Smart Cookie – Graduation Time!

It’s graduation time!

All across the country young men and women are graduating from college, brimming with excitement for their futures.  A few months from now many of them will be realizing that the only thing that oh-so-expensive piece of paper has done is cause them to be overqualified for that job at Target they applied to.  A few years from now a bunch of them will still be living with their parents – part of the Boomerang Generation.  Maybe a few years after that they will be like me – contemplating going to grad school, hoping that maybe a BETTER degree will be the key to getting out of a dead-end job.

But for right now let’s let them celebrate, shall we?

Congrats Grads!!

Graduation Cookies - Cap and Diploma

A coworker asked me to make cookies for her sister who is graduating from Rutgers University.  Being a Rutgers grad myself, I thought it would be pretty fun to make this set.  I used a tutorial from The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle for the basic design of the caps and diplomas.  I had originally planned on just doing the letter R for the logo cookies but I had forgotten how tiny the letters in my alphabet cookie cutter set are.  The little “R” looked so small and forlorn next to the other cookies that I decided to added the “U” to bump up the size a bit.

Cookies for a Rutgers Grad

I ran into a little trouble when I was outlining the letters.  I usually have a pretty steady hand when it comes to writing on cookies or cakes but this time around I was a shaky mess.  My outline was kind of wobbly and I really didn’t like the way it looked so I covered the outline is black sanding sugar.  This is a great way to cover up a not so smooth outline and let’s face it, what girl doesn’t like a little sparkle on her cookies?

Graduation Cookies

I found the perfect ribbon to tie the cookie bags with – red and black polka dots:

Graduation Cookie Favors

I wish that I had been making cookies when I graduated – I would have made these for myself!

In other education related news I got a B in my Statistics class!!!  Take that p-hat!!  (Seriously, I still don’t know what the point of  the whole p-hat thing is.  Why are we playing dress up with the alphabet?  What does that have to do with anything?  I think I have post-traumatic Stats disorder…)

 

Advertisements

Holiday Wanderings

I’ve been doing quite a bit of Christmas-y stuff the past week.  First, I put together gift tins full of goodies for my coworkers.  I made chocolate covered Oreos (Double Stuff, of course), cute little candy cane striped cups full of Christmas gummies, personalized stocking cookies, and a treat I found on Pinterest – Cinnamon Sugar White Chocolate Pretzels (or what I now refer to as Christmas Crack – it’s THAT good)!

Chocolate Covered Oreos

Cute Christmas tin I got at the dollar store!
Filled Tin
No calories there!

Stocking Cookies

I also went with a bunch of friends to see the Holiday Pops show.   Before the concert we had lunch at Max Brenner, where I had this lovely concoction:

Yummy drinks at Max Brenner!

This wasn’t the first time I got to have this drink, called Satisfaction Guaranteed, and it was every bit as good as I remembered!

After lunch we headed over to the Kimmel Center to see Peter Nero and the Philly Pops!

Holiday Pops Concert
Love the architecture at the Kimmel Center!

Once the show was over, we wandered around the city quite a bit.  We went to Love Park to check out the Christmas Village and the tree at City Hall (which was not actually at City Hall this year due to some construction mess).

Lights on Broad Street
City Hall tree, at Love PArk

All the walking made us hungry again and we ended up a my favorite restaurant, Jones, where I had some excellent baked mac and cheese.

Jones Restaurant, 7th and Chestnut

The next night I baked cookies with this candy cane sugar cookie dough made by Pillsbury.  I found it with the refrigerated doughs.  I dipped some of the cookies in melted dark chocolate, and drizzled the chocolate on others.  I also made some chocolate covered marshmallows and put it all together on a tray to take to work.

cookie tray

The cookies were really good, so I went looking for another package of the dough at the grocery store this morning but couldn’t find any. 😦  Bah humbug!

Last but not least, I headed over to Christmas Madness Central with my brother to take some pictures.

IMG_2206
Insanity!

I could hear their electric meters whirring from across the street, and I swear as you round the corner onto the street where these two houses are the air actually feels warmer.  I wonder if they can been seen from outer space…

So there’s a sample of what’s been keeping me busy the past few days!  Since the world didn’t end this morning I’ll probably be baking some more cookies today!  Hope everyone is enjoying all the fun this time of year has to offer!

