Tag: Beginner Baking

Brownies Part I – Cookies and More Cookies

Brownies – Conquering my Fear!

Brownies Plain

 

I’m still hoping some bakers might join my little expedition into historical baking! Buy the book here!

My first journey into Cookies and More Cookies (here on out known as CMC) was my aforementioned nemesis, BROWNIES!

Why do I have such a difficult time with brownies? The only thing I can come up with is…well, they are BROWN! I always over-bake them. I’m afraid they are under cooked so I leave them in for another minute, then one more minute… then presto! They are crispy and taste terrible 🙁

As I am determined to overcome my fear, I will do my best to make some amazing brownies from some 80+ year-old recipes! Maybe not such a great idea, but here goes.

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A Wish List for Beginner Cookie Decorators

 

wish list

The Wish List

If you’ve been bitten by the cookie decorating bug like I have, you’ve probably already assembled the basic tools of the trade. You also probably have a wish list of tools you hope to add as you develop your skill. Here are some items I’ve listed and descriptions of why you would want/need them for cookies.

These aren’t in any particular order, so here goes!

Stencil Genie

This little gadget holds the stencil in place so it doesn’t smudge when you are applying the icing or airbrushing. Great idea! You can find out more here.

Airbrush system

The possibilities are endless with airbrushing! You can add a little shimmer, a bold pattern, lettering, whatever you can think of! Really can’t wait to get one of these. You can see a few choices here.airbrush

Luster dust

A great brand is Crystal Colors. I’ve seen it used over and over with amazing results. You can find them here. Truly Mad Pastics also carries some great colors, you can find them here. luster dust

Color palette

You can use this to mix extracts with luster dust to create a ‘paint’ for your cookies. Again, possibilities are endless. I like this one here. color palette

Americolor soft gel color paste

I love the bold colors you get from this product. They each give you a true color which is hard to obtain in food coloring. Here are some choices for Americolor. americolor soft gel paste

Specialty Cutters

Any cutter you can imagine can probably be found online. There are a few shops that make their products in the USA and are great quality. Ann Clark Cutters and Truly Mad Plastics are two that I follow and enjoy their work. They have also partnered with some fellow bloggers to create cutter lines. Ann Clark is here and Truly Mad Plastics is here. Check them out, they are amazing!

Piping tips

I use mostly Wilton tips 1,2,3, and 4. They are easy to use and readily available in most craft stores and even Wal-Mart. You can find them here. Another brand that’s great for fine details is PME, they start at size 00 and go up from there. You can find them here. wilton #3

Flower Nails and Rose Tips

Royal icing roses are great to keep on hand as you can use them to dress up any baked goods. I love the idea of making a large quantity of flower decorations to store and use any time. You can find the Wilton Flower Nail here and the rose petal tips here.flower nail

Pico projector

This projector makes it easy to transfer images or writing onto cookies (or any baked goods for that matter) and I’ve seen some amazing work done on it. This really ups your game and can give you uniform writing on your cookies. You can find Pico handheld projectors here and here.wishlist

Decorator bottles with couplers

Squeeze bottles are great for flooding cookies quickly with less mess. These bottles here have couplers on them so you can use your favorite tips instead of bags. You can find them herewishlist

Dehydrator

Dehydrators are definitely on the wish list, they are great for drying royal icing faster than a fan or air drying. There are several different brands, check them out here.

What a wish list!

These are not necessarily beginner tools, but something to work up to when it’s no longer just something you want to try.

Do you have a list of things you hope to get to up your decorating game? I would love to hear about them and maybe add a few things to my own list!

Thanks for reading!

Leah

Check out my new decorating toys!

New decorating tools

New decorating tools

Hobby Lobby Anyone?

Check out my new decorating toys! I’m always looking to up my decorating arsenal, so when  said we could go to Hobby Lobby I printed out my 40% coupons and was out the door in record time! I was so enthralled to see all the different decorating tools Hobby Lobby has I almost didn’t hear my toddler screaming through the entire store as my husband tried distracting her so I could browse. I said almost. Did I mention I have an amazing husband?

