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Spring Bird Cookies {A Tutorial}

26 Feb

I love spring. Like, REALLY love it. There is something about finally being able to open the doors and windows and take a deep breath without it stinging my lungs that I just adore. The smell of rain, fresh cut grass, budding flowers, and birds chirping. Oh, and speaking of birds chirping and flowers blooming, I have some fun cookies to share, along with how I made them!

To start out, you’ll need to bake up a few round sugar cookies of your choice. Let cool and then get to it!

Outline the cookie in teal royal icing. For these cookies, I used Wilton food coloring found here. After outlining, flood with 10 second icing.

Give the cookie a quick shake back and forth across the table to get the icing to smooth out. Then let it set aside to dry completely for oh… 8 hours or more. I usually let mine sit until the next day because the next step is going to be applying pressure with the food writer and stencil.

I created a stencil out of card stock paper, but you can use whatever works for you. If you have a paisley cookie cutter it may work just fine too. Trace around the stencil with a red food writer.

After outlining with the food writer, use your red royal icing to outline and flood the bird’s body shape.

Once you’ve let the red dry for a while (probably only an hour this time around) you can use a toothpick or a #1 tip to apply the black royal icing for the birds eyes.

Using the same method, apply a small triangle with yellow royal icing immediately after you apply the black eyes.

I used the same toothpick that I used for the eyeballs to add little feet to the bottom of each bird.

Add a little swirl to the red part of the bird to give him the appearance of a wing.  I used ribbon roses glued down with a drop of the red royal icing. There is a great ribbon rose tutorial by Sweet Sugar Belle here, but I prefer to make mine out of rolled buttercream fondant. I then use leaf tip #67 to add three dollops of green icing for leaves.

Finally, I ran a line of red dots around the outside edge of the cookies to finish it off!

Welcome soon to be Spring! I’m SO glad you are here!

Valentine’s Petit Fours {A Tutorial}

17 Feb

Valentine’s day isn’t over around here! I recently had the opportunity to make an order of petit fours for a special Valentine’s surprise from a wife to her husband, who happens to be a fan of petit fours. Go figure right? Men can be surprising.

I thought this would be a great opportunity to try my first tutorial! So… here it goes.

Of course the first step is to prepare your cake batter. If you’re not much of a “from scratch” cake baker, no worries, you can always use a box mix! For some projects, box cake doesn’t work well because of its light and airy consistency, but since we’re going to be freezing the cake, the texture of a box mix cake doesn’t make too much of a difference. Side note: when I first started baking, sometimes I would use an “altered” box mix in a pinch. Add strawberries, and lemon juice, or some peaches, (you get the picture) and adjust the liquids from there. Creates a totally new flavor without worrying about trying a whole new recipe! But anyway, I digress…

Next, pour your batter into your prepared cake pan. I always make sure to use parchment paper on the bottom to make the rest of the project (and my life!) easier. Now, this is where your batter matters. Know your recipe to know how “full” to make your pan.

After the cake has baked and cooled, stick it (still in the pan) into the freezer for about… 15 minutes or so (very scientific I know). Once you take it out, it will be ready to “pop” out of the pan onto a cutting board or a cooling rack (my preference). Use something you’ll be able to put back in the freezer after you’ve cut your cake pieces though.

Then use a ruler to cut each piece of cake the same size. I generally use an 8×11 inch cake pan and then use the ruler every 2 inches. I just line the ruler up and slide the knife along the side. I end up with an inch of extra cake on one side, but it’s easier that way then trying to do all that math!

Once finished cutting the 2 inch squares, I take the knife and slice each one in half across the middle to make room for the filling. You could tort the cake before you cut all the little pieces, but that would be too easy. 🙂

Next, I squeezed a dollop of homemade strawberry filling onto the bottom half of each petit four and stacked the top back on. Then place them back on the cooling rack and back into the freezer while you get prepared.

Now comes the fun part! I chose to cover my petit fours in butter cream fondant because well.. because I did. You could easily elect to cover them in poured candy melts, pourable fondant, etc. Rolled fondant just works for me. The recipe is butter cream like, so it tastes much better than traditional fondant or anything you’d buy at the store. If you are interested in the poured method, there is a great tutorial HERE.

Gather up a ball of whatever color of fondant you are wanting to use. I did white, red, and pink for my final product. Using the 2 inch size method, it takes approximately a bouncy ball sized amount of fondant for each petit four (there I go getting all scientific again!)

Next you’ll roll it out and cover one square at a time. Fondant takes some practice and… finesse, so don’t get discouraged and keeping playing with it. You may want to make a bit extra if it’s your first time to account for a whoops or two.

After you manage to get the petit four covered in fondant, decorate to your hearts desire! I did a combination of fondant roses, fondant hearts, and the word LOVE. All pictured below.

Fondant Roses

If you’re interested in learing how to make a fondant rose, there is a tutorial HERE.

I just used a clover flower cutter (from a Wilton flower making kit) but you could also use a small heart cutter if you like for the white hearts. I put a dollop of royal icing onto the petit four to act as glue for the fondant heart.

I’m using a #2 Wilton tip for all of the piping. You can use whatever size you are comfortable with!

These were so much fun to create. The possibilities are endless!

If you give this a try, comment here with a link for me to see how yours turned out!

Happy Baking!

Flower Cookies

10 Sep

Okay, now I really must be convinced it’s spring because i’m on a flower kick! I couldn’t help myself but make some fun and fresh mini flower cookies this week. Judge me if you want, after all, it is september and I’ll be posting halloween cookies before you know it, but this was fun for me, so there. 🙂

I had originally wanted to ice these with hot pink and lime green icing, but as I started mixing, it just turned out orange and blue. Does that ever happen to you? Well, it does to me. Things hardly ever turn out as I plan, but most of the time (key word is most) it all still turns out juuuuust fine.

I decided to mix it up a little and do some of the flowers with a polka dot border and some without. I’m not sure which ones I like better.  Then when I ran out of orange icing, I just iced some in blue. It was a happy little mistake, I love those too!

I just love fun and fresh icing colors that turn your mouth all kinds of colors! (just kidding) (but seriously…)

Going Floral

7 Sep

Okay, so i know it’s not spring time or anything, but I couldn’t help but play around with my gum paste and make some lovely little flowers to adorn some of my mini cupcake creations.  Enjoy!