Michael’s Way

Hey all!  How has everyone been?  I’m dropping in with a quick post about some cookies I just made!  I didn’t get a chance to take any nice, professional looking photos before I sent these out the door (new work responsibilities, grad school and attempting to have a life in between have me feeling like everything is moving at warp speed these days, know what I mean?) but I wanted to do a little write up, mostly to spread the word about a great charity.

Michael’s Way is an organization in the Philadelphia area that provides assistance to the families of children battling pediatric cancer.  According to their website, “Michael’s Way has raised more than $6 million to lessen the financial hardships of hundreds of families whose children are suffering from cancer. 100% of money raised, as well as private donations and grants received from foundations goes directly to the families, not to overhead.”  I think that’s pretty amazing given the number of “charities” that spend more per dollar on salaries, marketing and who knows what else than they do on actually helping people.

For the third year in a row PMC Property Group is sponsoring a bowling party at Lucky Strike in Philadelphia to raise money for Michael’s Way (4/20/16 – details here if you are interested!) and I was more than happy to make some Michael’s Way logo cookies for the event!

So here’s my crappy picture of what turned out to be a pretty cool cookie!!

Michael's Way Logo Cookies #charity #decoratedcookies

If you suck at bowling or aren’t in the area, but are interested in making a donation to this wonderful organization head over to their online donation form!

 

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Funny Bunny

I know a really fun lady who asked me to make some Easter cookies for her grandkids so when I saw these Wilton icing decorations in the stores last week I knew I had to use them somehow.  I’m pretty sure she’s going to love these funny bunnies and I hope her grandkids do too!
Funny Bunny Cookies | Shake Bake and PartyMustache Bunny | Shake Bake and PartyBowtie Bunny Cookie | Shake Bake and PartyEaster Bunny Cookie | Shake Bake and PartyEaster Bunny Cookies | Shake Bake and Party

 

 

Operation Cookie Takeover – Easter Edition!

Every few months the awesome people at Operation Cookie Takeover ask for volunteers to bake and ship cookies to our deployed troops.  I’m proud to say I have participated in every round!  This time I was assigned a Marine stationed in Japan.  I sent out an email to my department at work saying that if anyone wanted to send a card, note, or small treat along with my cookie shipment that I’d be glad to add it to my box.

Today I shipped three large flat rate boxes full of cookies, Easter candy, crackers, toiletries, cards, Tastykakes and other goodies.  I work with some awesome people.  Here is a shot of all my cookies and just some of the other donated items:

IMG_0394

And here are some closeups of my cookies!

Easter Bunny Cookies - Shake Bake and PartyPatriotic Easter Bunny CookiesIf you want to check out all the amazing cookies being shipped out this week head over to Operation Cookie Takeover’s Facebook page, or search the hashtags #OCT2015 and #operationcookietakeover on Instagram!  If you know a deployed soldier be sure to follow their Facebook page and when the next mission rolls around you can sign up your soldier to be a cookie recipient!

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles

I was super excited to participate again this year in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap which raises money for Cookies for Kids’ Cancer.  Food bloggers sign up and get assigned three other food bloggers to send cookies to.  This year I sent cookies to Ashley at Memoirs from My Kitchen, Claire at Simply Sweet Justice and Renee from Tortillas and Honey.   More on who I received cookies from later…

First, on to the recipe!

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles | Shake Bake and Party

I love snickerdoodles, and when I tried Apple Pie Candy Corn from Brach’s® around Halloween I knew I wanted to combine the candy with that quintessential cinnamon cookie.  I know it’s no longer candy corn season but I just checked and as of right now you can still buy a bag on Amazon.  So if you do want to give these a try you don’t have to wait until next fall!

You can use any snickerdoodle recipe that you like.  I happened to have a few bags of Betty Crocker® Snickerdoodle Cookie Mix hanging out in my pantry so that is what I used.  Easy and delicious!

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles

Ingredients

Ingredients and measurements will vary depending on what recipe you use for the snickerdoodles.  The following instructions are for use with the Betty Crocker® Mix:

1 bag of the cookie mix which contains a packet of cinnamon sugar
1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted
1 egg
1 tablespoon of water

In addition to the ingredients to make the cookie dough you will need 1 bag of Brach’s® Apple Pie Candy Corn

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (350 degrees F for a dark or nonstick cookie sheet).
2.  Pour the cinnamon sugar from the packet into a small bowl.
3. Combine the ingredients needed to make the dough in a medium bowl until a soft dough forms.
4. Take about 1 teaspoon of dough and press one piece of candy corn into it.  Cover with a bit more dough, making a ball around the piece of candy corn.  Make sure no part of the candy corn is poking out through the dough.
5. Roll the ball of cookie dough in the cinnamon sugar until coated.
6. Place dough 2 inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
7. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are set.
8. Remove from oven and press another 2 pieces of candy corn into the top of each cookie.
9. Place cookies back in oven for 1-2 minutes, just long enough to soften the candy corn so it will stick to the cookies.
10. Remove and let cool for 2 minutes before transferring the cookies to a wire rack.

