I’ve been researching my family history for the last seven years, although cookie decorating and the blog have taken me away from my research at times. Genealogy is more than just finding names and dates. It is fascinating to learn about ones ancestors and see how they lived. I have researched my grandparents and several sets of great grandparents including their siblings and cousins. By widening my search it has provided a more complete picture of my family. I encourage you to jot down information about yourselves, children, parents and grandparents and include birthdates, anniversaries, sibling names, addresses, medical histories, etc. Ask your grandparents and older relatives about their parents and grandparents too. I can guarantee that one of your children, grandchildren or descendants will be interested in researching the family tree sometime in the future. They will be grateful for the information. Believe me, there are relatives who had information it has taken me years to discover.

Along the way I have connected with a few distant cousins. One being my cousin, Bill who I met online four years ago. At first we exchanged information about our discoveries which blossomed into a friendship. He attended college in the town where I grew up … who knew! We currently live 1000 miles apart, stay in regular contact and even though we’ve never met face-to-face, Bill feels like family. He even has my grandfather’s light blue eyes. He is my second cousin, once-removed which is not as complicated as it sounds. His father and my maternal grandfather are first cousins. Bill and my mother are second cousins and Bill’s children are my third cousins, who I’ve also met through the magic of email.

Bill was one of the first subscribers to my blog. To show my gratitude for his support and friendship, I made these cookies for Bill and his wife, Kayla who celebrated their 56th wedding anniversary last month. What a gift to meet a cousin I would never have known if not for my family research.

Anniversary Cookies
Wedding Cake Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Cream with Wilton Ivory
Royal Icing for outlining, flooding and detail tinted Gold with Wilton Gold and Wilton Ivory
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Star Tip #16
Gold Luster Dust
Hint: Just a smidge of Ivory creates Cream 

View Video Tutorial

Outline cookie with #2 tip in cream icing.

Flood cookie with cream icing.

Pipe 6 lines with gold flood icing.

Using a toothpick, swirl the icing to create design. 

Let dry overnight.

Pipe rows with #16 star tip in gold detail icing. Let dry overnight.

Apply gold luster dust with paintbrush to piped rows and cookie outline. (Look closely, it's there!)
 Let dry 30 minutes.

[Design inspired by Amber's Gold Marbled Wedding Cookies at Sweetambs] 




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NUT LASSIE COOKIES/ Easy Baklava Cookies

I was introduced to the sweet, buttery, nutty taste of Baklava by Nancy, the mother of my sister-in-law. I never saw her in action when she made this sweet delight but her Baklava was perfection. One bite of that diamond-shaped pastry and I was hooked. Nowadays, just the sight of those ooey, gooey layers remind me of Nancy.

If you love Baklava but not the work, I’ve got the next best thing. Baklava is labor-intensive and requires patience I do not have to butter layer upon layer of phyllo dough. These Pecan Lassies are a distant cousin and remind me of Baklava minus the buttery, honey layers.

These cookies take very little time to make. The original recipe calls for a pie-like crust. As a shortcut, I use phyllo dough cups, put them in mini muffin tins and fill them with a mixture of brown sugar, pecans and butter. They taste just as good with walnuts too. I bet some coconut too would add some pizzazz. Bake up a batch and see if you can eat just one of these sweeties!

Nut Lassie Cookies
30 Mini-Phyllo Shells* (2 boxes of 15 shells)
1 Egg
¾ Cup Brown Sugar
1 Tbsp Butter, melted
1 Tsp Vanilla
Dash of Salt
¾ Cup Pecans or Walnuts, chopped

*Recommend 'Athens' brand of Phyllo Shells

Place phyllo shells in mini muffin tins.

Use a wire whisk. Mix together Egg, Brown Sugar, Butter, Vanilla and Salt.
Add Pecans. Fill cups 2/3 full. Bake at 375 for 7 minutes.

Makes 30 cookies.





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BUNNY COOKIES/ Do I See Chocolate?

Ah, springtime … birds chirping, daffodils blooming and Easter around the corner. In elementary school it also meant Easter break. We had a half day on the Wednesday before Easter and school would resume the following Tuesday. Sounds great, doesn’t it? With the warm weather of spring we had more time to ride our bikes, play baseball and tennis without having to think about school. There was only one drawback … going to church every day. After doing the Stations of the Cross three times a week during Lent, attending Mass was mandatory on Holy Thursday, Good Friday, Holy Saturday and of course, Easter Sunday. Although, all that praying would eventually pay off with an Easter basket filled with candy. Well, you know this girl and her sweet tooth was in heaven!

Candy didn’t last long in my presence. I had a system about how to devour my goodies over the next week. The game plan was to start small and end big. First, the jelly beans that seemed to be growing in the green grass that lined the basket; next the small chocolate eggs; then the chocolate-coated marshmallow eggs. Then there was the one, my favorite saved for last … a large solid chocolate bunny … the biggest bunny ya ever saw! As a child Mom longed for a solid bunny instead of the hollow bunny in her basket every Easter, and her craving turned into a major boon for us kids. She had such a thing for those big chocolate bunnies that she continued the tradition with her six grandsons. Their eyes would get big and wide when Grandmother handed out the bunnies every Easter. As much as the boys enjoyed receiving them, I think Mom felt even more joy in giving and fulfilling a small childhood dream.

Bunny Cookies
Bunny Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted White with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Pink with AmeriColor Deep Pink
Royal Icing for detail tinted Lavender with AmeriColor Regal Purple
Royal Icing for detail tinted Soft Yellow with AmeriColor Lemon Yellow and Wilton Gold
Royal Icing for detail tinted Light Green with AmeriColor Avocado
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Decorating Star Tip #16
Wilton Decorating Star Tip #24
Wilton Decorating Leaf Tip #67

Pipe pink icing onto the bunny ear. Let sit 15 minutes.

Outline cookie with #2 tip in white icing.

Flood cookie with white icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Pipe eye with pink icing. Pipe lavender flowers with #24 star tip.
Pipe yellow flowers with #16 star tip. Pipe green leaves with #67 leaf tip.
Let dry overnight.





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