Baby Bottles Make Great Rolling Pins

Baby Bottle Rolling Pins (Ellie's Bites)

If you ask anyone who decorates cookies to name the cookie decorator who has influenced them and taught them more than any other cookie decorator on the web, I’d guess at least 97% would answer “Sugarbelle!” Callye is synonymous with … Continue reading

Laughing Leprechaun Cookies

I could use a little Luck O’ The Irish lately. Apparently it doesn’t matter that I have green eyes and my middle name is Erin. I have zero Irish blood in me. And not much more luck either.

In the past two weeks we:

  1. Got tax return.
  2. Got a broken windshield wiper system.
  3. Replaced said windshield wiper system.
  4. Got a broken lap top.
  5. Replaced said broken lap top (with a desk top given past history of breaking laptops).
  6. Caught the refrigerator within days of it breaking.
  7. Replaced said refrigerator. (OK- NOT complaining about that one. We got the best freakin fridge ever.)
  8. Found out my eyes are broken.
  9. Got glasses.
  10. Lost glasses (fortunately just the cheaper reading glasses- I didn’t get the expensive Rx pair yet….)
  11. Replaced cheap reading glasses with cheapest possible reading glasses (given past history of losing glasses within two days) and already figured out how to wear them really low on my nose so I can play on my phone AND watch TV without inducing nausea. TMI? Sorry- just really excited about that.
  12. Said good bye to fair majority of tax return.

Anyway- maybe I need to find an Irishman to kiss?

Well, I made these cute green mustache cookies for Ben’s preschool teacher. And when I was cleaning out my freezer in preparation for aforementioned new refrigerator (or fridgelator as it is known around here) I found some already baked fancy square cookies (that I probably already baked about two years ago but I wasn’t planning on eating them) so I made some happy laughing leprechaun cookies to go with the mustaches. Am I making sense? I can’t get used to wearing these glasses and they are actually sitting on top of my head as I write, not on my nose where they should be and all of the letters on the screen are a little blurry…..

Ahh, that’s better. Here’s the picture-

Laughing Leprechaun (Ellie's Bites)

If you’d like to see how I made these, check out this post. Only, you know, use green instead of white.

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Inspiration Challenge {Sky}

Did you know that my very first post was March 4th, 2011? Please don’t go looking for it. I’ll have to hide under my covers for a week!

So, my- well, Ellie’s Bites’s, birthday is tomorrow and Dr. Seuss’s birthday was yesterday. How cool is that? I am thinking back, and I remember the mind numbing sinus headache I had while trying to write my first post. And I am thinking, or trying to think, of the mind numbing sinus headache I have right now. And I’ve come to the conclusion that despite Dr. Seuss’s birthday, and despite Ellie’s Bites’s birthday, and despite Benjamin’s birthday later this month, I don’t like March.

March IS full of great reasons to make cookies, though. And I was especially excited about my idea for March’s inspiration theme: the sky. I decided to take this opportunity to show you how I do most of my Seuss inspired cookies. (By making you a Seuss inspired sky, of course!)

Dr. Seuss Inspired Sky (Ellie's Bites)

 

These are some of the simplest cookies you can make! Start off with a cookie and base coat it. Let the base coat dry. The following pictures are for making these cookies, but this is the same exact technique I used for theseseuss inspired sky (Ellie's Bites)

  1. You’ll need a cookie (base coated and dried), a black food color marker with a thick brush, and one step/ 20 second consistency icing.
  2. Use the black marker and sketch your design. You can cut out a shape and use it as a template (that’s what I do when I make my one fish/two fish) but since these were just clouds, I free handed them.
  3. After letting the ink from the marker dry, fill in the shape with the icing. (The icing should be thick enough that you can outline with it and have it hold its shape, but still thin enough to flatten out smooth.)

I went a little further and added some “Oh The Places You’ll Go” balloons, and one “Marvin K. Mooney Will You Please Go Now” inspired bird. These were all using the same outline with black food color marker and fill with icing technique.Dr. Seuss Inspired Sky Challenge (Ellie's Bites)

But the thing that makes these truly Seuss inspired are the details. Sketch these in with a thin tipped black food color marker. Seuss Inspired Sky Cookie (Ellie's Bites)

Now for something TOTALLY different… go see what Melissa made for you at Simply Sweets by Honeybee. I want a bowl of these in every room of my house! While you are there, you can link up your sky themed project. You’ve got all month to come up with something, so have fun with it!

If you liked these cookies, you may like any of these Seuss inspired cookies that I just rounded up here.

Next month’s topic will be “Down The Rabbit Hole”. I’m sure with Easter coming up, you have a few bunny inspired treats in mind!