This will make 2 dozen cookies.  Store in an airtight container.

Again, the ingredients and instructions here are if you are using the cookie mix.  If you are using a different recipe please follow the baking instructions for that recipe, just adding one or two minutes back in the oven after placing the candy corn on top.

You could skip inserting the candy corn into the center of the cookie but I wouldn’t!  It melts inside, infusing the cookie with a delightful apple pie flavor!

Apple Pie Snickerdoodles | Shake Bake and Party

I received three FANTASTIC batches of cookies from some awesome bloggers.  The first batch was Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Snowball Cookies from Marcie at Flavor the Moments.  I love that she added chocolate chips to the traditional snowball cookie!

Chocolate Chip Hazelnut Snowball Cookies

Next came Browned Butter Nutella® Slice-n-Bake Cookies from Sara at Cake Over Steak.  Nutella® makes everything awesome and these cookies were no exception!

Browned Butter Nutella Slice-n-Bake Cookies

My last batch of cookies was from Maurita at Get the Good Stuff.  She sent Ginger Shortbread Rounds.  I LOVE shortbread cookies, and the addition of chewy bits of ginger took these over the top!

Ginger Shortbread Rounds

I have to say now that the swap is finished, it’s pretty depressing coming home every day from work knowing that there is no chance there will be a box of tasty cookies on my doorstep.  If any of you out there are feeling generous and want to just randomly send me cookies, let me know so I can give you my address!  😉

Special thanks to Julie from The Little Kitchen and Lindsay from Love and Olive Oil who are the masterminds behind the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap!  Thanks for all your hard work ladies!  Can’t wait to do it again next year!

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

Cookie Postcards

I recently participated in another Operation Cookie Takeover mission.  If you don’t know what OCT is all about you should check out their Facebook page!  The quick rundown though is this – people nominate deployed soldiers to receive cookies from the volunteers who have signed up to bake and send them.  Volunteers have shipped over 37,000 cookies to deployed soldiers since 2013!

This was the fourth mission and my fourth time participating.  It was also, by far, my favorite experience.

My idea for this round of cookies was to create a cookie “postcard” – a handwritten, edible note of thanks.  I have been seeing a lot of cookie decorators using the stamping technique to embellish their cookies and thought this would be the perfect opportunity to give it a try.  I used a rectangular cookie cutter to make my postcards and covered them in a layer of white royal icing.  Then I picked up a few postage related stamps from the craft store, read this tutorial on cookie stamping from Fancy Flours and went to town.

Cookie Stamping
It’s always best to practice first… : )

After trying out a few stamps I decided I liked the postmark one the best, so I stamped each of my postcard cookies with it.  Because my cookies weren’t perfectly flat, sometimes the stamp didn’t lay the ink down evenly in all spots but I figured that was okay – most postmarks aren’t completely uniform so I’m calling it “authentic.”  I let the ink dry overnight and then packed the cookies up and took them into work the next day for the fun part!

Cookie Signing Station

Along with my cookies I brought in a few sets of edible ink markers and set up a cookie signing station in an empty cubicle.  I invited all my coworkers to stop by and write a note to the troops on one of the cookies.

Here are a few of them:

Cookie Postcard

Cookie Postcard

Cookie Postcard

And here are all 24 together!

Cookie Postcards for the Troops

Thanks to the help of all my awesome friends at work these turned out so much better than I imagined.  I was so excited to ship these off to the Marine that I was matched up with.  I hope they all made it in one piece!

3rd Annual Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale

Fall is seriously THE best time of year. In addition to all the usual favorites (cooler weather, apple cider, gorgeous fall foliage, pumpkin EVERYTHING…) it is also the time for fun things such as my birthday (next week!), Halloween, signups for The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap and the Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale!

Go Bo Foundation Bake Sale

This amazing bake sale is put together by Jill from Jill FCS Funky Cookie Studio to support the Go Bo! Foundation’s mission of funding cancer research and helping the families of children with cancer in Door County, WI.  This year cookie artists from ALL 50 states AND 17 countries have donated their time and efforts to this worthy cause.  If you are in the area you should definitely go check it out! Don’t worry though if you can’t attend because you could seriously spend hours scrolling through the Go Bo! Foundation Bake Sale Facebook page looking at all the fabulous contributions.  There are some seriously talented cookie decorators out there!

This year Jill asked that in addition to whatever themed cookies we wanted to make we also send at least one butterfly cookie.  So here are the cookies I shipped out to WI last week:

Black Cat/Full Moon Halloween Cookie | Shake Bake and Party

Butterfly Decorated Cookie | Shake Bake and Party

                                                                 “You only live once so make it count.” – Bo

If you would like more information or would like to donate, please visit www.gobofoundation.org.