Thursday, March 26, 2009

Glace' Icing Recipe

This is the icing recipe I use for my decorated cookies. I've used it since I first started doing the cookie bouquets three years ago. I know several people who use the rolled buttercream and the rolled fondant, and I've used both of those as well, but I always come back to this recipe and technique.

Glace' Icing

1 lb. powered sugar ( a little shy of 4 cups)
1/4 C + 2T whole milk (I usually use 2% since it's what I have)
1/4 C + 2T light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla (or almond extract - I use the same as I used in the cookies)

Combine sugar and milk with whisk until smooth. Be sure to get all the lumps out. Stir in corn syrup and extract.

I use this same recipe for the glazing and the piping. For the piping, take a small amount and add powered sugar to make it thicker. If it gets too thick, just add a few drops of milk.

I figure out what colors I'm going to need for my cookies. I then divide the glaze up in small bowls and mix in gel food coloring.

For the Valentine's Day Cookies and the St. Patrick's Day cookies, I outlined the cookies with the thicker glaze, then filled in with the colors I wanted.

For the previous cookies and cookie bouquets, I put waxed paper under the cooling racks and poured the glaze over the cookies. I then piped the thicker glaze on them.

I'm not sure which way I prefer - still trying to figure that out!

On the V-Day and St. P-Day cookies, I used a toothpick to make the designs. Just drop a dot of a contrasting color onto the just-glazed cookie and pull a toothpick through the dot to make the designs.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Sugar Cookie Recipe

Here's the recipe I used for the decorated cookies on this blog.

Sugar Cookies

2 C butter (not margarine or spread)
2 C sugar
2 eggs
3 teaspoons vanilla extract ( you could use almond extract as well)
6 C flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt

Cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and extract and mix together.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until combined.

Refrigerate dough for 1 - 2 hours. *

When you're ready to roll out the dough, lightly sprinkle your work surface with flower and roll out.

Bake at 350 for 8 - 12 minutes. I do mine for 8 or 9 minutes because I like them soft. For a crisper cookie, roll the dough thinner and bake a little longer. Just play with it until you find what you like.

Remove onto cooling racks. Let them cool completely before decorating.

* If I'm in a hurry, I will chill the dough for just a few minutes, then roll out. I then put the cookies on my baking sheets and put them in the frig to chill before baking. You can also shape the dough into two disks between wax paper and chill. It won't take near as long. But your dough needs to be chilled or your cookies won't hold their shape very well.

I use this recipe to make 34 - 38 large cookies or 44 - 48 medium cookies.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

It Doesn't Work!!

Here's a picture of a cute sign I found at Hobby Lobby last week. It's not working though!!

What Should I Do With It?

I rescued this old door from a really old abandoned house. It was calling my name. Practically jumped out and grabbed me.

My husband grudgingly loaded it in the truck - but only because my eldest daughter (who is so much like me it's scary) had picked out two doors for herself! So since he was doing it for her, he could hardly tell me no!

So now I need to figure out what I'm going to do with it. I want to use it in my guest bedroom somehow, as a decoration.
Any ideas?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Cookies

I had a couple of orders for cookies on St. Patrick's Day. Here are a couple of pics of the finished result.
These are sugar cookies with a glaze icing. Delicious! I will post the recipes in a later post.

Contemplating An Empty Nest

For about twenty-nine years now, I have been blessed to have children in my home.

The first arrived in the spring of 1980 and the fourth and final child arrived in the summer of 1985. The twenty years following the arrival of our first son were some of the happiest of my life.
I always wanted a small family. Just two kids. I don't know why - that's just the way I wanted it. Maybe it was because I was one of four children, always had to share a room with someone, and thought my life would somehow have been better had I had a room of my own. I don't know. But anyway, that's just the way I wanted it to be.

So we had our first two children about eighteen months apart. I was done!! Mission accomplished! Or so I thought.

Then I got depressed. Somehow, my family just didn't seem complete. I started listening to people who only had two kids and wished they had had at least one more. So we decided to have one more. My family was perfect! I was fulfilled.

