COOKIE FAVS/ Golden Rule

It’s that time of year again when we set goals to improve ourselves in various ways. Common are resolutions to lose a few pounds, get more exercise, spend more time with the kids, travel, learn to play a musical instrument, etc. Then there are the aspects of character such as being more tolerant, understanding, patient, empathetic, thoughtful, kind and in general, just a better person.

Last year the theme for the new year of 2017 was kindness which morphed into #don’t be mean in 2017.  Well, I'm not sure how that one worked out but we can give it another try in 2018. 

Kindness …. what a simple concept. We were taught kindness as children but sometimes it seems to have faded away. That is, until you hear about the empathy and generosity of people when tragedy strikes. So in this new year let’s spread The Golden Rule ‘to do unto others as you would have others do under to’ and remember, we are all in this together. Wishing you all good things in 2018.

To my readers, my wish for you is oodles of fun, endless smiles and many 
memorable moments in 2018. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  On display are a few of my favorite posts of 2017.

These Communion Dress Cookies for my grand niece's First Communion definitely rank at the top of my all-time favorites. The pearl stenciled rose design and pink accent flowers are darling, like our MK. In this post, I reminisce about my First Communion experience.

The Anchor Cookies reflect one of my favorite themes … nautical. The airbrushed stripes in lemon yellow, lime green and cherry red, accented with a navy blue anchor make me dream of a long sailing day on the Chesapeake Bay. So proud to have served in the Navy, I just had to share the photo of my Dad in his sailor blues … he was soooo cute!

Pastels are just perfect for this three-tier Pastel Vanilla Cake and the irresistible buttercream frosting. In this post, I chat about my search for the perfect buttercream recipe. I could go for a slice right now!

These dainty Snowflake Cookies using the brush embroidery technique are my favorite and the color combo is so pretty. It was the perfect design to tell the story of three sisters. My Aunt Betty, the youngest, so enjoyed this story and I hope you did too!

I have a confession to make about these Maryland Flag Cookies. I was not sure they would turn out the way I envisioned them. Mixing multiple airbrush colors and stencils was a challenge but I could not have been happier with the end result. They were a fun way to celebrate my nephew's post-graduate degree from the University of Maryland.

These Lilly Pulitzer-inspired cookies in bright, cheerful colors remind me that summer is just around the corner. In this post I reminisce about the bold fashion of the 1960's.

See you next year!




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STENCILED TREE COOKIES/ Wonderful Time of Year

I admit it … I'm corny, particularly at this time of year. I love my rock-n-roll, Elvis and Motown but my absolute favorites are Christmas songs. Who can resist the nostalgic tunes sung by the indelible voices of Bing, Perry, Dino, Andy, Sammy, Frank, Ella and Nat. Or the cheery lyrics about sleigh rides, winter wonderland, roasting chestnuts, reindeer games, boughs of holly, mistletoe, silver bells and a snowman named Frosty.

Dozens of holiday tunes were recorded during WWII and multitudes re-recorded by contemporary artists like Michael, Harry, Madonna, Bruce, Justin and Carrie. These melodies evoke childhood memories, have brought comfort to our military serving far from home and bring to mind those we love and lost. Just like so many of our holiday traditions, the season would not be the same without the unforgettable, beautiful hymns depicting a manger, drummer boy, merry gentlemen, heralded angels, noels, silent night and joy as we celebrate the birth of Christ. These musical treasures endure as each new generation learns the significance of the season. 

No matter how you celebrate the season,
greetings to you and yours for joy, love and good health.


Stenciled Christmas Tree Cookies
Christmas Tree Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Cream with Wilton Ivory
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
AmeriColor Airbrush Colors (Sky Blue, Avocado, Violet)
Stencils (Elegant Teardrops, Fair Isle Sweater, Falling Snow, Preppy Stripes, Diagonal Thin Stripe, Narrow Stripe)
Airbrush Machine

Outline cookie with #2 tip in cream icing. Flood cookie with cream icing. 
Let dry overnight.

Place stencil on cookie. 

Spray airbrush color onto cookie. Gently lift stencil. 

Let dry 60 minutes.




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I've got lots of cookies to bake so I will keep this brief …
It's that time of year again and time to load up on pounds and pounds of butter, eggs, sugar, flour and of course, colored sanding sugar for that holiday favorite ... Cutout cookies!  It just wouldn't be Christmas without them.

This recipe was posted earlier on this blog in December 2015. I have added new cookie photos (still working on my photography skills). Happy Baking!

Christmas Cutout Cookies
3/4 cup Butter (1½ sticks), softened
2½ cups Flour
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla
Sanding Sugar

Mix Butter until creamy. Add Sugar, Eggs, Baking Powder, Vanilla and half the Flour.
Add remaining Flour and mix just until incorporated.
Divide dough in two halves, wrap in plastic and chill for 2 hours.

Roll out and cut into shapes.

Sprinkle with Sanding Sugar.

Bake at 375 for 7 to 8 minutes until edges are slightly golden brown. Makes 5-6 dozen.
[This recipe is from Better Homes and Gardens Christmas Cookie Edition 1991]



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With another holiday season upon us and the anticipation of good times with siblings, nieces and nephews, for me it is also a time of reflecting upon holidays past spent with family no longer here. It's a nostalgic time and as I carry on family holiday traditions, memories of yesteryear come flooding back.

My mother was very much into tradition so it was not only at Thanksgiving but also on Christmas Day that she and Dad served a traditional turkey dinner with all the fixings. After rising in the early morning, the holiday was a day to get dressed up. Mom always wore a dress, stockings and heels, and hair and makeup just so. She would daintily wraparound a crisp apron before starting her kitchen tasks. Dad would wear nice slacks, dress shirt and pullover sweater, often an autumn gold one with a kitchen towel tossed over one shoulder. For hours they would be in the kitchen working side-by-side chatting away in preparation … Dad stuffing and trussing the turkey at which he was a master, peeling and cutting turnips and sweet potatoes, while Mom rolled out several pie crusts. She would make four pies for just the six of us ….apple, pumpkin, mince and chocolate cream. I can still hear them in my mind lovingly preparing the holiday feast. My brothers and I would play, watch the parades on television or toss a football in the yard. When everything was ready, it was finally time to eat. The turkey ready for carving, and side dishes one-by-one were brought to the table, neatly set with fine china, cloth napkins and a perfectly starched tablecloth. Our big brother would pour the milk for us kids, we would give thanks and enjoy.

No doubt your holiday memories are much the same. Today is a good time to reflect and cherish those happy times so long ago, while being grateful for today's blessings of family and friends.

Autumn Leaf Cookies
Square Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Ivory with Wilton Ivory
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Brown with AmeriColor Chocolate Brown
Royal Icing for detail tinted Dark Green with AmeriColor Leaf Green and AmeriColor Super Black
Royal Icing for detail tinted Copper with AmeriColor Chocolate Brown, AmeriColor Super Red and Wilton Ivory
Royal Icing for detail tinted Gold with Wilton Gold and Wilton Ivory
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Leaf Tip #352
Airbrush Kit
AmeriColor Copper Sheen Airbrush Color

Outline cookie with ivory icing. Flood cookie with ivory icing. Let sit 45 minutes.

Lightly spray entire cookie with copper airbrush color.

Pipe tree branches with #2 tip in brown icing. Let sit 30 minutes.

Pipe leaves in green icing with leaf tip #352.

Mix copper icing and green icing. Pipe leaves in mixed color with leaf tip #352.

Pipe leaves in gold icing with leaf tip #352. 
Let dry overnight.



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