Sunday, January 27, 2013

Brush Embroidery Flowers

I decided to test out a new technique for doing flowers.  I've really enjoyed doing these brush embroidery roses.

I added some pink flowers on white as well!

Valentine's Day is coming soon...

With Valentine's Day quickly approaching, I did a test batch of love letters for the occasion.

Monday, January 14, 2013

My First Cookie Tutorial - Letters by Fred

So here we go.  I got these super cute cookie cutters by Fred & Friends (I'm a huge fan of all their stuff) for Christmas, and I finally had the presence of memory to bring my camera to the kitchen to show you how these imprint-style sugar cookies work for me.  There are definitely some tricks to getting the most out of them.

So let's start with the dough.  Take your favorite sugar cookie dough and chill it.  If it's a recipe that requires an hour of chilling, I'd chill it for at least 3 hours, if not overnight.  Roll the dough out a little bit thicker than normal; that way the cut-out holds it's shape while you stamp it.  Cut out the shape and put it on the cookie sheet.

Next step is to turn over the cutter and stamp the cut-out cookie.  To make it easier on you, make sure to stamp the cookie while it's on the cookie sheet, rather than stamping and then transferring it at the risk of distorting the image.

Now your cookies are cut, stamped, and ready to go into the oven!

 And here they are out of the oven; looking delicious already!

*Here's a quick comparison for you on the difference between chilled & thick dough and room temperature "regular thickness" dough.  On the left is the chilled dough.  It's a little bit thicker for a cleaner imprint, and it holds the image of the letter while baking much better.  On the right is the room temperature dough.  When I set the stamped image in the softer dough, it squished out and rounded the outside of the cookie.  As well, it didn't maintain it's image as well once it was baked.

Your next step is decoration.  What's great about these stamped cookies is that the outlines are already there for you to follow, making them almost effortless to decorate.  I chose to outline and fill the backgrounds first.

Once I finished my entire phrase, I let it dry for a few hours.

Then I finished them off by flooding in the letters with white to give it more contrast.

I really enjoyed making these cookies because the stamp on the dough takes the guesswork out of making the perfect letters.  While one day I would love to own a kopykake projector to make perfect images on my cookies, I'm going to settle with helpers like this!