Friday, April 29, 2011

Gluten Free?

The OB-GYN that I'm making all the baby cookies for has to eat a gluten free diet. I wanted to make something special for her for Easter since she's been so generous to me. It didn't seem quite fair that she purchase tons and tons of cookies (even some Easter cookies for her staff) and she can't partake in any of it. :(

So my mission was to make her some gluten free cookies and decorate them.

I looked for pre-made gluten free cookies.....but they were all small and hard surfaces to decorate on. Plus, they didn't look very appetizing. Then I started looking at gluten free cookie mixes. Here's what I finally settled on. (It wouldn't have been my first choice, but I couldn't find anything like a plain sugar cookie or shortbread cookie.)


 Needless to say....the dough was very hard to work with. And when it was too sticky.....my first thought was to add flour. (DUH! lol) I added additional dry cookie mix to get the dough in more workable form. It still didn't work very well. I cut out the cookies and put them in the pan.....but when they baked.....they were one big blob cookie. They all ran together. :( I was so sad. 

Then my daughter, Jill, gave me a brilliant idea. She told me to cut them out with the cutter after they were baked. So I did.....and it worked! Now mind you..... the cookies were very flimsy and had a very bumpy surface.....but I had the shapes I desired. :)))))))

Decorating them wasn't too difficult. (By the way, the glaze icing has no gluten in it. I don't know about Royal icing.) It had it's moments......but I managed to get them covered and looking something like lambs. ;)



And here's the box of goodies I sent to the doctor. :)


She loved them and said they were yummy. So I think my mission was accomplished.

I will continue to look for the "perfect" cookie mix to make a more suitable, decorate-able cookie next time. (I'd even like to learn how to make my own home-made gluten free sugar cookies.) Until I find something, I'll continue to use this mix and just make one big cookie (kind of like my cookie "cake" a few weeks ago) and then cut out the shapes after it is baked.


I'm excited that I can offer an alternative to someone who needs gluten free cookies. Yeah!

P.S. This project gave me a TREMENDOUS appreciation for my regular sugar cookie recipe and those smooth beautiful cookies that are so easy to decorate. =)

P.S.S. I was told it was important to keep the gluten free set completely away from the regular cookies.....so everything was done individually. I cleaned everything in between the one set and the other. I even stored them far away from each other.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Baby Minis in a Box.......

Here's the original sets of boxes I did for my OB/GYN. There are 16 minis per box. I love the look.....but the time factor with 10 boxes a week was way too much. 




I'll show you my latest versions soon.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cookies Bring Joy! :)

Remember these special rabbit cookies I made?



Well look at this......it makes me smile. Here's the birthday boy, Aidan, with a cookie. =)


A photo like that makes it all worth it. 

:)

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Standing Order: Baby Cookie Boxes :)

Interesting story..........a few weeks ago I went for my regular OB/GYN appointment. As my doctor and I were chatting, the subject of me decorating cookies for mission work came up. She was very interested in the idea of ordering cookies for her birthing parents when they have the baby. Within a few days and several emails, we established a weekly arrangement of cookies boxes for her to share with her birthing parents. 

I started off by making minis like I'd done for Easter and spring. That's 2 minis of each of 8 designs. The first week I had to make 160 minis to make 10 boxes. Oh my! That was only the second time I had made mini cookie boxes.....and the first time was for pure fun. Suddenly I realized how much work minis were.....and that I wasn't charging enough for each box.

We've readjusted our arrangement since then to a bit larger cookies.....but only a few per box. 

Here's the first week's sets of mini- cookies.

Neutral................

Boy........


Girl............

and everyone together......


None of these cookies are hard......but doing 160 of them was much more time consuming then I thought it would be.

Always learning new lessons every day. ;)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Just a Few More Easter Cookies......promise :)

Last of my Easter cookie pics.....spilled over to the day after. ;)

More packaging......


My new boxes from here (with FREE shipping!):
OK.....I promise to show you non-Easter cookies in the coming days. Get ready for lots of baby cookies and cupcakes! :)

Happy Monday!!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Resurrection Day!