 

 

 

Dr. Seuss Round-up

Next week, Dr. Seuss week- Dr. Seuss’s birthday and Read Across America, is one of the most exciting weeks in elementary education. I look forward to the flyers from both the elementary school and the preschool listing the daily activities. And don’t even get me started on Scholastic Book Fairs. Shut up and take my money.

If you’re looking for some fun and easy cookies to make to enhance your rhyming and reading this week, I have some treats I’ve made in the past and I’m putting them all in one place for you here!

DSC_0684These simple Trufulla Trees are even easier now with the wide variety of paper straws! Skip the ribbon and just slide a black and white paper straw over the cookie stick.

One Fish Two Fish (Ellie's Bites)I didn’t have a whole lot to say about these, but they are one of my all time favorite sets of cookies. I still just look at them sometimes…..

Lorax Cupcake (Ellie's Bites)Cute Lorax cupcakes and how I spoil my children…..

Easy Grinch Cookies (Ellie's Bites)Who says The Grinch is just for Christmas?

Dr Seuss Platter (Ellie's Bites)No time to order a Cat Hat cutter? No problem. You probably already have this cookie cutter in your collection.

If you liked these Dr. Seuss cookies, you may also like these storybook characters:

 

 

 

 

 

Samoa Muffins

 

 

 

 

I used to be a morning person.Samoa Muffins (Ellie's Bites)

I used to get up way before I had to be at work and I would exercise. Yes, exercise, then I would go to work, and I would get to work at least 30 minutes early- before anyone else got there- and I would drink my coffee and read my newspaper (well, I’ll be honest- do my crossword puzzle and read my comics). Then I got married. And I didn’t exercise in the morning any more, but I still woke up really early, and I would make my husband these really creative sandwiches on really interesting breads from places like Panera. And I would still get to work early and do my crossword puzzles and read my comics.

coconut and caramel

Then I had kids. And I stopped exercising, and I stopped making cool sandwiches. And I stopped being a morning person. Because, as it turns out, I can only be a morning person if I go to bed at 9pm and who am I kidding? Now, I no longer do my crossword puzzle or read my comics, and I drink my coffee cold about two hours after I get to work. And I get to work about 30 seconds before I am supposed to be there. Samoa muffins unbaked

And, guys, I’m really tired right now. Because I had to be at work at 7am today, and normally I don’t have to be there until 12. And I have this weird feeling, that although I made it through the day, and I did everything I was supposed to do, I’m not entirely sure I ever woke up! Is that weird?samoa muffins baked

I’m just going to stop talking now and share this recipe. Because it tastes really good and it’s not terrible for you. These  muffins will not make you a morning person if you’re not already one, but they will help to get you through that 10am slump. Or the 4pm slump….samoa muffins with choc and caramel

Samoa Muffins (Yes, like the Girl Scout cookie that is also known as a Caramel Delight)

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of toasted desiccated coconut (*)
  • 1 cup of caramel sauce (**)
  • 1/4 cup of chocolate chips (I realized as I started making these that my husband had pilfered the last of the chocolate chips, so I used the only thing I could find in the house- a Nestle Crunch bar leftover from Halloween. Crushed)
  • 4 TBSP melted butter (cooled)
  • 2 C flour
  • 1 TBSP baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • chocolate coconut drizzle (***)
  1. (*) Toast your coconut. Heat oven to 325f. Spread coconut in a single layer on a parchment lined baking sheet and heat for about 5 minutes, watch closely, until browned.
  2. (**) Make caramel sauce. I used this recipe from The Pioneer Woman and halved it. Or use store bought.
  3. Mix 1/2 cup of coconut with about 1/2-3/4 cup of the caramel. Mix until the coconut is coated and crumbly, almost like a streusel.
  4. Preheat oven to 400f and line a 12 cupcake pan with liners.
  5. Mix flour, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
  6. In another bowl, mix together the egg, sugar, milk and vanilla. Add butter and stir
  7. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry and mix until just incorporated. It may be lumpy, that’s ok.
  8. Fold in the chocolate chips and the rest of the toasted coconut.
  9. Scoop the batter evenly into your cupcake tins.
  10. Top with the caramel/coconut mixture and press the crumbs gently into the top of the muffin.
  11. Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  12. Make chocolate drizzle (***) Mix together 1 tbsp melted coconut oil, 1 tbsp sugar, and 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder. Use a fork to drizzle the chocolate mixture over the muffins.
  13. Drizzle on some of the caramel sauce.
  14. Enjoy!

Please note- these muffins are not a substitution for actual Girl Scout cookies. Please support your local Girl Scouts!

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Valentine, You Make My Heart Go Chicka Chicka Boom Boom

Another year, another Valentines day! This year, the kids don’t actually have school on the 14th so Ellie’s class was planning to exchange Valentines on Thursday the 13th, instead. Of course, like all of our best plans this year, the sky is planning to dump anywhere from 3 inches to 3 feet of snow on us tomorrow. And that’s why I was up until 1AM last night finishing and wrapping Valentines cookies!

