Strawberry Shortcake Cookies

I LOVED this idea for a Strawberry Shortcake party. This friend of mine has the best birthday party ideas for her two little girls. When she contacted me about making cookies for her daughter’s Strawberry Shortcake party, I was a little hesitant thinking she was going to ask for character cookies. I should have known she is more creative than that. (Although I have nothing against character cookies… I make them for my kids all the time! But in a large quantity, without a kopykake, they can be a bit tedious.)

I made cookies coordinating to each character. How cute is that?

I also love being able to repurpose my kids’ toys as photo props…..

…. until that awkward moment when you realize that Orange Blossom is wearing Strawberry Shortcake’s dress, and Lemon Meringue is wearing Orange Blossom’s dress. You’re not sure what Strawberry Shortcake is wearing, and you have no idea what happened to Plum Pudding and Raspberry Torte! Lol. So much for attention to detail! But I still loved these cookies!!

Fang Cookies (And How To Make A Cute Card Using Picmonkey)

Yay! I figured out how to take a screen shot! And double yay! My toothache did NOT require root canal (yet…)! And, yes, the two subjects are related!

I’ll start with the toothache. Here’s something you never knew about me. I never learned to put my hands up in front of my face when I fall. As a result of this, I have broken my two front teeth more times than most people break dishes in their sink. The first time I fell, I was seven and I tripped in the parking lot of the old Vet Stadium leaving a Phillies game. Since then, I have progressed from small tooth colored fillings, to veneers, to full on crowns. That’s a lot of trauma for two small front teeth. Two weeks ago, I started feeling a little achy and I had my mom take an xray. My dad thought he may have seen a small abscess at the root of one tooth and suggested I visit a friend of his, an Endodontist (or root canal specialist) to check it out. He was pretty sure my poor tooth had had enough.

I called on a Thursday and made my appointment for that Monday. To keep my mind busy, I made the endodontist some cookies.

Then I played around in Picmonkey and came up with a cute card to go along with the cookies.

I’m going to try my best to show you how I made this. (Bear with me, I just figured out how to take a screen shot on my MacBook and I either went nuts and took too many pictures, or I didn’t take enough to get my point across….)

The very first thing you’ll need is a blank white picture to use as your base. I followed this tutorial from Something Swanky.

Now, upload your blank canvas to Picmonkey.

See the little Jack-O-Lantern on the bottom left? That is where Picmonkey is keeping it’s cool Halloween effects.

 

 

 

Click on the Jack-O-Lantern and it will bring up the categories of Halloween effects. I used Vampire and Trick-or-Treat to make this card.

Click on Vampire and choose your background from Textures. After you choose your background, hit apply.

From here, I went back to the categories and chose “Trick or Treat”. Then “Scary Silhouettes”. After you chose your silhouette, hit apply.

I went back to “Vampires” to add my text.

 

Then I added a Bat from “Overlays”.

And… I forgot to get a screen shot of the final card. Well, you get the point, right? When you are done, click on the icon above your picture that looks like two layers with an arrow pointing downwards. This will merge all of your layers onto your blank white picture (you can also do this after each layer is added). Then you can save the picture by clicking on “Save”.

Oh, and it turns out that the ache in my tooth is most likely just due to repeated trauma (I am sure I was hit in the mouth by the back of a two-year-old’s head at least 15 times in the past two months). And, although I am sure the root canal is in my future, I was allowed to leave the office with only a warning, “Stop getting hit in the teeth”.

 

Fall Animals (In Disguise)

I live in the middle of the woods. I kind of wish that when we had first looked at our townhouse and fell in love with the view from the back deck, that someone had warned me that there was a price to pay. Disproportionately large spiders.

Anyway. There is something amazing that happens as the green trees in the backyard turn to shades of red, yellow, orange, and brown. The animals seem to blend right in.

 

It’s almost as if these guys got into a box of face paint!

This one, in particular, really looks like he was trying to fade into the backdrop….

 

Anyway, my point in making these cookies is to show that you can have fun with your cookie cutters. It may be a little intimidating to look at animal cutters and want to make them look like animals. But it isn’t always necessary to make your cookie shapes look realistic. Have a little fun and pull out that cutter you couldn’t resist buying but have no idea how to use it. Then just mix up a few of your favorite colors and do what you feel. Add some stripes and some polka dots, maybe a little piping. Have fun.

Inspiration Challenge: October {Halloween Candy}

Ellie went with my in-laws to the farm across from our neighborhood and came home with a pumpkin. That alone doesn’t necessarily say it’s Halloween time, but she immediately asked if she could paint it to look like a vampire. That’s when I realized, it is October 1st. Official Halloween season!

For our October challenge, Melissa (Simply Sweets by Honeybee) and I challenged everyone to make their favorite Halloween candy into a cookie. We also challenged each other to make a candy other than candy corn. There is only one candy out there that I can eat by the handful. Fortunately, this candy comes in a Halloween version (also a Christmas version, a Valentines version, and an Easter version. Hmmm. Why no Fourth of July version, I wonder?).

Not only can I eat M&Ms by the handful, but my kids have proven that you can eat the cookies version by the handful, too.

If you need your own M&M cookies to eat by the handful, this is what you need to do. Start by cutting out your chocolate dough (I use this recipe by LilaLoa) using the bottom opening of an icing tip. Next, bake and cool your cookies, then mix your colors.

By trial and error, I found that the easiest way to coat the cookies was to drop them into a bowl of icing (about a 3-5 second consistency), mix them up well, then scoop them out with a small spoon and push them off of the spoon with a toothpick. This method was definitely a lot less messy than my first attempt to put the cookies on my cooling rack and pour the icing over them! Let your cookies dry overnight. They were a little difficult to remove from the cooling rack, so in the future, I would probably let them dry on a parchment lined cookie sheet. After your icing is completely dry, use a small “m” (or letter of your choice) stamp and white food coloring to stamp on that “m”.

I also made a peanut version, because I can eat peanut M&Ms even faster than plain.

I wrapped a bit of cookie dough around a peanut before baking. LilaLoa’s recipe held its shape really well and I was so happy with the way these turned out. If I’d thought they would turn out so well, I probably would have made an almond, and a pretzel version to!

I really can’t wait to see what Melissa came up with, so lets head over to her page to see. While you are there, you can also link up your Halloween candy cookies! Or you can leave a link in my comments section. I’d love to see what everyone comes up with!

Then start thinking about next month’s cookies. We want to see “Your State”. Texas and New Jersey are two of the most stereotyped states, I will NOT be making a “Snookie Cookie”. Although this one by Arty McGoo  almost makes me proud to live in the same state that show takes place in!  :)  If you don’t live in the Unites States, show us where you do live. I can’t wait to have fun with this one!