Inspiration Challenge {Down The Rabbit Hole}

Inspiration Challenge {Down The Rabbit Hole} (Ellie's Bites)

It’s always a good idea to have friends whose minds work a little differently than yours. It helps you to stretch your imagination. I came up with this month’s theme: down the rabbit hole. But it was Melissa’s (Simply Sweets … Continue reading

Yet Another Cookie Catchup Post Sports Birthday Edition

Basketballs (Ellie's Bites)

In honor of Ben’s All Sports Theme Fourth Birthday Party Extravaganza this weekend, I felt that all of the lonely, already edited, sports related pictures sitting on my computer deserved a post of their own. I have been waiting MY. … Continue reading

Yet Another Cookie Catchup Post

Yellow and Grey Baby Shower (Ellie's Bites)

Words can’t even express how embarrassed I am at the amount of pictures sitting (edited already mind you!) on my computer doing nothing. It’s too eerily similar to the action in my 401K from my last full time job, but … Continue reading

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

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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Inspiration Challenge {Warm & Fuzzy}

As I sit here writing this the snow is coming down outside. Our schools closed from Monday Dec 23rd until today. They went back today, January 2nd, and they are already almost promising that the schools will close tomorrow for weather.

Do you have ANY idea what my house looks like after the kids have been home that long? Or how desperately I need the few days to put it back together?

Strangely, it at least comes at a convenient time. January’s inspiration theme is “Warm and Fuzzy” and the warmest and fuzziest things I can think of will probably be stuck inside my house tomorrow.

Warm and Fuzzy Kids (Ellie's Bites)My kids in their fleece PJs. Is there anything cuter than warm, fuzzy, fleece feety pajamas? I will definitely need therapy when he grows out of them. She’s already decided that she doesn’t like the feety parts. She won’t even sleep in socks. Or wear them in the house. Or even outside if she can get away with it. That’s why the little bitty icing toes. But she has cute toes so I can get past the no feety thing.

So tomorrow, you’ll find us eating popcorn

Warm and Fuzzy- Popcorn (Ellie's Bites)drinking hot cocoa

Warm and Fuzzy Hot Cocoa (Ellie's Bites)and watching movies.

Tonight my kids will be sleeping with those warm and fuzzy fleece pjs inside out.

Warm and Fuzzy Snowflakes (Ellie's Bites)Fortunately I got a sneak peek at Melissa’s Warm and Fuzzy recipe and I made sure I have all of the ingredients for tomorrow! I’ll be making that for sure! And pondering next month’s challenge: “Love”. Awwww.

How are things where  you are? Warm and fuzzy fleece feety pjs? Or itty bitty exposed toes?

Sparkly New Years Cookies

Is it just me, or did 2013 go by really fast? I only just stopped accidentally writing 2012 and now I have to get used to writing 2014.

NYE 2014 (Ellie's Bites)

 

Ellie and I have started a new hobby together. She wanted to make a scrapbook (mostly including notes from me and her friends) so we bought some supplies and started our “Smash Books”. They are so easy to do. I have just been collecting pictures, making some notes and attaching everything with washi tape. I used to scrapbook (back when I had one child and didn’t make cookies in all of my spare time!) and this is a little different in that there isn’t any pressure to make a beautiful layout for every picture. I’m sure there wasn’t pressure before either, at least none that I didn’t put on myself. And of course, if you want a beautiful layout of every picture you can do that in your smash book too!

Anyway, I had a point. The point is that I decided to make a book for every year starting at 2013 (I’ll try to work my way back too at some point) and I’ve been going through all of the pictures I uploaded in the past 12 months. 2013 was a great year! We didn’t take any big trips this year, but we had lots of fun day trips to Philly, Hershey Park, NYC, the beach…. Ellie performed on stage- one of eight children chosen to sing a song from Wicked on stage among a lot of Broadway stars! Ben went from two to three and hit a bunch of milestones. Bryan finished year one (and a half) of graduate school! I joined a few Facebook cookie groups and made a bunch of friends. It was a pretty good year! So I made some sparkly cookies to celebrate!

I made the numbers by making royal icing transfers and covering them with disco dust while they were still wet. The icing was thick enough that they dried within an hour or so, and they were pretty sturdy so I was able to finish them pretty quickly. I did have one number break as I moved it over to the cookie, so I found an easier way to do it and I thought I’d share.

NYE 2014 RIT (Ellie's Bites)

  • Take your transfer and flip it over.
  • Pipe icing on the back side in the same color as your base coated cookie.
  • Turn your cookie over and press down veeeeeerrrrryyyyy gently onto the transfer.
  • Flip the cookie back to the right side and admire the cookie you made while knowing that you found a way to attach a slightly delicate piece of icing with minimal movement and chance of breakage.

Obviously this doesn’t work for all designs. On the 2014 cookies, there was too much chance that the numbers wouldn’t line up right so I had to do it the old fashioned way and pick up the transfer, pipe icing on the back, carry it over to the cookie, turn it the right way, place it onto the cookie, and press down gently. I broke two this way and covered my hands in silver disco dust at the same time.

NYE 2014 2 (Ellie's Bites)

 

I hope you had a wonderful 2013, and that 2014 is even better!

Happy New Year!

 

Christmas Cookies 2013

The past few days have been relatively slow considering the time of year! I had a chance to play around with the appearance of my blog. Since I use WordPress’s free blogging services, I don’t have too many options when it comes to design, but I really liked how easy it was to customize. If you are thinking about blogging, but you don’t know where to start, this is a great option. With Bryan (still) in school, and trying to stick to a budget, it’s really worked for me. And I’ve heard that when you are ready it’s easy to switch over to a self hosted site.

Anyway…. I promised cookies. (But if you get a chance, take a look around and let me know what you think!)

I didn’t make too many different types of cookies this season. Just the few that I’ve already written about here, here, here, here, and here. (OK. That’s a little more than a few.)

I did make some others and I thought I’d share in case you need some last minute inspiration, although I don’t have step by step photos or even a good completed picture.

Christmas Cookies 2013 Gold and BlueI made dozens of these and gave them away to our neighbors.

Christmas Cookies 2013 Pastels (Ellie's Bites)And this was a request from my cousin. Rain and the fact that I was running really late made it impossible to take a good picture.

These were some easy treats that can certainly be thrown together at the last minute:

Snowflakes and Chocolate Chips (Ellie's Bites)Snowflakes can be done quickly using the same color to base coat and pipe the details (or skip the base coat entirely and pipe your design directly on the cookie). Serve them on  platter of chocolate chip cookies , because, why not?

Chocolate Gingerbread Sticks (Ellie's Bites)

 

Cut your gingerbread dough into sticks instead of shapes and dip them in chocolate. Add sprinkles to make them really irresistible.

So there are a few last minute ideas for you!

I hope you enjoy :)