I’m not sure if I have mentioned here that Ellie, age 7 1/2, has been working her way through the Harry Potter series. She’s just about half way through book seven already. Can you believe it? I’m not sure I’m ready for her to finish. Well, anyway, she insisted on Harry Potter Valentines and I was really excited to show her these printables created by Darla at Bakingdom. Then we were even more excited when we got a note from her teacher telling us that since she is planning on sending Valentines home with the kids she was OK with us including sweets. Yay! (This is unusual at our school.) So, I made her these:

Harry Potter Valentines

 

I wish I had had time to finish these today instead of last night so I could have made a tutorial. They were super simple.

  1. Bake and cool heart shape cookies and mini tie shaped cookies.
  2. Base coat the hearts in white and allow to dry completely.
  3. Cut a triangle out of sturdy stencil plastic. Hold the triangle on to the heart and airbrush over it with black. Admire your trendy dip dyed fingertips (ala Lorde) and remind yourself to pick up some gloves for airbrushing,
  4. Pipe the red Gryffindor color along the edges of the triangle with a 20 second icing. (This is a mix of maroon and red)
  5. Pipe and immediately fill the red part of the tie. Allow to dry for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Fill the remaining spaces of the tie with gold (this is Americolor gold and egg yellow).
  7. Allow the tie to dry then attach it to the heart cookie with icing.

I had wanted to attach a tag that said “I Gryffin-adore you, Hog’warts’ and all”. But Ellie insisted on using the valentines from Bakingdom. Feel free to use mine if you want! Or don’t whatever.

For Ben and his three to four year old friends, I made something a little more Preschooler friendly. These cookies are based on the book Chicka Chicka Boom Boom by Bill Martin Jr.

Chicka Chicka Boom Boom Valentine

 

The coconut trees were really easy.

  1. Bake and cool palm tree shaped cookies.
  2. Mix 20 second icing in brown, lighter green, and darker green.
  3. Pipe and immediately fill the tree trunk in brown.
  4. Pipe and fill spiky leaves with the light green and allow to dry for 20 minutes or so.
  5. On top of the light green, pipe and fill darker green spiky leaves.
  6. Let dry.

And look! Since I have proven these can be made at the last minute, I figured out how to share the printable tag I made to go with the cookies! Just click below where it says “download”!!

Download

Then, whatever you do, don’t do what I did and drop them all while locking the front door. Because that would just be ridiculous.

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Frozen Cookies

So. As I had mentioned here, our household is more than a little obsessed with the movie Frozen.

Every morning Ben wakes up Ellie the same way Anna wakes up Elsa in the beginning of the movie. Then, they silently run downstairs where they “ice skate” (slide around in socks on the hard wood) in the “ball room” (table-less dining room).

Every time I dare to shut the bathroom door, my two kids stand outside the door singing “do you want to build a snowman”.

Ben actually thinks he’s Olaf. Well, sometimes he thinks he’s Harry Potter and sometimes he thinks he’s R2D2. He’s almost four.

Anyway, I made some Frozen cookies for my friend’s daughter’s fifth birthday. Although I don’t have a tutorial or anything, I wanted to share them. They were as stressful as character cookies can be, while being so much fun to make at the same time.

Frozen Anna Elsa Olaf (Ellie's Bites)

 

 

I shared in this post how I make character cookies, since I don’t have a KopyKake. Although I THINK the skillz have improved a little, I still do it the same way. It’s tedious but it does the trick for now.

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Inspiration Challenge {Love}

I wouldn’t consider myself a conspiracy theorist, but what do you think the chances are that this winter’s freakishly cold temps and heavy amounts of snow are all masterminded by Disney’s marketing department as a tool to promote the movie Frozen?

Think about it.

Just…. think about it.

We’ve seen it three times. In the theater. Do you know how expensive it is for a family of four to go to a movie theater? The soundtrack is on in the car. Every time we get into the car. And last week, when we dropped Ben off at daycare, we got out of our car as another father and daughter were opening their car door. And guess what was playing in their car.

Still think it’s a coincidence?

I know I’ve got Frozen on the brain! When I was brainstorming ideas for this month’s Inspiration Challenge (cohosted with Melissa at Simply Sweets by Honeybee), I couldn’t help but think of the movie where only an act of true love can thaw a frozen heart.

If you haven’t seen the movie, you may not get this (but I can’t imagine you haven’t seen it….). At one point, Anna asks Kristoff if he’s some sort of “love expert”. He replies “no, but I have friends who are.” So I made Kristoff’s friends. The love experts.