Luster Dust

I picked up a few things and wanted to share them with you. I’ve been immersing myself in decorating videos on multiple social media platforms and see over and over again the use of luster dust. Most of the dust used is either gold or pink, but there were a lot of different colors. Hobby Lobby just had one brand and I haven’t looked up any reviews on it. It’s Sunny Side Up Bakery Luster Dust. I think it’s their brand of baking equipment but since it’s the only brand they had, and since I had 40% off, I went for it. It was regularly priced $4.49. I’m looking for a link to it on Hobby Lobby but it goes to a wilton product. I think it might be mis-labeled on the website, it’s the same thing. I’ll link it anway here

I’m really, really excited to try this! I’ve been so busy with blog stuff the past week I haven’t had time to do any decorating. I’ve got another batch of royal icing in the works, then I’ll do some practicing with the luster dust. I’ll be posting pictures of all the cookies I decorate, even the bad ones, so you can see how I use the dust. Did I mention I’m really excited about it?? I’m also excited to get back to making some cookies!

Stencils

I’ve played around with stencils before and really love the uniform look I get with them. Since I’m still working on my free hand work with piping and, well, pretty much everything else, stencils can do for me what I still can’t do for myself. The stencils I’ve used before came from Hobby Lobby so I knew it would be ok to get some more from there. I purchased a set of letter stencils, and 2 other designs. I’m excited about these, too. The cookies I decorated with stencils before were well received, so looking forward to doing more! The stencils can be found here and here. The ones I already had purchased and the ones in the pictures below are here. Those are still a favorite 🙂

Here are some cookies I made using stencilefor our neighbors at Christmas.

Building Up My Arsenal

I know it doesn’t seem like much or maybe even warrant an entire blog post for 3 items, but my goal here is to show that I don’t have everything already. I’m still a beginner working my way up to the next level. I’ll share things I pick up here or there and probably be just as excited about the next goody!

In an upcoming post, I’ll be sharing what I’ve got on my wishlist for decorating. I’m sure it won’t be all-inclusive becuase I’m sure there are things out there I need and don’t even know it yet!

What are some supplies you have built up for decorating?

Thanks for reading!

Leah

 

Valentine’s Day Cookies: Take 2! Check out what I’m learning this week…

Valentine’s Day Cookies: Take 2!

I love the look of Valentine’s Day cookies with hearts and red, pink, and white. It’s probably the #2 holiday for decorated cookies, right after Christmas (of course!). I’ve been checking out Pinterest for some non-traditional colors for cookies and I found some beautifully decorated cookies in black and grey, blues, and teals. They are all stunning. Cookie goals!

I’ve decided to try to keep my cookies to 3 main colors. After all, I am The Simple Cookie! I love simplicity and see beauty in clean lines. My first batch of cookies for Valentine’s Day were red, pink, and white with some black accents. I really liked how most of them came out and tried out some new techniques. I’m always so hard on myself when it comes to how my cookies turn out, especially when I’m trying something I haven’t done before. I want it to be perfect the first time! Anyone else like me? I may have to do it a few times to get it right but there is usually some improvement by the end of the batch.

Brush embroidery was the new technique for the first batch and I really enjoyed the end result after a few tries. I’ve seen a lot of cookies decorated with this style and it’s so pretty. It’s something I want to continue to work on and improve. I received the brush set I used for Christmas from my Hubby, the Wilton set made specifically for decorating. I was really happy with them and excited to use them again! You can find them here.

Valentine's Day Cookies
Part of my first batch of Valentine’s Cookies.

For the new batch, the goal is to make at least 3 identically decorated cookies for photographing. When I decorate, I usually never make the same identical cookie. I get so excited about the potential of the next cookie I don’t want to do the same one twice. I also want to try all the cool things I’ve seen other bloggers do and end up jumping from one thing to the next. This time the plan is to actually make a plan and figure out what colors and icing consistencies to make before I start. Then I’m going to stick to my plan! I’m sure there will be a few extras I can experiment with at the end.

I’ll be posting pictures of the fruits of my labor tomorrow so come back and see how I did!