Gluten Free Pansy Cookies

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I am so excited to share this post for Gluten Free Pansy Cookies! I made these cookies for favors for The Botanical Society's Summer picnic. I love nature, flowers and cookies, so it was an extremely fun project!

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The friend of mine who requested the cookies was so easy to work with, and let me decide the type of flowers to make.  I picked a pansy because I thought they would be a pretty Summer flower and also because purple is my favorite color! I have made different pansy cookies in the past, but I had recently watched a tutorial from SweetAmbs on how to decorate pansy cookies.  Her designs are AMAZING, so I thought maybe I would use her tutorial for inspiration.  You can find her cookie decorating tutorial HERE.  She uses a 5 petal flower cookie cutter, I could only find my 6 petal cutter, so I altered the design a little. 

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Flower cookies are some of my favorites to make, and I am so happy that some of the flowers in my own garden have started blooming too!  The nicer the weather gets, the less time I spend inside baking, but I will still be blogging some crafts and parties coming up soon!

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These were my first ever gluten free cookies.  To all my celiac and gluten intolerant friends, you can still have fancy cookies! I don't think they taste quite as good as my regular flour version, but it's not that much of a difference.  I actually think they stayed a little flatter than normal, so I had a nice smooth surface for decorating!

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All packaged up and ready to go! I hope everyone at The Botanical Society enjoys them!

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Frozen Snowflake Cookies

Happy Spring!

 

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I woke up on the first day of Spring to more snow, but since I was finishing some Frozen inspired snowflake cookies, I decided to make like Elsa and "let it go".

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I made these cookies for a Frozen 5th birthday party.  It has been quite awhile since the release of the movie, and the Frozen-mania is still going strong.  They just announced plans for a sequel, so I would imagine this theme isn't going anywhere soon.

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I do love snowflake cookies, but I would prefer the weather outside to be a little warmer!

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Hopefully this will be the last snow of the season!

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Ugly Christmas Sweaters

My favorite batch of the year.. Ugly Sweaters!!!

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I ended my cookie decorating this year with some ugly Christmas sweaters! I was looking forward to making these since my mom bought me the cookie cutter last Christmas!  If I would have known how much I would enjoy decorating these cookies, I would have baked dozens more!! They were So. Much. FUN!

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The best part of these cookies was that I didn't have to take them too seriously. Ugly sweaters are exactly that- Ugly! So I didn't have to worry so much about how they turned out or If I messed them up a little.  It really let me experiment and  play around with the designs which I love!

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I got to practice my marbling technique, something I am not great at yet, but I am always looking for cookies to practice on.  Using red coloring for wet on wet icing led to a little bleeding, so I will have to change what I do next year. 

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Even with the faded detailing I still think they look pretty cute!

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The reindeer sweaters were a hit and definitely some of my favorites!

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I could decorate these all day!

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I love my elf cookie, but in this lighting it is hard to see his nose! He looks even cuter in person!

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And it's just not Christmas without some tangled Christmas lights!

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I am hoping to host an ugly sweater party next year so I can make these again!! I have so many more ideas!!

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I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season and great end to 2014! I have lots of cookie plans and ideas for 2015 that I can't wait to share!

Christmas Ornaments

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For my next Holiday cookie set I decided on Christmas ornaments.  I used red, green and white for my colors but I think next time I am going to try a set in purples to match my actual Christmas tree! 

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I really wasn't sure how I wanted to decorate these, so I just kinda winged it as I went along.  After playing with this set a little I think I will know better for next time what looks nice.  I would also like to add to my cookie cutter collection and get a few more large ornament cutters.  Most of these were smaller so it makes it harder to add detail.

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I had a couple of my cookies bleed red onto the detailing this year while they dried.  Red is a strong color for icing and it take more dye than most colors.  I might have to let the cookies dry more before attempting to detail so that doesn't happen again in the future. 

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Merry Christmas!

Christmas Cookies

Moose, Mittens, Snowflakes and Wintery Trees to start off this years Christmas cookie extravaganza!

