Friday, March 30, 2007

The Bloggy Cookies Exchange is Finally Here!!!



I'm so glad you're here! Pour yourself a nice glass of lemonade, or a cup of coffee, and enjoy some yummy cookies! This is the first Blog-Event I've ever hosted, so I hope you all enjoy it! I have the tips and tricks I promised to making perfect cookies every time, and I also have a surprise for ya'll just for showing up to read my drivel! I hope you enjoy yourself, and please feel free to invite your friends!

I chose to make Easter-themed cookies for the party, I hope you like them!



And, as promised...here is the secret recipe for my cookies.

Painted Cookies


3 cups Powdered Sugar
2 cups Butter (real butter works better than margarine)
3 teas. Vanilla
3 eggs (I use Jumbo, but large will do)
6 cups All Purpose Flour
2 teas. Baking Soda
2 teas. Cream of Tartar

Cream together the butter and powdered sugar.
Add vanilla and eggs.
Mix in the flour, baking soda and cream of tartar.
Mix well and chill in the refrigerator for at least an hour or two. (You can chill overnight as well, but if you try to use the dough before it is well chilled, it will be too sticky and you will have trouble rolling it out.)

After the dough has chilled, roll out to 1/8 inch and cut out using desired cookie cutters. Bake the cookies at 375 for 6-8 minutes depending on how thick the cookies are. The cookies are ready when the edges are golden brown and the middles are still ivory. Cool the cookies for a minute on the cookie sheet, then transfer to a cooling rack. Wait until cookies have cooled before decorating.

Icing for Painted Cookies

1 - 2 lb. bag of Powdered Sugar
4 Tbl. Milk
4-6 Tbl. Water
2 Tbl. Light Corn Syrup
1 teas. salt
4 teas. Vanilla (I use clear vanilla to keep the icing white)

Combine all ingredients and mix until smooth with no lumps. (A stand mixer is the easiest way to mix it, but you can do it by hand)
Separate icing into individual bowls to be colored as desired.
(Refrigerate unused icing to use at a later date)

And there you have it...the secret is OUT!!! Now, I believe I also promised ya'll some tips to make sure your cookies come out perfectly every time...well, let's get started.

Rolling and Cutting Out Your Dough: There are many different problems that can arise during this stage of the process, and this is my least favorite part of the whole thing quite frankly. But there are some tricks to make it easier, and bring about better results.

1. Place your dough on a piece of parchment paper and cover it with a large piece of plastic wrap (Saran Wrap, etc.) The dough will not stick to either the parchment nor the plastic wrap, allowing you to roll it out without adding any flour to the dough. This keeps the dough from getting dry and flaky as you continue to re-use the scraps.

2. When you cut your cookies out, leave about a 1/2 inch between each cookie, like this:


Then, remove the excess dough, leaving only the cookie cut-outs.




3. Now, instead of using a spatula to transfer the cookies to the cookie sheet to be baked, simply slide your cookie sheet under the parchment paper. This way, your cookies won't be at risk of being mis-shapen during the transfer.




4. Yes, you can bake the cookies right on the parchment paper! AND they won't stick when you go to remove them after baking either!



My final trick for perfect cookies is done after the cookies are baked. Immediately after removing the cookies from the oven, use a spatula to press down and smooth the tops of each cookie. They will come out of the oven slightly raised, and this will give you a nice flat surface on which to decorate!




Now, if you have stuck with me all the way down here...congratulations! And, I have a surprise for you! I have made 4 videos on decorating the cookies. This first one is on coloring your icing. I'm sorry if this seems like common sense to you, but I didn't want to just assume that everyone has colored icing before, so I included it in the tutorial. If you already know how to color icing, just skip down to the next video!



This next video demonstrates how to "paint" your cookie. I prefer nylon brushes for painting cookies as they don't tend to "shed" as much as natural hair brushes. And I buy these brushes specifically for cookies, they have never been used for anything else...just in case you were concerned!



And finally, these last videos show some tips for adding details to your cookies. They are a little bit longer than the last one...just a little warning!



This is the last one...I promise! Oh, and please forgive the spots where I stop mid-sentence and maintain a moment of silence...the Princess was mouthing questions to me, and I was mouthing back the answers so you wouldn't be able to hear us on the video! Nobody said this was a professional job, people!



Well, thank you all for coming! I hope it was worth your time...you really had nothing else to do today did you??? Now, if you also made some cookies for this exchange, please sign the Mr. Linky below and please remember to link to your specific "Bloggy Cookie Exchange post", not just your blog. And don't forget to leave a comment and let me know you were here enjoying the cookies! If you didn't enjoy your cookies...you can keep your comment to yourself--LOL!!!

Again, thanks for stopping by!

17 comments:

Karla said...

