WEDDING CAKE COOKIES/ Sweet Caroline



You know how we usually remember exactly where we were or what we were doing at the time of a particular event? This is especially true with big historic and catastrophic events. The same holds true for smaller events too. Like the night Caroline (a.k.a. Carolyn) was born. I was at a New Year's Eve party hosted by her uncles-to-be with a house full of college buddies. The party was going strong well after midnight as we rung in 1978 … all those years ago! Then the call came that a little girl had been born during the wee hours of that brand new year. There was a new baby girl to celebrate so we did what any group of all-American, college kids would do… we partied on until dawn!

Having known Caroline since she was a baby, I was thrilled to see her dreams come true as she tied the knot with her true love. Overlooking the Capitol dome, there we were many years later ... partying with Caroline. In case you're wondering … yes, the partying crowd sang to the bride … Neil Diamond's 'Sweet Caroline.'

The bride wore a lovely, traditional gown covered in lace which is the inspiration for the rose-stenciled background of these cookies. The adornment of gray flowers reflects the color of the bridesmaids' dresses.


Wedding Cake Cookies
Wedding Cake Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Cream with Wilton Ivory
Royal Icing for detail tinted Dark Gray with AmeriColor Super Black (just a smidge) and AmeriColor Avocado
Royal Icing for detail tinted Green with AmeriColor Avocado and AmericColor Super Black
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Wilton Decorating Star Tip #16
Wilton Decorating Leaf Tip #352
AmeriColor Pearl Sheen Airbrush Color or Wilton Color Mist
Airbrush Kit
Stencils (Rose, Elegant Teardrops, Fall Leaves)

Outline cookie with #2 tip in cream icing.

Flood cookie with cream icing. Let dry overnight.

Place stencil on the cookie. Spray with airbrush color. Gently lift stencil.


Let dry 30 minutes

Pipe flowers with #16 star tip in gray icing. 

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




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BABY DUCK COOKIES/ Everything ...



… comes to those who wait. Well I am not sure if this adage works 100% of the time but some things are definitely worth the wait. I would imagine that held true for my cousin and his wife who became grandparents for the first time. They say 'grandchildren are your reward for raising children.' It's their turn to spoil, cuddle and pamper their grandson while the diapers, feedings and discipline are left to Mommy and Daddy. No doubt, Nana and Grandpa will be accumulating lots of frequent flier miles and spending endless hours on FaceTime.

These duck cookies were so much fun to decorate and a sweet celebration for a darling babe.
[These photos do not capture the full cuteness of these cookies as the daylight was fading during this shoot]
 

Duck Cookies
Duck Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Cream with Wilton Ivory
Royal Icing for flooding and detail tinted Blue with AmeriColor Sky Blue
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Green with AmeriColor Avocado
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
PME Decorating #Tip 1.5
Toothpicks or Scribe Tool


Outline cookie, except beak with #2 tip in cream icing.

Flood cookie with cream icing.

Pipe dots with #2 tip in blue flood icing.

Swirl scribe tool to create rose design.

Pipe dots with #2 tip in green icing. Pull to create leaf design. Let sit 30 minutes.

Pipe beak with #2 tip in blue outline icing.
Pipe small dots with tip #1.5 in green icing. Let dry overnight.

 


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NEON CUPCAKES/ Wish I could ....



… be a kid again! Childhood is much more fun now than when I was a kid. These days elementary school is something to look forward to, not dread. I cannot imagine as school back in my day was anything but fun. Nuns in scary outfits were mean, picking on us all day and telling us we were dunces. Now, it seems children are treated with respect and kindness. At school my grand nieces and nephews wear costumes at Halloween, green on St Paddy's Day, have Valentine's Day parties and even get decked out in patriotic colors on opening day of the Olympics. Catholic elementary school sure has changed… for the better! 

The best thing is everyone's birthday in class is celebrated. Back in my day, no teacher, classmate or even the bus driver knew anyone's birthday. It was a day like all the others except Mom sent us off to school with a Happy Birthday. There was no celebration until that evening at home with our family. How fun is it now to celebrate your birthday all day with your classmates. On those special days there are donuts, brownies or cupcakes and classmates sing to the birthday kid. Booo hoo….I wanna be a kid!