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This year I made so many cookies that I loss count of the final number (I also loss lots of sleep staying up baking and decorating) but it was worth it! Christmas cookies are my favorite cookies to make and I make some traditional favorites along with my decorated sugar cookies.  This year I made peanut butter blossom, lemon slice and bakes, chocolate covered oreos and raspberry cheesecake thumbprints.  I then started my decorated cookies, and to begin I baked up some snow covered trees, winter mittens, holiday snowflakes and a few more Christmas moose cookies!

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I love these cookies because they work not just for Christmas but also for the whole winter season!

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I thought about decorating the trees with ornaments, but I decided they look just as nice with only snow.  Something we are missing here in Pittsburgh!

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I'm dreaming of a white Christmas!

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I don't know why but the red detail on the white snowflakes makes me think of a Nordic pattern.  I would love to do some detail work with a fair isle design if I find the time!

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Let it snow.. let it snow.. let it snow!

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I tried a few cable knit designs on white mittens.  I love how they look but the white on white makes it a little difficult to see the detailing. After Christmas I might try to perfect these. I think they look so classy!

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I feel very ready to bake and decorate this year, I always seem to run out of time and not ideas when it comes to cookies, but hopefully I will get a couple more sets finished before the holidays are over!

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Christmas Moose Cookies

No creature was stirring, not even a Moose... ;)

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It is finally time for CHRISTMAS COOKIES!!!!!! I have been planning all kinds of fun cookie designs- most of which I will probably not have time for, but I am going to try! I decided to start with these Christmas moose cookies because a friend of mine who collects moose is going through a pretty terrible time right now and I was hoping they would bring a smile to her face.  

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I have been wanting to make these fun cookies since Sweet Sugar Belle made them last year.  She is so creative and I love how she finds different uses for cookie cutters.  These moose cookies are made by turning a gingerbread man upside down!! She has a great tutorial for her moose cookies HERE. If you are a fellow cookie lover make sure to check out her website! She is one of the first cookie decorators to inspire me!

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The trickiest part of making these cookies was finding the right shades of tan.  Believe it or not tan is not an easy color to make in the baking world!!! 

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I really adore these cookies, I am hoping to make more soon, but it might have to wait until after Christmas because I have so many other designs I want to try out! 

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Thanksgiving and Some Turkey Cookies

Happy Thanksgiving!!

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I am a true Christmas girl at heart.. but my FAVORITE holiday is Thanksgiving.  I think I love it because it is the beginning of the Holiday season.  It brings memories of big family dinners and pumpkin pie. I LOVE the smell of turkey in the oven all day. But I also really love Thanksgiving because it gives us a chance to stop,  remember, and be grateful for what we have. It is a good reminder to not take the things, and more importantly, the people we love for granted.  I am So Thankful this year.   

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After a rough summer, my husband and I ended up back home with our families.  And though we live in a tiny house, with a teeny tiny kitchen (not easy for baking!) we still have a home.  It is a little drafty in the winter, but we can afford to keep the heat on. And our fridge (one that freezes the food that is kept to close to the back) is still full enough that we are never hungry. 

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It is good to be home, and close to everyone we love.  I am so grateful to have such wonderful parents and an amazing sister.  They are always there for me when I need them, and their support has helped me through everything this year... good and bad. 

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I am thankful for all my friends.  The old ones who have stood by me through the years, and the new ones I have made recently.  You really learn a lot about people when you go through ups and downs.  And I am very lucky to know such kind, caring friends. 

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And I am so SO thankful for my incredible, strong, amazing husband,  I don't know where I would be without him in my life.  He takes care of our family and gives us such selfless love.  And I look forward to many many holidays with him by my side.

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I am thankful for all of you too! I love getting to share my hobbies with great followers! I wish you all a wonderful turkey day and a happy and blessed holiday season!

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Roasted Jalapeno Pepper Soup

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It's cold! And I have a cold. I wasn't up for making any big meal today, I wanted something warm and comforting, but I also was looking for something a little spicy to maybe help clear me out.  It is a week from Thanksgiving and I have stuff to do!