Thank you for hosting this, Melody! I love the detail you gave in describing how to make your cookies. They look SO yummy! Thanks for sharing. :-)

The Preacher's Wife said...

These look wonderful...yeah, yeah, I'm supposed to be baking cookies too...I'm on my way to the store! :))

Thanks for sharing your expertise Melody...my little daughter is looking at the pictures hollering, "buy me some of them!"

RealEstateGirl said...

Wow, Mel, your cookies are amazing!!!

I'm NOT WORTHY!!! I think I'm doing good if I bake from scratch instead of buying the slice and bake kind!

I enjoyed the videos and what a steady hand you have for decorating.

Ribbon Rock Star said...

Love the cookies!
They look great.

Linda

Krista said...

I cant wait to make some cookies with my little one--she loves to bake! But I hate it because I didnt get time to make any and post for the party today! I was grocery shopping until 8 pm! have a great day!

Barb said...

Melody, I'm soooooo glad I finally stopped by here tonight. You have saved my life.

Krissy is giving a bridal shower for her sister, my younger daughter, Mandy, in May. After much thought, she's decided to make beautiful wedding cake cookies individually gift wrapped to give our guests as parting favors.

I truly had no idea where to start. I've spent hours looking at all the Wilton products and still was not at all sure I could make these cookies.

Truly, I'm bookmarking this tutorial and Kris and Mandy and I will sit in here and watch this together.

Girl, you totally outdid yourself with this post, saved my life and made this confirmed homemaker very, very proud of you.

Wonderful, just wonderful. Thank you more than I can even express.

Barb said...

And.....LOL

I hope you don't mind my stealing the photo of the three cookies on the plate. I plan to highlight this post in my Sunday Meanderings day after tomorrow and I'd like to show everyone the beautiful cookies you make. If that's not OK, email me, OK? I tell you, I'm very excited about this tutorial. The videos are wonderful. I NEVER would have approached it this way - what a mess I would have made out of Krissy bridal shower cookies.

Sonya said...

These are wonderful! I need to take time to do this! My girls would LOVE them!

Michelle said...

Thanks for doing this..I came from Barb's blog and I (like barb have used the photo i do hope that's ok.please let me know :)I'm sure McKenna & I will be making these..

Mommy Dearest said...

Those cookies are the cutest things, and what amazing details you gave! I always have misshapen cut-out cookies because I try to transfer them.

I'm bookmarking this page!

Loretta said...

What a wonderful concept--showing the world how to make and icing cookies! I just loved the You-Tube movies on making the icing etc. I've rarely looked at You-Tube and yours is the the best I've seen so far! Practical and worth remembering! Thanks a bunch for that. I'm going to use your tips. I also love your voice and your neat little "twang". (I'm from Canada)

By the grace of God ... said...

I couldn't get the videos to work and would really like to see them! I love making cookies but need the decorating help! Is there a link you can send me?
My email is colobleu @ yahoo.com

Thanks -- I am going to try your recipe!

Rhonda said...

Thank you for the wonderful tutorials! I have always wanted to ice cookies like this, but didn't have a clue how to do it.

My kids have been wanting to decorate cookies, so we'll do our Christmas cookies this week. Just wonderful!

(I found you while browsing through some old posts at anewchelseamorning.blogspot.com)

Jennifer Hodges said...

Dear Melody,I am very grateful to you for sharing this. I had a flood in January and have been unable to get into my studio to paint. This has given me the tools to paint in the kitchen will delicious success.

Sincerely,

Jennifer Hodges

Christine said...

Thanks so much for your efforts making these videos. They have inspired me to make a great cookie with a great icing. Previously, I've used a poured fondant to get a shiny flat glazed look on cookies, but it's so messy. I was really glad you mentioned that the icing is only hard on the outside, but stays soft underneath, because my experience with Royal Icing was from a bakery where we made egg white Royal Icing for display wedding cakes. And those turned into cement! (I wanted edible cookies, not dental visits) So, I made cookies yesterday, iced them with confidence and they were the hit of the party last night (Autumn candy corn cookies). I like your easy methods better than using utensils or a pastry bag to ice the cookie. It's simple, easy and effective. Love it, love it... thanks again.

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering how many cookies the icing recipe will do. I want to make 2 doz and not sure it that is plenty or not nearly enough. I also wondered how long you could keep it in the fridge. Thanks so much for posting, can't wait to try them.

Maddie Hope said...

Dear Anonymous,

I hope you get this reply to your comment. Yes, the recipe should easily make 2 doz. The number you get out of the recipe will depend on the size of your cookie cutters and how thick or thin you roll your dough.

It will keep well in the fridge for at least 2 weeks, but for any longer than that, I put it in the freezer where it stays good for months. You can also cut out and bake the cookies and then freeze them to be decorated later.

Hope your cookies turn out amazing!