After a very busy and activity filled week, Easter is finally here. :) After worshiping my risen Savior this morning, I'm enjoying a big meal with my family and then hoping to chill and relax. My girls (24 and 17) want to have an egg hunt, so my husband has agree to hide the eggs. He is an excellent hide-er. lol In fact, there were years where the kids found eggs WAY AFTER Easter because they didn't find them during the hunt, and my husband forgot all those great places he had hidden them. :)

Here's more Easter cookies. I have plenty of them, so you'll be seeing them after Easter too.







 Why do you look for the living among the dead! He is not here, He has risen! Luke 24:5-6

Have a blessed holiday!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Easter's Almost Here!

Only a couple more days to share Easter.....and it be on time. ;)

 A lamb collection for an OB/GYN office staff. How appropriate, huh?


Lots of small Easter cookies...........


The above.....all boxed up. :)


Back to the kitchen...........have fun preparing for this wonderful holiday.

It's GOOD Friday. :)

"The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!" John 1:29

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Back to Easter.....More Minis Boxes

I couldn't stay away from Easter cookies too long. ;)

I made a bunch more boxes of minis last week. I love how they turn out so much.....but I have to admit that they are a LOT of work. After Easter I'll share with you my experience with doing a ton of boxes of mini baby cookies. Needless to say.....I've done minis galore in the last two weeks. lol

These are just a bit different from my last set of Easter minis.


A close-up.......


And here's a unique one I did, happily using all my bright sanding sugars. So fun!


Back to work. I'll have lots more to show you after this week. It has been a marathon these last few days. But I'm loving it! And I'm making lots of money to pay for the women's retreat we are having in Ukraine in June. I'm so excited about how all the money is being provided!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Project 80th Birthday

 I had a fun challenge given to me a couple of weeks ago. A dear lady said she had been wanting to order cookies from me to support my Ukraine mission effort for TWO years and she finally had a very good reason. Her mother was turning 80 years old and she wanted to surprise her with a box of cookies that represented things in her life.....and a box for each of the 11 other dinner guests! How fun. :)

She chose a house cookie representing that her mom was a homemaker. Then she wanted a cross representing her faith. Next, a lighthouse because she was from Maine. Because of her love for birds, we added a hummingbird. And finally, a heart was included representing the love. 

I had a lot of fun putting together this collection. I needed five cookies per box and twelve boxes.....so there were sixty cookies in all. I sailed through the decorating with no problem.


Then came the packaging. I had planned to use one of my all clear boxes to put all the cookies in on top of crinkle shred. I've done these a couple of other times.

For the Ukrainian women, I did some small boxes like this:


And then at Valentines Day, I did boxes like this:


Well as you can see.....the cookies in those boxes were fairly study and stable or small. 

When I tried to stuff the first box with the lighthouse cookie, it broke. (Thankfully I'd made extras!) I suddenly realized that the bend-ability of these all clear boxes was not good for fragile cookies. :(

Suddenly I was in a frenzy to figure out how I was going to package the twelve sets without using anything I had planned. Oh my......I was a mess!

After praying about it and asking for God's help.......I remembered that I had some 10x7x2" boxes left from last year. Guess what? I had 13 left!!!!!! So I scrapped my old plan and worked to figure out how to make these boxes as stable as possible for the fragile cookies. I decided on lots of tissue paper underneath (2" deep boxes takes LOTS of tissue paper), but I didn't have that much tissue paper in one color to fill TWELVE boxes!

Oh......but then I remembered that I have lots and lots and lots of yellow tissue paper from Karen's Cookies. For those of you that order from her, you know that she wraps every item in a sheet of yellow tissue paper. The fact that I had so much yellow tissue paper in my house tells you how much I order from her! :o)

So........I set out to make it all work. It certainly wasn't what I had envisioned...........but it gave me a nice final product.......and the client was very very happy with them. And best of all.......after lots of prayers (and lots and lots and lots of bubble wrap and air bags!!!!), everything arrived in perfect condition.


After what seemed like a potential disaster.................everything turned out well.
I was so grateful for the answers to my prayers. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Besides Easter.....

A random post.....letting you know I've been doing lots more than just Easter decorating.....