I scanned Pinterest for some recipe ideas and I found some for roasted jalapeno soup that sounded intriguing.  One recipe in particular caught my eye, I had all the ingredients that I needed already, including some that I wanted to use up before they went bad.  It was perfect, I love when things work out!!

I made some tweaks trying to perfect it a little to my tastes, and also just to use up some extra veggies I had.  It came together quickly and easily and had just the right amount of a spicy kick that I was looking for.  I served it to my husband who is working from home today and he told me it "was the best soup I have ever made".  I might have to agree and I think this one will be a staple of mine for the rest of the winter. 

You can find the original recipe HERE. You might have better luck using hers and building it from there.  I did mine without using a blender to puree, and I tossed in a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and a few extra spices to my liking.  I also subtracted the mushrooms, I didn't have any, and they aren't a favorite of mine, but I think the soup was great without them.

 

Ingredients

*4 green jalapeno peppers, chopped

*2 cup carrots, peeled and chopped (I used more, maybe 3 cups)

*1/2 cup onion, peeled and chopped (roughly 1 small onion)

*2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced

*2 tbsp olive oil

*3 tbsp butter, softened

*1/4 cup flour

*2 1/2 cups broth (chicken or vegetable)

*1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

*Garlic salt

*Dried Parsley flakes

*1/2 cup tomatoes, chopped (I used about a cup and a half)

*1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400F. Line a cookie sheet with foil. The original recipe said to cut each jalapeno in half lengthwise and remove the seeds and membrane.  I don't read directions well so I also chopped the peppers before putting them into the oven, and that worked out fine too.  Roast for 10-15 minutes.

In a medium sauce pot, heat the olive oil. When hot, saute the carrots, onion, and garlic for about 5 minutes or until the carrots and onions start to soften.

Add in the butter. Once the butter has melted, stir in the flour until everything is coated. Stir in the chopped jalapenos. Slowly stir in the broth and bring to a boil. Then stir in the heavy cream and bring back to a boil. Turn the heat down to simmer and cook until the soup has thickened, about 5-7 minutes. If you feel that your soup isn't thick enough, add more flour, 1 tablespoon at a time.  I don't like to use a lot of flour in my soup so I added a handful of shredded cheddar cheese.  Next time I might try to use more cheese and less flour to thicken, but the 1/4 cup flour with 1/4 cup cheese was the perfect consistency for me. There also seemed to be a little something missing so I sprinkled in some garlic salt and parsley.  I don't know why, but it made a huge difference in flavor to me.

Last, stir in the chopped tomatoes. Simmer for a few minutes or until hot then serve.  Add a handful of cheese on top for some extra cheesy flavor!

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Overall this soup is pretty healthy and I loved the flavor.  It actually did help my cold and I think it will be on the menu for dinner as well!



Pear Starlet Tartlets

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Time for dessert!

The holidays are upon us, and I find myself in the kitchen more and more.  I love to cook and to bake this time of year. Today we had snow flurries in Pittsburgh for the first time, and while that brings mixed reactions from those around me, everyone seems to love the idea of a warm fruity dessert straight from the oven.

I have been making and decorating cookies a lot lately, and I plan to keep it up through the holidays, but today I wanted to bake something different.  These pear almond tartlets may not look as pretty as some of my cookies, but I promise you they taste just as good... I actually think better!

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These tarts are simple and don't require any fancy kitchen gadgets.  I used a star cookie cutter for a fun shape, but you can use anything, even the top of a glass to cut out some basic circles. 

A little advice- make sure to defrost your puff pastry for an hour or two before starting the rest of the recipe.  I forgot this time, and as always, found a way to make it harder on myself than it needed to be!

Ingredients:

* 1 egg, lightly beaten

*1/2 cup + 5tbsp sugar, divided

*3/4 cup whipping cream

*2tbsp butter, melted

*1/2 tsp almond extract

*1 package puff pastry, thawed

*4 pears

*1 tsp cinnamon

*1/2 tsp ginger

*1/2 cup toasted almonds- optional

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  If you would like toasted almonds on your tarts, place on a baking sheet and toast for a few minutes before making the tartlets.

