Sunday, November 21, 2010

Challah or Hallah Bread

Challah or Hallah bread (However you prefer to spell it), was on my list of things to make for the Thanksgiving holiday. I made 3 loaves, and boy was it hard!! See how I had to knead the bread, I worked so hard at this!
Okay, okay so I'm busted, huh! Lol, so I had some help with the kneading, but I did work hard to get my little helper centered in the picture;)
Really though if you get a chance to make this, it's super easy. The longest parts is the rising times, there's 3 one hour intervals of rising time for each loaf. Oh and look here's the ingredients, all of which we usually have in our cabinets.

We made quite the mess in my kitchen, but it was worth it! The smell from the oven was awesome, and we ended up eating a loaf tonight with dinner, so I guess I'm making more before Thanksgiving.
Here's the finished bread, fresh out of the oven and cooling on a wire rack. I'll update the recipe section soon with the recipe and step by step instructions with pictures.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Mexican Wedding Cookies

I've always liked these cookies, I think because it's just the right amount of sweetness to them. Besides that, they always remind me of the holidays, since that's usually when I see them. You can find the recipe and instructions here Mexican Wedding Cookies It's a super easy recipe! It's much better with the pecans instead of the walnuts, but pecans are so expensive and I've made them both ways. You can make them with either one that fits in your budget or taste. With Thanksgiving next week, I'll be busy, busy, cooking and getting ready, plus going to work daily. But as I bake I'll snap some pictures and post them for you to see and I have a few good recipes my kids love and always request for Thanksgiving dinner, that I'll happily share. Heres the Cookies...Enjoy!!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Yippee-I-O-Ki-Yay!! Holiday Baking

Well it's that time of year!! Well at least here anyway. Even though it's nice and warm out, it's time to start holiday baking. So, I'm starting out with these Cowboy Cookies, (with some variations). First let me tell you, if you make this recipe it's a thick thick batter. As you can see from the picture I snapped, (oh and ya, I made a mess all over the mixer making these big bad boys). This is a double batch and it barely, I mean 'just barely' fit in the bowl.

Instead of just chocolate chips, I used those and white chocolate chips and peanut butter chips. I also added the pecans and almond slivers. Fresh out of the oven, they smell delicious. I can't wait to try one, I keep telling the kids to wait, but I'm not even sure I'm going to wait, lol.

Okay, here's the finished cookies. They are some hearty cookies, I can see why they're called Cowboy cookies.

A double batch made a nice big amount. Some aren't in the picture. Okay, I must confess, I ate a couple..okay, okay, 4. There goes my weight loss since I had Gus.

They do look good though, don't they? Here, try one, it's hard to stop at just one though! I'll post all my revisions in the recipe later.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Fall Caramel Apples

  I still haven't gotten to those basketball cookies, (but I will). Instead I did my style of a caramel apple. They're still wet in the pictures, because I literally just finished them. My daughter is taking them to school tomorrow (just for the heck of it).

 The apple cutter is a Wilton brand, it came in a pack of Halloween cutters I bought. She wanted me to make them into caramel apples. So I did what she requested. I must say the brown and red royal icing is a pain in the butt to make. I seen another brand of icing colors on a website I may try. I added clear sugar crystals to the bottom caramel part of the cookie and I played with the stem designs some, by the time I found a pattern I liked there was only 2 cookies left to do, oh well. The picture shows a line on the single cookie, there's not, it's bad lighting.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Finished Fast

Well, I finished the cookies! They're all boxed up and ready to go. We basically only had a couple days notice and with help from some little hands, we did it. So, with little people helping, they're not perfect, but I'm sure they'll be well loved. I am funny like that though, I normally want every cookie to be 'just perfect'! Then I don't want anyone to eat them and mess them up, lol. But, they usually are gone way to fast!  We did many different styles, I let the kids have say in them. Without further ado here they are (the red is red in real life, my camera messed with the color some, I think).           

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cookies for the Navy

  Well, I was to make cookies for my daughter's basketball team, but those are on the back burner for the minute. We were asked to make cookies for one of our local school graduates who is being deployed for 3 months on a submarine with the U.S. Navy. They will be gone thru Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I'm sure they'll be missing their families and vise versa. So his mom is trying to help out by having  people put together 'goodie' boxes for them all to enjoy and share while they are gone. There are 70 sailors on board for those 90 days. The catch was that they have to be done by this Thursday, so they can be mailed off and reach the submarine in time before it leaves.
  I'll be posting pictures of the cookies for them when they're finished and I'm sure if anyone out there would like to help with any 'goodies' for the sailors please feel free to comment or email me and I'll be happy to get you the mailing address that they have to be sent to. It's very short notice, I know, but well worth it!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

