Monday, March 11, 2013

C is for Cookie

nom nom nom nom!

If there were any type of cookie that I could easily sit down and eat my weight in, it would be sugar cookies with royal icing.  Something about that thick, hardened icing that adds just the right amount of sweet...oh mylanta, SO good.

At the baby shower I helped host a few weeks ago, one of the other hostesses had made some cookies just like that (and I may have eaten several at the shower and then taken even more home for Hunter and to chow down on...dangerous).  The girl who made them is a major DIY queen and pretty much anything she creates is fabulous.  But since she's not a baker by trade, I figured I might be able to do this if she could (royal icing and decorating intimidated me big time).  She led me to an absolutely amazing blog (seriously, this woman's talent and eye for creativity is astounding) Sweet Sugar Belle.  {I have always admired and envied those people who are talented in the world of cookie decorating. I've got the baking part down just fine.  But like in any other artistic medium (painting, drawing, etc.), the decorating isn't so easy for me...}

Switch gears with me a little.  This past Thursday/Friday, I kept my youngest niece since both grandmas had things going on and my sister was in a bind.  I can only remember very few times that I have kept my nieces and/or nephew and we not make and decorate cookies!  It has become quite the "Gigi's house tradition".  I did it for the first time when Aby, my oldest niece (who is about to be 7--what?!), was just 2ish.  She fell in love with the fun and ever since, it's something we all love to do together :)  So since I was going to have Kailyn--and the other two birds would be over for dinner the next night to come pick her up--we of course had to make cookies!  And since I was making cookies, I decided to try my hand at the royal icing/piping/decorating gig...

December 2010, Cakes instead of cookies, and at Mimi's instead of Gigi's--we just can't get away from decorating the yummies!
May 2012, I kept all of them for the night/day, so of course--we made cookies!  Bella enjoyed the afternoon in her baby swing :)
So I got on the website, researched her recipes, fought back my fears, and trudged forward.  We hopped off to Wal-Mart to get the few items I needed to make them and headed home to start the fun!  I made up the dough while the girls watched Miss Patty Cake and played--Bella loved having someone to play with!

{Let me just take a second to give a HUGE shout out to my boy who majorly surprised me a couple of Christmases ago with my KitchenAid mixer...I LOVE it, and these cookies wouldn't have happened without it!}  

These pictures (especially the one on the left...) are not the most flattering, but they show how truly excited I was!

This shows the absolute difference is our personalities.  Hunter is simplistic--black and white, clean lines and edges, order. I live in my own organized chaos!  Straight lines get boring after a while and I can't settle on color patterns because I love them all.  He got me a white mixer (which I LOVE no matter the color) which is so up his alley.  Had I picked it out myself, who knows what color it would have been with all the options they have!  Lime green?  Yellow?  Light Orange?

But the white one will always match my kitchen...  Just makes me grin at how different we can be.
Back to the story.  It just so happened that about the time I finished the dough and was ready to cut shapes, Bella got tired--fabulous timing, kiddo!  KK (Kailyn) and I had a grand ole time using the cookie cutters to make some pretty fabulous Spring/Easter cookies!  She learned that flour doesn't taste good even though it looks like it would.  We also had some giggles wiggling with the cookie cutters to make sure they cut all the way through.  Love that kid.

Anywho, we popped them in the oven and then she went down for a nap too.  Both of them asleep at the same time?!  Perfection.  Plus it gave me the perfect window to tackle this royal icing and get those cookies decorated without distraction.

Surprisingly, I was able to achieve the consistencies I needed pretty easily.  After I figured out how to assemble my piping bag/coupler/tip, I went to town.  And might I say, for my first time, they turned out pretty good!  And more importantly, they tasted fabulous...  We may have all eaten WAY too many each...

I saved 3 cookies for each of the kids to decorate (and 1 for Arabella--her first time to join in on the tradition!) when they got there that night.  For them, I just use canned icing, separate it out and dye it fun colors.  Then they also get to go to town using their sprinkles.  This was the first time Aby got really artistic with her icing colors and sprinkles--they came out so pretty!  If I ever get her alone, we might move up to the task of royal icing decorating :)

My four little icing-istas!  I love getting to have special moments with them.  

Kailyn would put a layer of icing and sprinkle it up, then add some more icing and repeat.  She was still going strong until we made her call it quits.  She would have sat there decorating those same three cookies all night!

Evan decided this time to put tiny dollops of icing and then douse them in sprinkles...  His plate made me grin...

Sweet Bella bug thought she was hot stuff getting to make cookies with the big kids!  

 Aby refused to let me get a picture of her with her cookies, so I had to snap her mid bite (when she wasn't expecting it!).  I was really impressed with her creativity on this batch.  She's becoming quite the little artist :)

I had icing leftover from that batch, and since Hunter was so sad to come home and see the rest of the cookies had been finished off, I of course had to make another batch!  I was excited to get to add some Louisiana flair to these--and there may be a few left...but I have a feeling after today, there won't be...

He even wanted to help this time :)
And he got a little more creative that I had...
We had some Louisianas...
some fleur de lis...
some alligators and some crawfish...
I still have a little more practice to do on dough thickness and baking times.  And of course, the decorating skills will hopefully improve the more I make them!  But that can't happen all too often, or I will be a blimp...

love, angie

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