Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cookies...My On-Going Learning Process

So I've recently delved into the world of making pretty cookies - branching out from the Toll House recipe for chocolate chip cookies that was my comfort zone before... See, I'm not a whole bunch of a baker.  I don't have a whole lotta love for "measuring" or "precision" or "patience"... Give me a giant saute pan and a cabinet full of herbs and spices and I'm a MUCH happier camper.  Cooking is more forgiving for a total anti-recipe disaster like myself.

Therefore, deciding to not just try cookies, but to try sugar cookies from scratch and then to deal with the rolling, the cutting, the baking, the cooling, and the mess was a big step for me.  And then for me to step away from my comforting cans of icing and Tulip tubes of icing with which I grew up was downright ballsy.  What the HECK was I doing with bags and tips and 6 bowls of different colored glaze icing? 

And my tendencies towards perfectionism just makes the whole thing that much more absurd.  Ask how practical it is for me, in my hectic life, to devote 6+ hours to a batch of COOKIES.  It's not.  It's totally absurd. 

Regardless, I do it.  Here are some of the results... some obviously better than others:

I made some cute farm cookies for a friend's son's birthday party.  I hadn't yet discovered the concept of white food coloring.  Nor had I figured out how to cool my cut-outs before I bake to keep the edges nice and sharp.  Oh well - bake and learn.

Some adorable little owls I made for fall - inspired by a design on the girl's shirts that day.

Some Jack o'Lanterns for Jack's school Halloween party...

I made these to send to a dear friend of mine, but they got destroyed in the mail.

More Halloween cookies for Jack's party... notice the bright white?  White food coloring.  Brilliant!  I made my purple a little too dark for my tastes... it dried darker than it was in the bowl and I'm still trying to figure out a way around that.

Blooper on the spider's foot... Impatience is not my best quality and it can lead to some oops-ies.

Snowflake cookies for Jack's Christmas party at school.  These are probably my favorites to date.  See how nice and clean the cookies are around the edges?  I'm learning!

Another lesson I learned: simplicity is often the most beautiful design.  These crosses showcase what the season is about without going overboard. 

I don't know why these candy canes look so sloppy... I think I could have used a #2 tip to outline and flooded with a thinner icing than I did.  Oh well - I love the glossiness and the bright colors.  And I love white food coloring.  Have I mentioned that?

Gotta have some Christmas trees in the mix!  Love getting to make them all slightly different!

Silly me tried to stack on top of the red and blue tree before it was dry... ooops.  There's my impatience rearing its ugly head again...

And of course, there are a few just for fun and to look pretty.  And because I wanted to practice straight lines.  Basics, people, basics.  I'm getting there.  Wish I didn't have the big globs of color at the ends of the lines, but let's just pretend I do it on purpose, eh?

So, when I'm not posting or not getting my laundry done or not showering or sitting down, it's probably because I've embarked on a marathon cookie-baking session and am covered from head to toe in flour and powdered sugar and smeared with 4 or 5 colors of gel coloring and can be found hunched over my counter top with my icing bags in hand, ignoring my family and life.  Just so you know!


Tanya said...

GORGEOUS!!! I still remember the thank you cookies I got from you!!! ;o) Those owl cookies are REDUNKULOUS! Great job, M!! *muwah*

Mama M. said...

Oh mah gawd.

For real...I hate you now. You bake sugar cookies? Like real, bonafide, roll 'em out sugar cookies?

And then decorate them like a pro?!

Not. Fair.

Then, to top it're pretty and funny and smart and have a beautiful family and you're a stay at home mom.

Double Not. Fair.

*I'm not worthy! I'm not worthy!!*

Zookeeper Jess said...

Holy cow! Those cookies are amazing! I'm completely impressed and totally jealous!

Michelle said...

im impressed! Why can't u live here, i need you to work on cake!

Sonora said...

I am doubly impressed. First that you can even manage to find the time and energy to do this, but also at how gorgeous they turned out. You have a real talent. My mom and I made sugar cookies and decorated them, but we joked about just telling everyone that my kids did the decorating. :)

A Little Family of Five said...

You are really good at cookies. I would love to learn a few of your secrets. I tried last year and failed. I need to come over and watch some time!


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