These neon cupcakes had to be chocolate and were made for a special boy turning 6 to share with his kindergarten mates. Sporting a special birthday crown, no doubt it was a fun day for the birthday boy!


Devils Food Cupcakes
2/3 cup Crisco Shortening
1½ cups Sugar
3 Eggs
2½ oz Unsweetened Chocolate, melted
2¼ cups Softasilk Cake Flour (or 2-1/8 cups Flour), sifted
1 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Salt
1¼ cups Buttermilk
Buttermilk Substitute: Add a little over 1 tbsp vinegar or lemon juice to 1¼ cups milk 

In a separate bowl mix Flour, Baking Soda and Salt. Set aside.
Cream Shortening and Sugar until fluffy. Add Eggs. Add melted Chocolate.
Stir in flour mixture alternately with Buttermilk. Pour into cupcake liners.
Bake at 400 for 18-20 minutes. Makes 24 cupcakes.
[This is the Popular Devils Food Cake recipe from the 1950 Betty Crocker Picture Cookbook]


Creamy Buttercream Frosting
1½ cups Butter (3 sticks), softened
6 cups Confectioner’s Sugar, sifted
½ tsp Vanilla (optional)
1-4 tbsp Milk
Wilton Star Tip #1M

Beat butter for 8-10 minutes until pale and double in volume.
Gradually add the sugar ½ cup at a time beating well after each addition. Add milk.

Color half of frosting Bright Green with AmeriColor Electric Green.
Color other half of frosting Bright Blue with AmeriColor Electric Blue.
Fill piping bag and swirl frosting with star tip #1M.


Hint: Don't pipe too hide if placing in cupcake carrier.
Place unfrosted cupcakes in carrier tray before piping to avoid moving frosted cupcakes.






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FROZEN CUPCAKES

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BUNNY COOKIES/ Easy



When I was in elementary school a popular thing during Eastertime was for parents to bring home little chicks and ducks from the pet store. My parents never did and I knew the reason why without them saying a word. Mysteriously, my friends' cute Easter pets would disappear once the holiday passed. After all, ducks and chickens are not usual suburban, household pets. One year my older brother who was in seventh grade, brought home for my little brother and me, two little yellow, fuzzy, chicks. They were so cute and we named them Pixie and Dixie after a popular cartoon of the time. Well, you know what happened … after Easter they disappeared and Dad took them to the farm.

Many years later and during his freshmen year of college, my eldest brother came home for Easter break with a darling little bunny. My parents must have thought not again, but they were very cool about it and allowed us to keep him as a pet. My brother did not want the common pink-eyed rabbit and he chose Easy with his black eyes, black nose and gray ears. He had a nice, spacious place to live as he had the run of the basement which was the footprint of the house. He was so smart that in a few days we had him trained to newspaper. He was a really cool pet and in the evenings he would lounge on our laps as we stroked his snow white, silky smooth fur. When Mom did laundry in the basement, Easy would hop in circles around her. He lived a quiet life for those first two years until we got a puppy … but you will have to wait for that story.


I did not have time to photograph all the decorating steps for this tutorial but you will get the idea!


Bunny Cookies
Bunny Shortbread Cookies
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted White with AmeriColor Super White
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Peach with AmeriColor Deep Pink, AmeriColor Peach and AmeriColor Super Red
Royal Icing for outlining and flooding tinted Lavender with AmeriColor Fuchsia and AmeriColor Regal Purple
Royal Icing for flooding tinted Green with AmeriColor Avocado
Disposable piping bags & couplers
Squeeze bottles
Wilton Decorating Tip #2
Toothpicks or Scribe Tool

Outline cookie with #2 tip in white icing. Flood cookie with white icing.

Pipe dots with #2 tip in peach flood icing. Swirl toothpick to create rose design.
Pipe dots with #2 tip in green flood icing. Pull to create leaf design. 

Let dry overnight.

Decorate some cookies with similar design in purple.

Decorate some cookies with polka dots and rose design combo.




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