Monday, January 31, 2011

Baby Shower Cookies

These baby shower cookies were really easy and quick to make since it was a small request and only 3 colors. On Friday morning I made the cookie dough and then went for a bike ride while the dough set in the refrigerator as this makes the dough easier to work with and bakes better. In the afternoon, I baked all the cookies and in the evening, I did the bottom layer of icing on the baby face (skin color) and the stroller (pink). The colors have to fully dry so they don't bleed together, so I was done for the night. The next day I did the detail work of icing using brown and pink and let them sit again to dry. Sunday morning I bagged and bowed the cookies and they were all ready to go.

The cookie recipe I used for these baby shower cookies:
1 cup butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp finely shredded lemon peel
1/2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour

Beat butter in a large mixing bowl. Add sugar and beat til combined. Beat in lemon peel and vanilla. Beat in flour. Cover and refrigerate several hours or til dough is easy to handle. Roll dough and cut with cookie cutters. Bake at 375 degrees for about 8 minutes or til edges begin to slightly brown. Let them cool and then decorate with your favorite icing recipe. My kids say this is the best tasting recipe, but it is a difficult one to work with so I have other yummy recipes that I use too. For this type of cookie and size, it is fine, but if you try to use the larger cookie cutters that I like, then it's difficult because it's not a very "sturdy" dough. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mixers 5-quart or 6-quart?

Hubby gave me the green light to purchase a new mixer for my Valentines gift!!! I'm so excited, but also am torn on which model to get. I've wanted the PINK Kitchen-Aid 5-quart tilt-head mixer for years and years... drooled over it really! It has a 5-quart bowl compared to my current 4.5 quart so that means slightly larger recipes, more power (325 watts) and PINK!!!

I looked on and there is also a 6-quart bowl-lift model which means bigger recipes, no spillage and a LOT more power (575-watts). Unfortunately the 6-quart model DOES NOT COME IN PINK. The 6-quart model comes in silver which would also match my kitchen, but it's not pink :(

I read the reviews on both models and both have positives and negatives. There seemed to be more negatives on the 6-quart model due to a plastic casing for the gears, but Kitchen-Aid says they have fixed that issue. It also sounds like, from the reviews, that the 6-quart model is very loud and turns itself off during some recipes to keep from overheating and burning out the huge motor. I didn't see any reviews of that being an issue in the 5-quart model.

What are your thoughts, expertise, suggestions, guidance? I want to hear it all before making this large purchase. If you have a Kitchen-Aid mixer, please tell me which one you have and what you like and don't like or what you would do differently. Thanks!

And huge thanks to hubby! I'm so excited to get a new mixer!!!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Bird Cookies

I made these bird cookies in Valentine colors for a friend and shipped them this morning. 40 cookies. I'm holding my breath that they arrive safely. This is my first attempt at shipping a large amount of cookies. 

After a bike ride this morning, I'm off to my daughter's new house for a house-warming party and to meet the couple that will be her new in-laws. My daughter is getting married on June 25th this summer. Isn't that incredible?! I can't believe my baby girl (27) is getting married! I'm honored that she has asked me to be both Mother of the Bride (MOB) and Matron of Honor (MOH). 

Nick and his teenage friends are all asleep in his room. It's a good time to sneak out for a ride. Have a great day everyone!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Valentine Cookies

I've started working on Valentine cookies. I've become completely obsessed with cookie cutters! In addition to the ones shown above, I also have a Frog Prince, Boxer Shorts, Mailbox and Love Bird still to bake for Valentines Day. I have about 278 cookie cutters now and I'm having so much fun. The biggest issue now is how to handle my obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) to find time to bake and ride my bike and karate and volunteer at school and get things done in my office... ugh. There aren't enough hours in the day for all the things I want to do! 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Girly Cookies - Shoes, Purses & Dresses

The cookies I made this week were designed for my niece, Nicole, to celebrate her 25th birthday. I had a lot of fun with these since they are such fun colors and fun designs. The cool thing that I learned from this group of cookies is that making 20 cookies is much more pleasant than making 100 cookies! I don't think I've ever worked on a cookie project that had less than 100 cookies. I always figure that it takes the same number of days to make 10 as it does to make 100 because of all the waiting time in between the colors to make sure they don't bleed together. I was wrong! What a great lesson to finally learn! I plan on forever going forward making less batches of cookies as the time constraint and stress level is so much easier.