First, a tip I wanted to share with you from Laura from A Dozen Eggs blog. She suggested this to me a few weeks ago, and it has been a terrific addition to taking better care of my metal cookie cutters.

Since most cookie cutters can easily rust......make sure they are completely dry after washing them by putting them in your warm oven after you've baked your cookies. (Don't put plastic ones in the oven! ;)) After 10 minutes or so, they will be dry (and very hot.....so be careful!) and ready to put away after they cool off.


Here's another neat trick I discovered a few weeks ago.
When my cookies are too close in the baking process and end up melding together.....


....while they are still warm, I take the wide end of my handy dandy Cookie Scraper (Karen calls it a "boo boo stick")......


and carefully wedge it in between the cookies to separate them quite nicely.


_____________________________________________________

Here's a project I did for someone's 20th high school reunion. They wanted plaid squares in colors and design close to the uniforms they wore in school (cloth swatch shown above the cookies). This was a completely different kind of plaid then I'd done before, so it was a bit of a challenge. Plus, I remember........I was doing these amidst what seemed like a million baby onesies. ;) 



OK.....so how was that for a completely random, non-Easter cookie post. ;)

Monday, April 18, 2011

More Easter.....With the April Give-Away Winner

And the winner is.................................



Congratulations! I have emailed you for your mailing address to send you the box of Easter minis. :)

__________________________________________________________

More Easter cookies for you............




Happy Monday!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Easter......One Week Away....oh my!

I'm sharing more Easter cookies today.....and from the looks of this next week, I'll have even more to share in the coming days.

It is going to be a CRAZIE week. Between several cookies orders, an Easter musical we're in, complete with two performances and three rehearsals, and working on Saturday...................I foresee a nap for my Easter Sunday afternoon. lol

I'll do my best to keep up here, but if I'm missing here and there, you'll know why.

"Gingham" bunnies.......

Bunny behinds.......

and stitched eggs.


Don't forget my April Blog Give-Away. The deadline is tonight at midnight (CST) to win a box of my Easter minis. I've not had many entries.....so I'm starting to get a complex. lol I'm hoping it is because everyone is so busy.....and not because people don't care to try my cookies. ;)

Happy Palm Sunday!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Spring Faces: Duck (Tutorial) Part 4 of 4

My final funny face for spring.......a cute little duck. :)


Yep.....I used a funny angle of the mini teddy bear for the ducks feathers. :)

You have to do this in parts so you get the 3D effect of the duck bill. I put on the top of the bill first.

Then I added the bottom part of the bill......let it dry, and then flooded the yellow over everything but the eyes.

After the yellow dries.....add the white eyes one at a time so there is a distinctive line. More dry time. Then add the black eyes and add the white in the eye while the black is still wet. I used marker to make the eye lashes after it was completely dry.

There you have it......a complete set of spring faces....with pictorials for all. :)

Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

April Blog Give-Away........Easter Minis Boxed Set!

I want to bless one of my blog readers with a box of Easter Minis!


Here's two ways you can have an Easter minis box sent to you:

1) Become a Facebook fan and if you are already a Facebook fan, please encourage your friends on FB to become a fan.
If you're not on FB, tell your friends and family about this blog and ask them to take a look.
Then return here leaving me a separate comment on how you shared the news of the give-away with others. Be sure to leave your email address with your comment.


2) Send a link about this give-away through your Facebook or Twitter wall.
If you're not on FB, send out a message to your friends and family telling them about the blog giveaway.
Return here leaving me a comment on how you shared the news of the give-away with others.
Be sure to leave your email address with your comment.

You MUST leave your email address in order to enter the blog give-away. No contact information disqualifies your entry.......only because there would be no way to let you know you won!

Entries will only be accepted as comments on this particular blog post "April Blog Give-Away: Easter Minis Boxed Set!". Comments on any other blog post will not enter you into the give-away.

Each person is only allowed TWO entries into the give-away (as outlined above).

Make sure each entry is a separate comment in order to count as two entries.

The acceptance of entries ends at midnight (CST), Sunday, April 17, 2011

I will use random.org to choose the winner.
_____________________________________________



April Give-Away Closed.
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