In a small saucepan combine melted butter, cream, egg, and 1/2 cup sugar.  Cook and stir on low for about ten minutes or until sauce is thickened.  Remove from heat, and stir in almond extract. Cover and let cool, then refrigerate. 

Peel and slice pears.  Combine cinnamon, ginger and remaining sugar in a bowl. Mix the pears in with the cinnamon sugar mixture, making sure all pear slices are covered. 

Roll out puff pastry and cut into shapes or circles.  Place on ungreased baking sheet. Add pears to the tartlets.  If you have extra cinnamon sugar, sprinkle some over the tops. 

Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes. Sprinkle with toasted almonds if desired.  Drizzle the almond sauce over tartlets and serve warm.

 

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I am a work in progress with my foodie photography, and after making these tartlets I have crazy respect for food bloggers.  I have no idea how they mange to cook and take photos without completely ruining their meal.  Hopefully overtime I can figure it out and get some step by step tutorials.  For now, you are going to have to deal with some so-so finished dessert pictures!

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Enjoy!

Halloween cookies

Happy Halloween!!

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This year for Halloween I made some pumpkins, bats, cauldrons and WITCH HATS! I am in love with the witch hats.  I have been waiting to use the cookie cutter for almost a year now, and I was so excited that they turned out. 

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I made a ton of cookies this year, and because of that I spent my entire day decorating.  I made trays of pumpkins and at about Midnight my patience and need for perfection started to wane.  I knew the icing consistency was off but I just couldn't bring myself to adjust it, so some of my pumpkins came out a little lumpy.  But pumpkins are actually kind of lumpy in real life so if anyone asks, I did it on purpose.  I was going for the "textured look" wink wink. 

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I couldn't decide if I liked the pumpkins better with or without the leaves. Overall I think it added, and helped tie the colors in with the other cookies. 

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My favorites are still the witch hats. Perfect for snacking on while enjoying our annual tradition of watching hocus pocus!

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Have a happy and safe Halloween!!


Autumn Sunflower & Pumpkin Cookies

Welcome Back!

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It has been a long time since I was able to work on my blog! My husband and I moved to Oklahoma for the summer and I was without all my baking supplies! We have both grown a lot in that little bit of time, and a lot of difficulties have come our way, but we have managed to keep moving forward.  My husband is my rock and I don't know where I would be without him! 

It is now the end of fall which means the holidays will soon be upon us and hopefully that will give me plenty of opportunities to keep on baking and crafting!  I knew the first post I wanted to blog about would include sunflowers.  I have said before that I have so many favorite flowers it is hard for me to choose, but sunflowers will always have a special place in my heart. 

Almost a decade ago I was having a terrible day, and in a big fight with a good friend, and my husband, then boyfriend, showed up unexpectedly with a vase full of sunflowers.  I felt like from that point on my day started to turn around - like the flowers themselves were bringing a little extra sunshine my way!

Since then my husband has bought me sunflowers quite a few times (I'm a lucky girl!) including the day we moved into our house.  They have always radiated happiness to me and I am hoping if I start my baking again with some sunflowers they will help bring a little extra sunshine to Sweet Ambitions and everyone I share them with!

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It is October and that means it's our wedding anniversary and time for PUMPKIN EVERYTHING! I really love all things pumpkin.  You can't have too much this time of year :)

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I figured pumpkins and sunflower cookies would pair nicely together so I started with some pumpkins, making all kinds of shapes and sizes.  I think by using different sizes, colors, shapes, etc. it always makes your plate look nicer.  These big ones are some of my favorites.  

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And some sunflowers!  I don't know why but for the life of me, I cannot make a decent circle.  I am just awful at it.  I think I need to go back to kindergarten for a little.

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I am pretty happy with how they look together.  When you make a lot it helps hide the imperfections.