Then, out of nowhere, lightening struck! We were going to have a fourth. I was not a happy camper. But my husband was estatic. You see, he always wanted four, so now he was getting his way.

By the time our second daughter arrived, I had resigned myself to life with four children. And she took the world by storm. Never a dull moment in our house! I can't even imagine having lived my life without her.

Then, twenty years after we started it all, our first daughter got married. I cried the night she left. About a year after that our oldest son moved into an apartment with his friend. I didn't cry this time - I was getting used to the letting go thing.

So we were down to only two and not liking it one little bit. I was thrilled when our son decided to move back home - only to get married about a year later.

Six months after that, our baby decided to get married and leave us. It was so quiet in the house.
I got depressed, but pulled through.

So we are down to just one. And that's the way it's been for the last three years.

But now, our youngest son has met the girl of his dreams and is planning to get married in six months. Not only that, he's planning to move to the other side of the world - to Vanuatu.

So after twenty-eight years, I'm facing an empty nest and I don't quite know how to handle it.

I guess I'll have to learn - it's the cycle of life. It happens to almost everyone.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Cauliflower, Anyone??

I had a customer ask for a cauliflower cake. Definitely something I've never done before. I didn't know where to start!!
So I made an 8" layer cake and covered it in a buttercream icing. Then I just kind of rounded globs of icing on the top. I then made leaves out of fondant and shaped them on the cake, curling the edges back and overlapping them.
It actually turned out better than I expected! My customer said it got a lot of comments.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Lemon Curd Recipe

A customer asked for my Lemon Curd recipe so I decided to post it here. This recipe is not original to me - I found it at Most of her recipes have been amazing.

Lemon Curd

1 tbsp. unflavored gelatin with 3 tbsp. water
3/4 cup lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon (or 2 tsp. of natural lemon flavoring, or 1 tsp. lemon extract)
4 large eggs
1-3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, cut into cubes

In a small bowl, sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the water. Set aside. Mix together the lemon juice, lemon zest, eggs, sugar and butter in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat then add the unflavored gelatin. Mix until the gelatin is dissolved completely. Refrigerate for a few hours before using.

I beat the eggs lightly before adding them. I also pour the hot curd through a strainer before letting it cool. Doing this will give you a smoother curd.


For the past few weeks, I have been lightly toasting a slice of my homemade bread, lightly buttering it and then spreading it with a couple teaspoons of the lemon curd.

Absolutely delicious!!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Pirate Ship Cake

Top View

This is my first attempt at making a Pirate Ship Cake. I found several different shapes for this cake on the internet, but this was the one my customer wanted.

Side View
The is a Chocolate Truffle Cake with Chocolate Truffle Filling and Chocolate Buttercream Frosting. 40 - 50 servings, depending on size of each serving.

Back View
I tinted approximately 42 ounces of fondant dark brown. I covered the whole cake with the fondant, then did the add-ons. I then lightly scored the fondant to give it a "wood" look.

Front View
The sails are also made of fondant. I made them four or five days ahead so they would have time to dry and hold their shape. The masts are dowel rods lightly stained with Wilton icing color. The masts and the "pirates' are the only non-edible parts.
I covered the cake board with blue plastic then contact paper to simulate waves. I then tucked some of the plastic under the cake edges to make 3-D waves.
This was actually a really fun cake to make! If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I'll get back to you.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Easy Dulce de Leche

I found this recipe while searching for another recipe on the Internet. It's a very easy way to make Dulce de Leche. Works great as a filling for a chocolate or white cake.

Preheat the oven to 425° F .

Pour one can (400 gr/14 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk) into a glass pie plate or shallow baking dish.

Set the pie plate in a roasting pan, and add hot water until it reaches half way up the side of the pie plate.

Cover the pie plate tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 1 to 1¼ hours. (Check it a few times during baking and add more water to the roasting pan as necessary. I found that my oven takes more like 1-1/2 to 1-3/4 hours. I also like mine to be stiff enough that I can pipe it on cupcakes.)

Once the milk is browned and caramelized, remove from the oven and let cool. When it is cool, whisk it until smooth.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to use. If you need it warm, put it in the microwave for a few seconds or set in a pan of warm water.