Cookie Catch Up Post (Texture and Guilt!)

I’m not even talking blog guilt. I had a patient yesterday ask me if I still had my blog and I had to think about it for a minute. What blog? I’m just kidding. I love my hobby and I love sharing pictures with you. I hate that over the past year, I have been doing 99 percent of my cookie decorating at night so any pictures I could take would be completely useless. Most times, I am finishing cookies at night and running them out the door first thing in the morning so all I can usually manage is a quick picture on my phone. But things are going to change come next September. And this brings me to my guilt.

Since having Ben, four and a half years ago, I have only worked two days a week. Thirteen hours to be exact. He goes to preschool three days, which means he is home with me the rest of the week. Next year everything is going to change. Bryan will be finishing school next month and (hopefully) working full time soon after that (angels singing!)!! But this means that he will no longer be able to be home on the two days I work. This means if Ben were to go to kindergarden half day next year, no one would be home to get him on the bus. So, even though I’m only working thirteen hours a week, we are probably going to pay to send him to full day kindergarden. This makes me really sad. So this year I have over compensated a bit.

Wait, let me share a cookie picture so you don’t get bored and leave me….Halloween Cookies 2014 (Ellie;s Bites)

Yes. I am aware it’s a Halloween picture. Yes, I am aware it’s the third week of November.

Anyway…. Overcompensating. My kids, between the two of them, have an activity every single day of the week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. When one activity ends for the season, another one starts. I’m having a blast spending so much quality time with them driving back and forth from activity to activity. And believe me, my kids like to be active. They don’t complain at all and they are tireless. It’s not affecting school work at all, if anything, it’s helped Ellie adjust to the demands of third grade by forcing her to manage her time.

Wait, another picture? OK…. Wedding Couple Cookies (Ellie's Bites)

But I am definitely sacrificing the “me” time. Fortunately I enjoy making cookies. That won’t stop anytime soon, I hope. And I’m trying to let go of some of this guilt that I feel, knowing I’ll have three days next year that I am home while the kids are at school. For one thing, I’ll have all of those daylight hours to work and even take some step by step photos.

Oh, another picture? Sure. Wedding Dress Cookies (Ellie's Bites)

I plan on spending the next few months brainstorming ideas to help Ellie’s Bites grow. In order to do that, I’d love to hear your ideas. Is there anything you’d like to see? I know there are a lot of cookie blogs out there now. This is a wonderful community and nothing can replace the friends I have made through this shared hobby. I definitely have no intention of stopping cookies. But would you like to see other things? Other recipes? Not just desserts but anything goes? How about crafts? Maybe some posts that are just ramblings about the really funny things my kids do? Would you stop visiting my site if you showed up to see a cookie, and instead found a post about how my son now goes through approximately three rolls of duct tape a week just building things? (He’s seriously like the MacGyver of four year olds with duct tape.) I appreciate any and all feed back. I want to make this a fun place to share and learn and maybe even just laugh. (In the interest of full disclosure, I do not make any money off of this blog. I am on a wordpress hosted site and do not make money from advertisements or endorsements. If I could devote more time and energy to this space, I would like to potentially own my own site and make a little extra money. Not from you, I would never ever charge you. But from allowing advertisements. Anyway…. that’s just a thought in the future.)

And I’ll leave you with one last picture. Blue and Orange Cookies (Ellie's Bites)

I have a lot of cookies I haven’t shared yet sitting on my computer. I thought I would break them down into several posts. Today’s post was obviously about my newest obsession. Using stencils and royal icing to create texture on cookies. I just purchased some fondant molds recently and I can’t wait for the opportunity to start playing around with those!

Look for more soon, (hopefully lol). And thank you for putting up with my rambling!

Simple Kentucky Derby Themed Cookies

I made these cookies last week, and although they were quite frustrating at times, they were actually very simple to make. Kentucky Derby Theme Wedding Shower Cookies (Ellie's Bites) First, a few days ahead of time, you’ll need to make your royal icing transfers. Draw the image that you would like to use, or find one online and print out several on one sheet of paper in the size you’ll need. I used an image I found online and altered the shape of the ears and hair tufts to make them a bit sturdier. My images are about two inches square to fit onto a three inch cookie. Place the paper under a sheet of wax paper and outline the image with dark grey piping icing, then flood with icing of the same color. Make way more than you’ll need. Once you think you’ve made enough, make more. Then a few more. Then one more just to be safe. Let your transfers dry for as long as you can, at least 24-36 hours. Once dry, spray your transfers with a light layer of silver color mist. Then gently remove them. What worked for me was to slide a very sharp knife blade all the way under the transfer until it lifted entirely. Since they are a bit big, they had the tendency to break when I tried peeling the paper from the transfer. If they are not completely dry on the underside, flip them over and let them dry for a while longer. At some point, while the transfers are drying, bake your cookies- these are three inch scalloped rounds- and base coat with white icing. Let this dry completely. When both cookies, and transfers are 100% dry, use a chevron stencil and silver color mist to create a background.  (I got my stencil at Michael’s, but there are a bunch of stencil shops online now including: The Cookie Countess and Salsa Stencils. ) Kentucky Derby Themed Wedding Shower Collage 1 (Ellie's Bites) Kentucky Derby Theme Wedding Shower Cookies Collage 2 (Ellie's Bites)

  1. Make your transfers.
  2. Use a template to add a background design to your dry white cookie.
  3. Use a small amount of white icing to gently attach your transfer.
  4. Using red flood icing, make several small circles. Try not to let them touch. Let these circles dry for about 10 minutes.
  5. Use red piping icing to make swirls.
  6. Fill in the spaces between roses with more red circles and allow these to dry for about 10 minutes.
  7. Finish the wreath with red piping icing swirls on the rest of the dots.
  8. Easy and pretty!

The reason these were frustrating was the number of transfers that broke.  As long as you make plenty of extras this is a pretty stress free project. The main thing I learned with this project was when the transfers didn’t pop off like they usually do when peeling the paper back, I needed to stop, reevaluate and come up with a Plan B. It was humid here last week, and the transfers weren’t drying all the way through. As soon as I figured out that the best way to remove them was with the knife, I didn’t get any more breakage. Then I was able to flip them over and allow them to dry all the way through. So maybe you can learn from my mistake (a lot sooner than I figured it out!) This tutorial can be applied to just about any theme, too. I didn’t get a chance to take a nice picture, but I made these dragon cookies the exact same way. IMG_5721   Wow were those dragon tails frustrating! This post is linked up at Party In Your PJs at The Cookie Puzzle and Simply Sweets by Honeybee.