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Thank you for coming back and your patience while I was away! Now that we are home I can't wait to start creating again! Happy Fall All!

Easter Bunny Cookies

Happy Easter!!

 

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Things have been pretty crazy around here, sorry for the lack of posts!  We found out that we will be moving to Oklahoma City for the summer for my husbands job.  Between the packing and moving arrangements there hasn't been much time for cookies.  Last weekend we were blessed with GORGEOUS weather, and I just couldn't bring myself to stay inside with my mixer after 6 months of winter.  So here are my last minute attempt at Easter Bunny cookies.  I actually might like the little carrots even more than the bunnies, they are the perfect size for a small treat, and turned out pretty cute!

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I made some of the bunnies with pink detailing but just for fun I made some all white.  These ones would be good if anyone in the family has food color allergies.

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I probably won't have too many more posts from Pittsburgh until we are situated in Oklahoma.  Leave it to me to start a project then have to immediately take a break from it, but sometimes that is just how life goes. 

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I think these bunnies would look so adorable with the chick cookies I made.  I already gave those ones away, so maybe next Easter I will have the time to make both together. 

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I hope you all have a safe and wonderful Easter!

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Rubber Ducky Shower Cookies

"Rubber ducky, you're the one..."

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My cousin contacted me a couple weeks ago asking if I could bake up some rubber ducky cookies for her friends baby shower.  I have been taking on more and more projects lately, and I am getting ready for a 3 month move to Oklahoma City for my husbands job, so it has been a little crazy, but I love an excuse to make some cookies, so I found some time to squeeze them in. 

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The rain is starting here in Pittsburgh, and the moisture in the air is wreaking havoc on my icing consistency! I am eventually going to have to buy a portable dehumidifier, but right now I just have to do without.  I wanted to pipe some bath bubbles on the bottoms of the cookies for a little extra flair, but my icing was just way too runny.  I tried a couple different times, but I wasn't crazy about how the design was turning out either, so I just let it go. 

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Hopefully the mama-to-be still enjoys them!

Easter Chicks

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I have a few friends that raise chickens.  I love it. I think it is one of the best ways to get eggs that aren't full of hormones and chemicals and that come from chickens that aren't crammed into a pen with about a thousand other chickens.  Maybe one day I'll get some chickens... probably not, but it's a nice thought.  My one friend told me she would be getting baby chicks again this Spring.  I was super excited because the last time she got chicks I just had surgery and didn't get to see them in time.  They grow super fast!  She had to post-pone her chick arrival date since she was going out of town, but before she rescheduled I made a couple chick cookies to bring her!

 

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This is a fun and quick design, good for beginners (like myself).  I have seen it dozens and dozens of times on Pinterest, so I won't even attempt to give credit, but if anyone knows where the original idea came from, let me know so I can link to it :)

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I know blue is usually a robins egg color, but if you get the real deal chick eggs you can get them in all kinds of gorgeous hues, so it works.  Plus, its springy.

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These are great Easter cookies for those of you that don't have real chicks ;) When I get to see the actual baby birds, maybe I'll post some pics on here as well! 

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Irish Car Bomb Brownie Trifles

HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!!!

 

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I wanted to make an Irish themed dessert for the St. Patrick's Day party I was going to this year.  I liked the idea of using Guinness, Jameson & Bailey's.  Car bomb cupcakes are all over Pinterest, but I was looking for something a little different.  I stumbled upon this recipe, and I decided to try it out.

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If you are short on time like I was, this dessert is PERFECT for you! I am not usually a fan of buying boxed cake/brownie mix or using icing that isn't from scratch, but sometimes it is just easier.  With a few extra ingredients you can turn boxed brownies into a rich holiday dessert that looks like you spent hours in the kitchen! I found this recipe from a blogger who had found it from someone else.  It was originally intended to just be car bomb brownies, but she messed up her first batch and instead turned the botched brownies into mini trifles.  I thought the mini trifles were actually way cuter so that is what I went with!  You can find that inspiration HERE.

