get to share with you. I'm going to post some wedding sugar cookies I did this week next.

Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes

I had a small birthday party this past Saturday. I was planning to make cupcakes instead of a cake for over a month now. I just didn't know what flavor to make. The horror.

So I decided to make something I'd like to eat the night before the party - cinnamon rolls. So I came up with a cinnamon roll cupcake. The guests loved it! They even took some home. 

I also made tons of other foods. I made mini New York style cheesecakes with a raspberry sauce, chocolate dipped pretzels, mini donuts, caramel popcorns, red velvet cake pops...and oh yes - savory foods too. Which included bruschetta, chipotle shrimp wonton cups, buffalo wings, and mini pretzel dogs. The beverage of choice was raspberry lemonade. 

 Of course, in the picture below, some guests have already eaten some foods before I could shoot a picture. Oh wells.

The cupcakes are actually quite easy to make. I'm sure you and your family will love them too!

Basic Yellow Cake Recipe -> FOUND HERE Or use Yellow Cake Mix
1 Cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Line 24 cupcake pans with liners.

Prepare the basic yellow cake batter. Use the recipe above or store bought cake mix.
Fill each cupcake liner 1/4 full with batter. Mix the brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cinnamon mixture all over the cupcake batter. 

Fill each cupcake liner again until 2/3 full, but no more. Sprinkle another teaspoon of cinnamon sugar. Using a toothpick, swirl the cinnamon sugar all over the cupcake.

Bake for 15 mins, or until a toothpick comes out clean. Cool on a rack.

8 oz block of cream cheese, softened
1 stick of butter
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 cups of powdered sugar

In the bowl of a mixer, using paddle attachment, cream butter with sugar until fluffy. Add cream cheese and vanilla. Beat until combined, about 2 minutes. Frost cupcakes.

1 stick of butter
1 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt butter with sugar and cinnamon until combined and pourable, but not boiled. Let cool for a minute and drizzle over frosted cupcakes.

I hope you enjoy these cupcakes as much as my guests did.

Mini Fruit Tarts

I made mini fruit tarts before, but not this tiny. These can be eaten in one bite, a little bigger than the size of a quarter. I made 70+ tart shells from the dough, which is enough for a 9 inch tart shell. I made these mini fruit tarts for my fiance's co-workers. They were a complete hit!

So the recipe for the original fruit tarts can be found here. Make the dough and pastry cream, then follow the directions below to make them extra miniature. If you don't have a food processor, you can cut the butter into the flour using a pastry cutter.

Preheat the oven to 375 F.

After chilling the dough for 2 hours, roll the dough out on lightly floured surface to 1/8 inch thick. Using rolling pin bands will help make the dough thickness even throughout. 

Use a 2 inch round cookie cutter with scalloped edges to cut out several small shell pieces. Flip a miniature muffin pan upside down. You will be using the back of the muffin pan to shape the shells. Place one shell piece on each muffin-hill. Try to center it in the middle.

Bake for 5 - 7 minutes, or until light golden. Remove baked shells, and repeat with remaining dough.

Proceed by filling each shell with a small amount of pastry cream and decorate with fruits. Enjoy!

 The recipe for the original fruit tarts can be found here.

First Year Birthday Cake

Tomorrow, March 28, marks my blog's first birthday. I baked a two tier cake for my blog! This is my first tiered cake with columns. I enjoyed making it!

During the first year, my top three favorite recipes to make and eat are:
Click for Recipes

Of course making Cake Pops was definitely an honorable mention.

I hope you guys enjoy my first year of recipes. I'm excited to continue posting new ideas and recipes in the years to come.

Opera Cake (Miniature and Bite-Size)

So, I wanted to make a cake with tons of layers. Then cut it up to petit four sizes for easy eating. I'm making these mini opera cake bites for my fiance's co-workers. It was the first cake I've made with this much layers. It was worth it, because the cake tasted super delicious. His co-workers were going crazy for these bite-size cakes.

So an opera cake is basically a coffee and chocolate cake. The flavor combination is absolutely delicious. The layers of different colors make it so pretty to look at. The cake took a long time to make, but I think it's worth it! Give it a try.

I basically followed Martha Steward's Opera Cake recipe, which can be found here. However, I didn't have any almond flour on me, so I made the cake layers with a pound cake instead.

Pound Cake:

3 large eggs, room temperature
3 tablespoons milk, room temperature
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups (150 grams) sifted cake flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
13 tablespoons unsalted butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) and place rack in center of oven. Butter or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a large sheet pan with sides (Also known as a jelly roll pan). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter or spray the paper.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, and vanilla extract.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, with the paddle attachment (or with a hand mixer), place the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar) and mix on low speed for about 30 seconds or until blended. Add the butter and half of the egg mixture. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients are moistened. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat for about one minute to aerate and develop the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Gradually add the remaining egg mixture, in 2 additions, beating about 30 seconds after each addition to incorporate the egg and strengthen the cake's structure.  
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with an offset spatula or the back of a spoon. Bake for about 15 minutes or a toothpick comes out clean.

Look at all those beautiful layers. Cut the cake up to 1 inch squares.

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