The Sunday Bunnies

So, after three days of nearly nonstop Easter cookie immersion I am happy to report that I am DONE (and only slightly insane…)!  I’m going to do a post on everything later in the week, but today I wanted to share a little how-to for making bunny cookies.  For these particular bunnies, I went with the “as found in nature” look – very simple but extremely cute!

First (if you’re me) you start with a crap-load of bunny cookies…

Take your white royal icing and fill in the area where the bunny’s tail goes.

Next, flip your bunny over and dip his (or her – we don’t discriminate here) tail into a bowl of white Nonpareils.

You want to do this part first because you don’t want the Nonpareils to stick anywhere but the tail.  After the tail is looking nice and cottony you can outline the rest of the bunny.

At this point you should  add a little water to your icing so that it spreads easily and then simply flood in the outlined area with the icing.  Once that is dry, outline again adding a little detail on the ears and feet and then give bunny an eye and a nose and you’re done!  I used edible marker for the eye and pink royal icing for the nose.

I also had a few requests to put names on the cookies, so here is what one of those looks like!

Hope everyone has had a lovely weekend!  Personally, I’m exhausted!

A Sneak Peep

I LOVE Marshmallow Peeps!!  I love them fresh, I love them slightly stale. I love them dipped in chocolate!  Fluffy sugary goodness (and they’re fat free!)

I am not a Peeps purist; they are not just for Easter!  Halloween, Christmas, Valentine’s Day – if the stores are selling, I’m buying!

Honestly, I think Peeps should have their own place on the food pyramid.

Some New Year’s Eve I would love to go to Bethlehem, PA to witness the Peep Drop.

You can do many things with Peeps besides eating them.  You can make an adorable Peeps Wreath for Easter, watch some Peep Jousting on You Tube or make Peeps Dioramas.

You can crochet Peeps, like my good friend at CrochetBitch.  She gave me this AWESOME Peeps Easter Basket!

Seriously, how friggin cute is this?!

There are even Peeps movies, like this hilarious version of Office Space…

You can also make Peeps cookies!  I’ve been messing around practicing cookies for Easter and I made some Peeps Bunny cookies.  I had to search the internet for quite a while to find the right shaped cookie cutter, but find it I did.  If you too are dying to make Peeps cookies, you can get the cutter here (they also have the traditional chick shape as well).

So here is my Easter Cookie preview!  More to come…  : )

Peeps Out!

When Irish eyes are smiling…There must be a cookie nearby!

It’s almost St. Patty’s Day!!!  Since it falls on a Saturday this year I figure most people will be too blasted all day to bother reading my blog, so I decided to share my St. Patrick’s Day cookies a wee bit in advance!  But first, a little music to set the mood from my favorite Irish band – Flogging Molly!

Okay.  So, I had grand plans for shamrock cookies and pots o’ gold and I’m happy to say everything turned out better than I had hoped!!  I even got some props and whatnot so I could take snazzier pictures than my standard fare of snapping shots of cookies just lying forlorn on my dining room table.

St. Patrick's Day Cookies

St. Patrick's Day Cookies

As you can see, I did not have a black icing disaster this time!  To read about when I did – click here!  I was a little worried at first, because when I mixed up the icing it looked more gray than black but I let it sit for a while and it darkened up nicely.  The pots came out perfect!!

Pot of Gold cookie

I ended up having to make a second batch the other night because people who saw the first set just couldn’t resist and had to have some for themselves.  This time around I had a NEW black icing disaster!  I made the icing the same exact way that I did the first batch, and then left the cookies to dry overnight.  To my absolute horror when I checked on them the next day I discovered that a number of them had become splotchy looking.  I freaked out.  Were they wet, moldy, infected with cookie pox?!?!

After a brief internet search I learned it was most likely due to humidity.  It had been pretty humid the night I iced the cookies even though it’s not even Spring yet!  (Strange weather these days, earthquakes, locusts, cookie pestilence…those Mayans might be on to something)  Anyway, there was nothing to do but work with it!!  So I wrote on the damn things.

I should have taken a picture of the splotches so you could see what I’m talking about, but I was in no mood for documentation.  Trust me though, under that writing lurks dark spots.  I think it was a nice cover.  No one has to know, except everyone reading this right now.  You won’t tell, right? ; )

I hope everyone has a fun St. Patrick’s Day!  Time to start plotting for Easter…