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For this very simple dessert you will need:

1 box dark chocolate Ghirardelli brownie mix

1 egg

1/2 cup vegetable oil

1/3 cup Guinness

Betty Crocker cream cheese frosting

1 tbsp Jameson

1tbsp Bailey's (I added a little bit more)

green food coloring

 

Prepare the brownies like directions on box say, swiping out the 1/4 cup water for 1/3 cup Guinness.  Bake in the oven at 325. I took mine out at 40 minutes.  Let cool a couple minutes.

In the meantime mix together the cream cheese frosting, Jameson, Bailey's, and green food coloring.

Scoop brownies and icing into mini parfait glasses, alternating between brownies and icing.

YAY! You're done! 

 

Perfect Fun Easy Dessert for the Day! Make sure to wear your green! Enjoy!

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Lipstick Cookies and House of Lashes

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I like make-up. Okay, that is an understatement. I LOVE make-up.  I collect make-up.  Anything pretty and girly I'm all for. When I was engaged, I had my make-up done professionally for the first time. My amazingly wonderful, insanely talented, make-up artist (Miss Lisa Johnson of Kiss and Makeup) is famous for her smokey eye- complete with false lashes.  I had never worn them before her, but after one time I was COMPLETELY hooked.  I don't even mind my actual lashes, but there is something glamorous and dramatic about wearing falsies. After my wedding I had Lisa come and give me lessons on how to apply them, and now I wear them all the time!  While I usually just use Ardell wispies from Target, recently I wanted to try the designer brands (yes, false lashes do come in different qualities) and I opted for some House of Lashes

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If you haven't heard of them, they are totally gorgeous lashes that are raging on Pinterest boards.  I believe the most popular type is Noir Fairy, I ordered a couple of those along with some Pixie Luxe, Tigress and Dollface lashes.  They are a little bit expensive, but I'm hoping very much worth it! I CANNOT wait to try them. When they arrived I decided I wanted to make some make-up cookies to celebrate.  Since I didn't like the idea of making eyelash cookies (they would probably look like centipedes, and those are my least favorite things) I thought some lipstick cookies would be appropriate. 

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Once again I was trying to use some leftover icing, so it never turns out as smooth as I would like, but I can't waste it, the ingredients are too expensive! (If you buy meringue powder you know what I'm talking about!)  I designed my cookies and added some of my sugar pearls to make them extra pretty. 

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I even made a couple eyeshadow compacts to go with them.

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I hope you enjoy this pretty project and try some of your own House of Lashes!

Purple Pansy Cookies

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When it comes to baking I love to try new things.  Lately my cookie decorating obsession is a little out of control.  I have a list about a mile long of cookies that I want to make. I keep ordering more cutters to add to my collection.  I know not everyone has the time to take an entire weekend just to make some decorated cookies, and neither do I.  But that doesn't stop me from trying. So, I have been trying to manage my time a little better, and use up ALL of my dough and icing before making a new batch.  I don't think icing works as well the next day, but since I don't like to waste it, I try to find easy cookie designs so that I can use it up.  After spending an entire day working on cookies that didn't turn out like I had planned, I was a little frustrated.  But still, I had extra icing. So I decided to make some easy pansy cookies.

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I have made these cookies before, I had found a similar design on Pinterest somewhere about a year ago.  I made these ones quickly since I wanted to get them done and use up the left over icing.  I rarely use sanding sugar on my cookies, but since I didn't care about how these ones turned out too much, I decided to try it out.  (I have a lot of sanding sugar that I need to use up as well.)  They aren't perfect, but I don't think people will have a problem eating them! 

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UP House cookie tutorial

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When I'm not making cookies, I'm usually watching an energetic 4 year old and her baby brother.  I have watched my fair share of Disney & Pixar movies. So much that I find myself humming the theme song to Aladdin before whatever it was I was listening to on the radio.  Some of the movies aren't so bad, and a few I even own myself. One of my favorites is Disney Pixar's "UP" -despite the fact that it makes you cry in the first 5 minutes. One day while looking through travel Pinterest boards, I saw that the Disneyland in France had a hot air balloon made to look like the house in the UP movie.  While thinking of how completely awesome it would be to see it, I got the idea of making a cookie of the house using my hot air balloon cookie cutter!

