Ballet cookies…aka challenging myself

Last year, a friend asked me to do cookies for her daughter’s birthday, to be handed out at her dance class. She wanted a ballet theme and thus some of my favorite cookies ever were born.

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As her daughter’s birthday approached this year, my friend asked for cookies again.  The only direction provided was that I should do “something like last year.”  Artistic freedom can be both liberating and daunting!  Creativity and vision don’t come easily to me to begin with. Now I was being asked for something similar to cookies I never planned on improving upon.  I consulted my cookie peers because their opinions always help me realize what I really want.  I searched design seeds for the perfect palette.  I chose the perfect silhouette from Google images. (You’re getting a real peek into my “creative” process here 😛 ) Selected just the right plaque cutter (and btw you can never have too many).  The right stencil (again, never too many).  I decided that they should be adorned with roses so I set about piping about 100 of them.  I agonized over each choice because I kept wondering if they could possibly be as good or better than last year’s.  Once they were done and ready, I took 156 photos of them over the course of 2.5 hours. (Cloudy skies, sudden sun, background indecision, and my inexperience all played a role…and you know the pressure of trying to get that perfect photo so that facebook can show it to 10% of your fans and 10% of that 10% can trouble themselves to hit “like” 😉 )

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The cookies left my hands and I returned to my house that now looked like a tornado ripped through.  The big question is, did I succeed in my mission?  I like to say I learn a lesson with every single batch of cookies.  This time around the lesson was that all of the stress and agonizing wasn’t necessary or even worth it…because even though I still like last year’s cookies better, I’m really happy with the way these came out, and I see it’s possible to have that opinion and not feel like I failed.

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Gallery

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Hi all!  Often I am asked if I have a website, but since I rarely update this blog (for shame!), I point them to my facebook page.  Well, believe it or not, not everyone has facebook, so I’ve decided to post an updated gallery here for curious onlookers 🙂 I’m pretty sure this is almost everything done since that last Valentine post.

Freestyle Conversation Hearts and other minis

I baked up a bunch of minis for Valentine’s. I just heart them so much 😉 over time I’ve collected quite a few heart cutters of all shapes and sizes. I also have the mini jar.  One cutter in particular is a nice plump heart that is perfect for conversation hearts. The tiniest hearts were actually the cut out pieces from a giant heart cutter.
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(I included a decorating tip in the photo for size comparison)

A while ago I was listening to the 80s freestyle station on Pandora and got the idea that these song titles would make great conversation hearts.  I realize now that that might be an obscure reference.  Thankfully in this day and age you can google when you don’t know something! (Some people seem to forget that.) Anyway, if you don’t have fond memories of TKA, Cynthia, Judy Torres, and the like, you can put any song title on a cookie.  From the Beatles to Mariah Carey, the possibilities are endless! All you need are your different colored icings and a red food marker.  (You can buy a food marker at craft stores or order it from Amazon.)

I already had a variety of pink icings prepared, and was way too lazy to make the others colors for traditional convo hearts so I just made pink ones. And I didn’t plan out my writing. No measuring, no Kopykake, I just winged it. These were total slacker conversation hearts! The rest of the minis included wet on wet, sanding sugar, and non-pareils which I love love love.
Stay tuned for the giant Valentine heart cookie 🙂
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I’ve missed you!

My New Year’s resolution was to update my blog as little as possible. I even got a head start by neglecting it back in the fall!

Just joshin ya. I’d like to post more. I’m trying to figure out where I fit in this cookie world of ours.

In the meantime, please enjoy my Love Bug Valentine’s cookies. I ordered my lowercase Helvetica cutter set as a Christmas gift to myself and couldn’t wait to use it! I also had some mini ladybug cutters that I was excited about. Valentine’s Day is my favorite cookie holiday, because I love all things girly, pink, hearts, and the combo of pink & red. God willing, I have a few more sets coming up, including a ginormous heart that is bigger than my head (accidental cutter purchase- more on that later).

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And here are some other cookies I never got around to posting. Percy Jackson tridents, baby shower (pink and grey theme, baby footprints and baby elephants), some snowflakes, and a peppermint stick jar. 🙂

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Absentee Blogger and Summer Birthday Party cookies!

I can’t be the first blogger to start a blog and then fizzle out, can I?

Don’t tell me, anyway.  I’m still coming to terms with the fact that I don’t have enough time to decorate cookies and blog about it.  I have temper tantrums in my head about it all too often.  I’m one of those people that’s constantly underestimating how long it really takes to do stuff.  I’m pretty sure anyone who knows me and has experienced my chronic lateness firsthand can attest, if I say I’ll be there an hour, it’s more likely 2.5-3.  (I’m sorry!!!!!!! I wasn’t always like this!!!!  Having 3 kids kicks my butt.)  So, being that time management isn’t my strong suit, I probably had no business even starting a blog…but anyhoo.  Here we are, and I’m way overdue on a new post, and please forgive me? *bats eyelashes*

My baby girl’s first birthday was last week.  It was a rare opportunity for cookies- I had carte blanche to do as many as I could possibly eek out.  My mother-in-law literally said the words “I’ll help out however you need. I’m at your disposal.”…I think I heard harps.  The sweetest words ever spoken!  I still grin from ear to ear when I think about it.  So I planned out a cookie extravaganza- 20-something large cookies for favors, and at least 75 minis to use as cupcake toppers.

I had ordered candy-themed birthday decor from Honey Bops on Etsy.  Ever since I saw Sugarbelle’s gumball machine cookies, I’d wanted to do some, and these decorations had gumball machines on them.  Score! I used her tutorial and they came out so cute.  I even used my mini mason jar cutter to make mini gumball machines for cupcake toppers.  I know, I’m sorry, I didn’t set out to kill you with cuteness, I swear.

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(In my haste to take a picture, I had forgotten that I didn’t add the last detail of white around the globe…I did add it after this pic.)

In keeping with my new obsession with minis, cookie lollipops, and pinwheels, I did mini pinwheels for the cupcakes. *squee*  They actually didn’t look as perfect as I’d hoped.  But they’re still totes cute.

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A few of the mini pinwheels

Next up…mini ice creams and mini plaques.  I used a rubber stamping technique for the first time on the plaques.  It was difficult.  My cookies were as perfectly flat as I’ll ever get them and I still couldn’t get the stamps to apply fully.  I kept having to go over them again or fill in blank areas with a paintbrush.  Something to add to my list of “needs work”.  I did learn that colored non-pareils are, like, the funnest cookie decoration ever.

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That night when I went to bed I had the grand idea to make an ombre pink rose birthday cake cookie.  When I woke up the next morning I couldn’t wait – I did it before I even ate breakfast.

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Absolutely cannot wait to make these again.  Oh, the possibilities!  I might even make it a tradition for my daughter’s birthday.

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Well, now this post is cutting into my shower time so I’m just going to add the rest of the pics and let them speak for themselves.  (Except for the horrible lighting in the display pics. I’ll explain that.  The set-up area was in my father-in-law’s man cave, which opens up into their ginormous yard; there was nice daylight coming in but it was impossible to capture in the pics..I’m trying not to be too upset about it. Even when I consider how stunning the pics could’ve been with the right lighting.)

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Happy first birthday, my beautiful baby girl. ❤