Frozen Trolls Love Experts Oreo Truffles

If you saw the movie, you get why I wrote “Sven’s friends”. If you didn’t see it, just go on thinking it’s a typo. Then go see the movie. It will also explain why the love experts are rocks.

Frozen Trolls Oreo Truffles

I’m not a cake pop maker. Cake pops and I  have a love hate relationship. I love to eat them, hate to make them. These are Oreo truffles. A thousand times easier, and OMG, drop what you’re doing and shove three in your face amazing.

Ingredients

  • 18 Oreos
  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • candy melts (to get the grey, I used 1 cup of pure white and 1/4 cup of black)
  1. Crush those Oreos into teeny tiny crumbs.
  2. Mix together the crumbs with the cream cheese until the crumbs come together and a soft dough forms (I found it easiest to use a hand held mixer)
  3. Using a tablespoon sized scoop, form the crumb mixture into balls and set aside.
  4. Melt the candy melts together as per the package instructions.
  5. Drop a ball of crumb mixture into the melted candy coating and roll it around until it’s covered. Slide a fork or slotted spoon under the ball and lift it out of the coating. Gently tap the fork on the side of the bowl to shake off the extra candy coating.
  6. Set the ball on wax paper. Sprinkle with green coarse sugar or sprinkles. Allow to harden completely.

This makes about 18.

Frozen Troll Cookies (Ellie's Bites)

This is what Kristoff’s friends really look like. If you’re more into cookies. I didn’t make a tutorial, but I used a Hello Kitty face cutter to make them.

Now, head over to Simply Sweets by Honeybee to see the gorgeous cookies she made. I “LOVE” them! And make sure you add a link to your love-themed project to her Linky Party. And start thinking about March’s Inspiration Challenge: The Sky.

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Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Layer Cakes

If I could hop into my DeLorian, go back to two years ago, and pass on a message to myself, it would be this: Don’t make a cake to celebrate Ellie’s half birthday.

Alas, my two year ago self had two things I no longer have. A child who naps, and a little more time on my hands. Half day kindergarden doesn’t leave much time to leave the house and actually do things. Naturally it made sense to just stay home and play in the kitchen.

But it’s become a tradition, this half birthday thing. We’ve celebrated five and a half, six and a half, and today- seven and a half. Wait. What? Seven and a half? What the? How’d that happen? Anyway.

MnM Mini Cookie Cake (Ellie's Bites)

 

Those MnMs are pretty, right? They’re also heavy! They kept sliding down the side of the cake like little downhill skiers on a steep slope.

Mini Cookie Cakes (Ellie's Bites)

 

I made a few more cakes, too. One little mini “I am baker” rose cake because I just love the look.  And one with chocolate sprinkles and a strawberry because adding fruit makes it healthy.

These aren’t just ordinary mini cakes, though. They are tiny, three layer chocolate chip cookie cakes.

Mini Chocolate Chip Cookie Cakes (Ellie's Bites)

 

I baked a batch of my favorite chocolate chip cookies and made some yummy buttercream icing.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake (Ellie's Bites)

 

Then I assembled the little cakes just like a regular cake. They layers are a bit more slippery so I recommend a good chill in the refrigerator after stacking the cookies before attempting to  frost the sides and tops. After your cakes are decorated, put them back in the fridge for a little while and the cookies will soften up and be a little easier to slice and share. If you even want to slice or share. I make my cookies pretty small.

I needed to share these cakes with you because not only do they make adorable half birthday cakes, but they also make some cute Valentine’s Day treats!

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Cat In The Hat Hats

One thing that will get you out of a blogging slump is a phone call from your sister-in-law! She called me for advice on making Cat In The Hat cookies, and it just so happened I had advice on making Cat In The Hat cookies ALREADY sitting on my computer! Photos edited and ready to go! Like….. from months ago!

Here’s my advice. Pull out your Fourth of July cookie cutters. If you want a Cat Hat that is the PERFECT size for a platter of cookies, use your flag cutter trust me. Cut out a flag, then use the round part of the flag pole to trim the long part of the flag pole. Like this:

Dr Suess Cat Hat (Ellie's Bites)Next it’s easy to use red and white (both one step- or 20 second consistency) icing and make wide horizontal stripes up the height of the “hat”, make sure to start with white on the bottom “brim”. Let these red and white stripes dry for several hours, or overnight. When they are completely dry, use a black food color marker to sketch in the details in a Seuss-like manner.

Dr Seuss Platter (Ellie's Bites)

 

Wendi (my sister-in-law) only asked for the hats, but if you’re wondering, the green ham is a mini pear cutter, and the fish are painstakingly hand drawn. Also, Thing A and B, in this case refer to the birthday boy’s big brothers. It wasn’t a mistake :)