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Some ideas don't quite work out like you want them to, but since I spent all day making these cookies, I'll give you the tutorial anyway ;)

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I started out making a couple hot air balloon cookies. I didn't think it would be necessary to flood the cookies first, but if you do use the balloon cookie cutter, you might want to. I think there ended up being too much extra space on the cookie. It might work out better on a completely different cookie, such as a oval, square or rectangle shape.  I am gonna give that a try next time.

Since I am terrible at drawing and even worse at it once I've started piping, I decided to use food color markers to sketch out the basic shape before using the icing.  I would definitely recommend doing this.

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Once you've sketched it out, prepare some brown, yellow, green, pink & blue pastry bags with small tips.  I used a Wilton #1 tip.   Pipe in your sketched house and let it dry for a couple minutes.

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Using white icing, add a couple lines coming from the chimney. I used a Wilton #0 tip.

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I made a few more colors while the white lines dried: dark blue, orange & red.  I then started dotting the outline of the balloons.  I think doing the outline first makes it a little easier.

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Then fill in with more balloons!  I think if I would have gone all the way up to the top center it might have turned out a little better using the hot air balloon cookie cutter.  Try out some different shapes and see what looks best to you! 

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Spring Meringues & Recipe

We are into March, but it definitely still feels like winter here in Pittsburgh.  I'm over the cold and snow, so I thought I'd bake up some pastel meringues to try and help me forget about the miserable gray outside my window.

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Yay for Spring Colors! Now maybe if we wait two more months, we can actually get some Spring weather!! UGH!

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This is a such a simple recipe and can be easily altered for different flavors.  Here is what you will need:

 

- 4 egg whites

- 1 cup sugar

- 1/4 tsp cream of tartar

- 1/4 tsp salt

- food coloring (I use americolor )

- any additional extracts or flavoring

 

Preheat your oven to 225 degrees

 

Separate 4 egg whites and add to your mixing bowl.

Add 1/4 tsp cream of tartar.

Add 1/4 tsp salt.

If you wish to flavor your meringues you will need either 1/8 tsp extract or about 2-3 drops of flavoring.  If you are using flavor oils such as LorAnn Oils, stick to just eyedropper sized droplets or the flavoring will overpower your meringues!!! I have made this mistake in the past.  The LorAnn oils are much stronger than regular extracts.   It is not necessary to flavor them, I actually think I like the way they taste better by themselves, but sometimes it's fun to mix it up.

Mix your egg whites, cream of tartar, salt, and any flavoring until mix is frothy.

Slowly add in 1 cup of sugar until mixture has formed soft peaks.

Add your food coloring and mix. 

Line cookie trays with parchment paper so the meringues won't stick.

I used a pastry bag and a 1M tip to pipe a design, but if you don't have pastry bags and tips, just cut the corner off of a plastic ziplock bag, fill with mixture, and squeeze out tablespoon sized meringues.

Bake in oven at 225 for 2 hours

 

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Ta-da! So easy! Hope you enjoy them!

Sparkly Shamrocks and Gingham St. Patrick's Day Cookies

Everyone loves an Irish Girl, and I've found that they will love you even more if you bring cookies to their St. Patrick's Day Party.

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I made a couple of these sparkly shamrocks last year when I was first learning how to flood cookies. (Not bad for my second try, right?)

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I knew this year I needed to make some more shamrocks, but I wanted to take it to the next level, so I browsed Pinterest for some ideas.  I found this design and it was a done deal.

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The second I saw these babies I knew they were on my to-do list. I have never been a big gingham fan, but I love Love LOVE this shamrock design by Cake Central. She has a great tutorial on her site which you can find HERE

 

I think they turned out pretty cute, What do you think?

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Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!

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