Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cookies for All Saints' Day

So last year, I posted these cookies ON All Saints' Day...and the how-to's in the days following.  Not the best if you want to MAKE the cookies for All Saints' Day.  Here's a reprise of the post, so you can get to baking.  
Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the post for links to the tutorials for all of the saint cookies shown here. 

*originally posted here, 11.01.13* 
Oh, when the saints go marching in!

how to make all saints day cookies, 5 designs in all
Ever since making these cookies for All Saints' Day a few year ago, I've wanted to try my hand at making actual saint cookies...piped and flooded without using images printed on frosting sheets.

Three years later, here we are.  Finally.  Is it sad that I've been wanting to make something like this and it's taken me THREE YEARS to do so?  Yes, yes it is.

how to make all saints day cookies, 5 designs in all
OK...first let me say that these designs come from one of my favorite etsy shops, Saintly Silver.  The owner makes felt saint dolls and they are the cutest little things ever. (PS: she's booked through Christmas already, so put your orders in for next year early.)

how to make all saints day cookies, 5 designs in all
Here are some of her pieces from her sold page.  So, you can see the cookie inspiration comes directly from her.  I love that they're so beautiful, but still really simple.  You guys know how much I love simple.

Making All Saints' Day cookies is really, really fun...and letting your kids choose which saints to create is a great way to get them involved.

For these cookies, I chose a few saints:

how to make all saints day cookies, 5 designs in all
St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals and his feast day just happens to be on my birthday.

all saints day cookies, st. therese, the little flower...post features 5 saint cookie designs
St. Therese of Lisieux, also know as the Little Flower.  Patron saint of missions.

all saints day cookies, st. cecilia, patron saint of music...post features 5 saint cookie designs
St. Cecilia, patron saint of music.  I always think of my sister the music major when I think of St. Cecilia.  (And, I just realized I've been spelling it "Cecelia" all these years.)

all saints day cookies, st. michael the archangel...post features 5 saint cookie designs
St. Michael the Archangel, patron saint of grocers and police officers.  I love that grocers have a patron saint.

all saints day cookies, st. brigid (or st. bridget) of ireland...post features 5 saint cookie designs
St. Brigid (or Bridget) of Ireland, how could I make saint cookies without a St. Brigid?  Her cookie was not my favorite since I messed up her cross, but this poem attributed to her IS one of my favorites. ;) How can you not love a saint who writes about beer?

all saints day cookies
Because I don't want this post to be 2 miles long and contain over 30 pictures, the how-to's are divided up in separate posts. See below.

 Do you have a favorite saint? 


Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturday: Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls

Yes, yes...we continue on with the pumpkin.
review: trader joe's ginger pumpkin ice cream mouthfuls

This week, kiddo and I review Trader Joe's Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls.  In other words, mini ice cream sandwiches. 

Trader Joe's describes these as "pumpkin ice cream between ginger cookies."  A box of 12 mini cookies will set you back $3.99.

review: trader joe's ginger pumpkin ice cream mouthfuls
I was feeling pretty good about reviewing these since the cashier picked them up and said, "ooooohhhh" in a Homer Simpson-esque manner. 

review: trader joe's ginger pumpkin ice cream mouthfuls
A mom's (my) take:  Right away, you can tell that these aren't the prettiest ice cream sandwiches you've ever seen...but they might be the tastiest.  Creamy pumpkin ice cream is sandwiched between two of the softest and spiciest gingerbread cookies.  These are tiny, 2-3 bites, but they pack a flavorful punch. I've eaten a lot of treats and sweet from Trader Joe's (you may have noticed), and these might be my favorite so far.  I may go back and buy every single remaining box.  You know when you've had "one of those" day and you need a pick-me-up?  These.  You know when you get happy news and you want to celebrate?  These.  Who am I kidding...you need no excuse to eat these.  Just do it.
Overall rating: 5 of 5 stars (x 10)

A teenager's (kiddo's) take: These are hands down the most flavorful ice cream sandwiches I've ever had. The flavor of the cookie is not subdued by its coldness or the ice cream within, but rather accented. The ice cream packs one heck of a punch when it comes to flavor and that classic ginger-y spice. I would also eat the entire box in a second.
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars

Trader Joe's Mini Ginger Pumpkin Ice Cream Mouthfuls: you need them.  Or, if you shop at our Trader Joe's, you can leave them for us. ;)

review: trader joe's ginger pumpkin ice cream mouthfuls
Read all of our Trader Joe's dessert and sweet treat reviews!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bells, er, (foot)balls and whistles...

OU Sooners football cookie set ... with tutorial for whistle cookie
There are certain things I've learned about writing a book.

1. Publishing a book is like having a baby.  You forget the work, the pain, the sleepless nights...once the baby is around, you think, "hey, that wasn't so bad...let's make another."  You only show people the cutest pictures...no poopy diapers (baby), no dirty dishes stacked in the sink for three days (cookbook).  Hopefully, it was obvious which one of those was baby and cookbook. ;)

2. You'll have to swear to your copy editor that yes, there IS such a thing as white food coloring.

3. As soon as your book is sent to printing, you'll think of a million things you'd like to add. 

how to make whistle cookies
4.  Things get cut.  Like this whistle.  Oh, I loved this little whistle cookie.  With it's Twizzler cord, it stole my heart.  Well, there wasn't enough room in the book for every cookie, so this one ended up on the chopping block.

The good news, I can share it with you here!  If you have Decorating Cookies Party, this is goes perfectly with the Tailgate cookie set. 

The whistle cookie cutter comes from e.crandal.  I love their cookie cutters...so well made and so unique.

how to make whistle cookies

Before you bake the cookies, use a straw to poke a hole in the cookies.  After they've baked, if the hole has closed up a bit, press the straw through the hole again just after they come out of the oven.

To make the ref whistle cookies, you'll need:

Use a #2 tip to outline the cookies in grey icing.

Reserve some of this outlining icing. Thin the rest of the grey icing and all of the white with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin.  Count of 2-3 is good.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed.  Pour into squeeze bottles.

Fill in the outline, using a toothpick to guide into the edges and to pop large air bubbles.  Let the icing dry for at least one hour.

Using the piping consistency icing again, pipe detail lines onto the whistles. 

Let the icing dry completely, 6-8 hours or overnight.

how to make whistle cookies
Once dry, mix a bit of luster dust with vodka and brush onto the bottom section of the whistle to give it dimension.

how to make whistle cookies ... perfect for a football cookie set!
how to make whistle cookies
Thread the licorice through the hole of the whistle and tie.

OU Sooners football cookie set ... with tutorial for whistle cookie

These cookies would be perfect for almost any sports theme or for a lifeguard.  I made these cookies for the OU/Texas football game.  Boomer Sooner! ♥ 


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