I’m so happy to tell you that I’m now going to be helping the nice people over at Cookie Cutter Company design cookies for some of the many wonderful cookie cutters that they sell! I am so flattered that they asked me, since I use SO MANY of the cutters they sell on their website. This is my first tutorial for them. For this and other great tutorials, head on over to their website!
Are the ‘to do’s’ on your holiday list still glaring at you? Especially since Christmas Day will be here in less than one week, which, in real time means the blink of an eye! And you STILL haven’t had the time/patience/energy to do decorated cookies with or even without the kids?
Don’t worry. I’m Gail, from “One Tough Cookie”, and I’m going to show you how to squeeze a little decorated cookie love into your holiday prep schedule without breaking a sweat. And, because you’re so stressed and I’m feeling so generous, I’m showing you two ways to make your family and guests smile.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 2 flavors of cookie dough (vanilla and chocolate or chocolate and gingerbread..you want a color difference, too)
- Moose cookie cutter
- Stiff royal icing in a golden tone and medium brown.
- Flood royal icing in medium brown, red, white and black.
- 2 12 inch disposable piping bags
- 2 couplers
- 1 each no. 2 and no. 3 pastry tips
- 2 ounce squeeze bottles
- old gold luster dust
- food safe paint brush
- high alcohol lemon extract or vodka
Begin with 2 flavors of rolled out dough…I’m using vanilla and chocolate.
The adorable moose is going to be transformed into an antlered, cartoony reindeer.
Cut cookies of both flavors.
With the tip of a paring knife or craft knife, carefully cut the antlers off each cookie and switch them to the other flavor’s moose head. Press the antlers carefully into the moose head so that when they bake, they’ll fully adhere.
Bake according to your recipe’s instructions.
Aren’t they cute? You can practically serve them up just like this, but don’t. We can ‘cute-n’ them up even more.
Start with the antlers. With your piping bag fitted with a no. 3 tip and loaded with golden colored stiff royal, pipe the antlers in a swirly, pretty pattern. I wasn’t concerned with reindeer anatomical-correctness, I just went for something that was pleasing to my eye.
After the antlers, I went ahead and piped an outline around the reindeer’s head with the medium brown stiff icing in a piping bag fitted with a no. 2 tip. Next, I did wet on wet eyes. With my white flood royal, I dropped two large-ish white dots for eyes, then immediately dropped in black. You can make them cross-eyed, looking up, down or to the sides to give your reindeer some personality.
What’s a Christmas reindeer with out a red nose?
Once the golden antlers dried, I painted on the gold luster dust. I love that this reindeer is goofy-looking. He’s sweet and not so precious that people won’t want to eat him, which is the whole point of making cookies, right?
For the second style, I wanted to make something a little more decorated, but nothing that would take up too much time in the kitchen.
I quickly outlined the head of the reindeer with my medium brown royal that I put into the squeeze bottle.
I let the outline set up for a minute or two before flooding the cookie.
Again, using the wet on wet method, I quickly dropped eyes in the following order:
- Black pupils
- White highlight
Make sure your flood is loose enough so that you can do all these drops without crusting over. Practice first on parchment to make sure you like what the eyes you are making, too.
You may even want to take a toothpick and pull out the corners’ of the ‘eye’ for more ‘realism’.
While waiting a few minutes for the eyes to set up, I added the antlers.
I added funny lips and a small red nose to turn this reindeer into ‘Rudolpha’. I also piped a brown outline to define the ears and the tufts on the top of the head.
Don’t forget to paint on the luster dust! Put a small amount of dust into a small dish and add enough extract to make a paint out of it. Add more dust for more coverage. Be careful with your brushstrokes.
Now, stand back and admire your work!
Happy Holidays Everyone!!!!
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Last April when Bonnie Benwick asked me if I’d like to construct a 3-D cookie for The Washington Post’s Annual Holiday Cookie article, I said yes,
without thinking immediately.
Cookies are one thing, but a 3-D cookie is quite another, especially when shipping the structure is an integral portion of the process. After baking and tinkering, thinking and fretting, I constructed my cookies, packed them carefully and shipped them off to DC. Why is it that when ‘Fragile’ stickers are plastered all over a box, Fedex calls in the gorilla crew?
So, when Bonnie emailed and said cookies were broken, we came up with an idea. I’d accompany the cookies on a train to Washington, then build and decorate right there so they could be photographed. And, since the editors wanted a video tutorial to post as an online supplement to the article, we’d film the same day!
My cohort in all things cookie, Cathy Barrow, met me and my cookies at Union Station and then whisked me off to lunch. After a little sparkly libation and some scrumptious midday fare, we were on our way. Cathy’s more than a friend, more than a chauffeur. She was invaluable in her role as Cecile B. Spielberg. She took notes, she adjusted my wardrobe and if I’m not mistaken, I might have heard Cathy exclaim ”That’s a wrap!”
So, without further ado, please have a look at The Washington Post’s Cookie Guide, for the photos, recipe and video tutorial.
Thank you, Bonnie and The Washington Post, for giving me this wonderful opportunity.
Thank you, Cathy, for being such a good friend, driver and director.
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Who doesn’t love a cookie swap? Especially when it’s for a very good cause.
By now you know that this this past Sunday, Bloggers Without Borders hosted this year’s event, aided by Ken Leung, Jackie Gordon and myself. Not only were there thousands of magnificent cookies baked up with love by about 90 food bloggers, but the event raised money for Cookies for Kids Cancer.
This was no ordinary swap, either, since it was held at Hill Country BBQ, where the intrepid Elizabeth Karmel reigns supreme. She’s a real live Texan, complete with cowboy boots, western shirt and drawl. She makes a mean brisket, too. Not the kind of brisket served at Rosh Hashonah, either, unless, of course, you’re celebrating in Texas. But, I digress. There were ribs and chicken, sweet potatoes and corn bread pudding, mac and cheese and margaritas.
Oxo, Kitchen Aid USA, Wiley Books and Cheap Cookie Cutter Company generously provided raffle prizes and favors for everyone. The nice folks at Glad sent their signature containers so we’d all have something in which to stow our swapped cookies.
There were chocolate & vanilla, lemon & lime, gluten-full and gluten-free, savory, sweet and savory AND sweet confections covering at least five 8 foot long tables. That’s a lot of butter, sugar and flour, people. And, a lot of love.
As I made my way around, trying to talk to as many people as humanly possible, I was as happy as I could ever be in such a giant roomful of humanity. You wonderful people are my colleagues, my peers, my tweeps, my peeps, my homies, my mishpocha. You’re as generous with your support and your friendship as you are with your cookies. You’re the reason this event was so especially successful. Even J, who doesn’t bake or cook, doesn’t eat, and doesn’t blog has found community amongst all of you.
My favorite cookie of the event? The ones that Julie Klam brought for Mitzi. Because even Mitzi likes a good cookie every now and again.
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