So Far

  I have only made 4 different kinds of decorated cookies and the list below will show what I've made thus far and my and others opinions about them.
  Oh I've made tons of cookies and lots of cut out cookies, but honestly before the past 2 weeks my idea of decorating a cookie was buying a can of frosting and gobbing on sprinkles. So really I've made tons of cookies over the years, making my dough from scratch, but I've only truly decorated/designed 4 and those are all in my blog here.
  • The first cookie I decorated was the webs in my cookie index at the top of this page. (Sorry for the horrible picture it was taken with my cell phone). There are tons of this design on the internet and they were fairly easy so I thought oh I'll make some more Halloween cookies and thus came..
  • The Skeletons (also in the cookie index above).  I seen these so adorable cookies on Bridget's blog, bake at 350. I loved the way she did her's but wanted to do it a bit different since my kids wanted chocolate cookies. So I made a chocolate cookie, skipped the flooding, and used white RI to make the skeletons. Now this was tedious work and not all of them are perfect, but the kids loved them at our Halloween Party. The tip I used though was a bit to big I think, and I really need a fine tip (my smallest is a 3) but I'm sure they must come in smaller sizes, I'll have to check that out. My opinion (don't try to do very detailed work when your a beginner, start with something like the leaves below)
  • The Maple leaves-Now this cookie is a big cookie. I used my Wilton Maple leaf cushion grip cutter for this one and in my opinion it makes a nice big cookie. Easy for beginners to decorate without having to worry about piping small spaces.
  • The Tooth-Well, as I said in my post below these are special request *via my daughter* Again a Wilton's Plastic cookie cutter. Not a tiny space, to work in so that's a good thing. I piped, flooded and put a little face on them, that was it, easy but oh boy did I keep making boo boo's with these easy little guys. Just silly little things I would mess up like, finish up one, push it to the side and grab another. Well all was going well until I had 20-25 teeth in front of me and I was running out of room on my counter to slide wet ones over when I was finished. It was late and I was on my last few cookies and when I went to (oh so carefully) sit the finished cookie towards the back of the pack of cookies on my counter and it made it to it's destination, I would bring my hand back to the front of the pack of drying cookies and had my tv on in the kitchen and at the same time looked at the tv...feeling something, I turned and looked and I had my hand to low and stuck my finger in a wet cookie, ughh!! I fixed it (wasn't easy to fix half wet RI), but I managed, The bad part was 'I did it again!!' Oh I was so mad, that darn tv, lol. t had to go off and I needed to get done or my daughter wasn't going to have her tooth cookies. If I was selling these I would have had to start all over so happily I don't. So to conclude this long post, my opinion is to make sure you have plenty of space to work to decorate before you start, (I should've just moved them to my kitchen table to sit down and do them) but didn't want to move them all. That'll teach me, huh? 

        Real quick though I did manage to make a double batch of RI, here's the bowl just after I made it. Now it's all tucked away, cozied in with its plastic wrap blanket for the night (or 2) and sealed with a lid.
          My next project is basketball cookies another request from older daughter for her team, I have a idea in mind, we'll see if it works (no tv though).

Tooth Fairy

  Well, I finished the tooth cookies for my daughter's kindergarten class. It was late last night when I finally finished them. The things I've learned when baking/decorating cookies and the silly mistakes I've done when making them, I could write a blog about, ha;) Okay well here's some of the cutouts of dough, ready for baking.
  Here's the finished cookies. My daughter came down the stairs this morning, she was thrilled!! Although, there's flaws on them because of those 'mistakes', live and learn, right?  (I will do a seperate post on the do's/dont's or my do's/dont's lol). *All of my pictures are totally unedited (except for the size. Most are taken at night, that way I don't have the kids trying to jump in every picture. Anyway, I know my pictures aren't up to my standard pictures, but you get the idea:)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

All I want for Christmas

  You know the song, I'm sure.  Well that rings true this year for my little girl. She lost her first tooth today, not her front teeth, but one on the bottom. Oh, they grow up so fast!! So I'm surprising her with a little treat to take into her Kindergarten class on Monday, (which is the next day she has school here due to ptc). I've already started baking today for her, can you guess what I'm making...I'll give you a clue..

So My dough is made and chilled and I've begun to bake. I have a dozen all baked up and plan on doing a dozen more but not tonight, baby Gus has decided he needs me 'not' to put him down at all this evening so I'm finished baking tonight,  and as we all know, the baby is the boss, lol.
 I've snapped a picture of the little bit of mess I made today, (that I've yet to clean up), but it will wait til morn. My boss says " it's not happening tonight mom;)"  It's all worth it though, he's so sweet here's a picture of him on Halloween at our anual village Cider time. It's Halloween, although he's wearing his Thanksgiving hat.
Oh and here's what I get to wake up to in the morning.
  I hate waking up to dirty dishes, but we're just not up to doing them tonight *at least it's not a huge mess.* Oh and see my cookie jar in the back? Yes, It's the Incredibles. My son loves the Incredibles and somehow I ended up with the cookie jar of them in my kitchen. (I wanted the cookie jar for him, don't know what I was thinking.  I can't put it in his room, it would be broke from him constantly checking to see if there's cookies in it, so it ended up in my kitchen and I don't even use it for cookies...there's cupcake wrappers in it, lol.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Loving Autumn!

Autumn/Fall whichever you prefer to call it, is my favorite time of year. I think mainly because of the colors, smells and coziness of it all. So to start a blog in the Fall suits me. What better to start a new blog and the pretty new season but with these Fall leaf cookies. I used my Wilton comfort grip Maple leaf cookie cutter for these cookies. I must say, I'm lovin the comfort grip on those cookie cutters! I'm working on my next project now, so it will be a day or so before I post again for you to see, but I'll be posting regularly so keep checking back!:)