Saturday, July 28, 2012

Eagle Scout Cookies

A friend asked me if I could make some cookies for a scout.  "Of course," I said.  Suddenly I was a kid again, recalling my many years as a Girl Scout.  I loved everything about scouting--friendships, badges, camping, trips to great places in and around the Chicago area, and cookie mints!!!!  I was excited to try to transform these memories into cookies.

As I ended my walk down memory lane and refocused on the conversation, it became clear that she wanted cookies for a young man who was becoming an Eagle Scout.   I know nothing about Boy Scouts except for their membership practices that do not fit with my own philosophical views.  So, what to do? I seriously struggled with making this cookie collection.  I never thought that decorating cookies could become an ethical dilemma.

After much soul searching, I realized that I respect the hard work and dedication of the young men who choose to become Eagle Scouts.  In addition, I believe that each of these scouts must learn, grow and ultimately make their own decisions.  So, I moved forward to make the cookies and wanted to make a collection that celebrated his achievement.  Since he built a bridge as part of his Eagle Scout project, I wanted to incorporate that design in the collection.  I am not an artist, but I was happy with how the cookie turned out.  I also included a cookie based on the design of the Eagle Scout medal and "message" cookies from the Boy Scout laws.  Trustworthy is probably the longest word I have tried to pipe on a cookie.




Upon completion of this collection, I realized that I will continue to hope that someday all boys will have the opportunity to be a Boy Scout if they choose to do so.  Perhaps in the future, I can include a message cookie for a future scout with the word "tolerance."


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Mary Grace's Sweet Shop-Happy 7th Birthday


My great-niece, Mary Grace, and her Mom have planned some amazing birthday parties.

Although they are residents of Chicago, her early parties have had an animal theme.  For her 5th birthday, Mary Grace asked to have the party at her Grandparent's house so she could have turtle races with Grandpa's turtles, however, no animals were injured at the party :)  Plastic wind up turtles were used for the races and Grandpa's real turtles were just available for viewing.





Last year, for her 6th birthday, she wanted a real pig at her party. Her Mom networked with friends  and managed to find a Chicagoan who had a pet pig, Wilbur, who made a guest appearance at the party.













 This year, the colors remained the same for her party, but no animals were involved.  Instead, she opted for Mary Grace's Sweet Shop.  Since I did not have a gumball machine cookie cutter, I pieced these cookies together using a circle and a tombstone from my Halloween collection.  That cutter is turning out to be quite versatile, I've also used it to make a bird cage.




Mary Grace loves to cook so Grandma Rita made her a chef's hat and apron for her birthday.  Perhaps she will join me in cookie decorating in the future.  Happy Birthday to a very, special girl.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Christmas in July

A Reindeer in July?  WHY?

. . .because he is also a Giraffe!  This will make sense, if you read the entire post.



Several years ago a few pictures of an unusual reindeer started to appear on FLICKR and I decided I really wanted that cookie cutter.  After searching all of my favorite cookie cutter sources and not finding this guy, I searched Google images and discovered the cutter in Australia. Alas, international shipping was not available.   Disappointed but not deterred, I was on a mission to add this cookie cutter to my collection.

I have a niece who travels to Australia periodically on business, so I asked her if she had any contacts in Australia who would be willing to let me order cookie cutters that would be shipped to their home and then ship them to the United States.  It worked and I ordered 2 cutters one for myself and one for my dear friend, Donna (http://carrollscookies.blogspot.com/), who shares my passion for cookie decorating.

Shortly after I received this package, I read about Spring Fling in Kentucky.  To my knowledge, this was the first convention of its kind for cookie decorators.  Donna and I thought it would be nice to bring a gift for May and Kay (http://www.cookietwoshoes.com/), the two amazing women who organized this gathering, as well as the wonderful group of instructors who would be teaching us throughout the event.

What gift do you give to cookie decorators?  A cutter?  These women probably have 100s, if not 1,000s of cutters. . .but one from Australia?  Could I possibly figure out a way to order these again?  Once again I relied on my family to help me with my crazy, cookie hobby.  Another niece had a friend who was traveling to Australia to attend a wedding.   She agreed to pick up the cutters, carry them back with her to Seattle and mail them to Chicago.  As a result this cute, little Aussie is now residing in several homes in the USA!

So why is he a Giraffe?  . . .because of the creativity of SweetSugarBelle, of course!  She has the incredible ability to look at a cookie cutter and see something, the rest of us do not see.  Click on this link to see how the cute, little reindeer can be transformed into a giraffe:
http://www.sweetsugarbelle.com/2012/07/how-to-make-giraffe-print-cookies/

Click on the link below to read more about Spring Fling:
http://carrollscookies.blogspot.com/2012/04/spring-fling-2012-its-all-about-shoes.html

Saturday, July 7, 2012

New Beginnings --To Infinity and Beyond

What to do on a lazy, summer day when the temperature is so hot that I'm avoiding going outdoors? Why not start a blog? I've thought about blogging in the past, so I've decided to give it a try.

My most recent creation was my first attempt at "character" cookies. I've always said that I would not do character cookies, but when a little guy, with big blue eyes loves everything about Buzz Lightyear, how can I refuse? My great nephew, Elliot, celebrated his 2nd birthday in June and his Mom asked me to make Buzz cookies for him. "Oh no", I thought, how will I ever make those eyes????? "Of course, I'll make them," I said, and started planning.



The first thing I decided was to make RI transfers for the eyes. I made lots and lots so that I could practice the technique and have a large selection to choose from for the actual cookies. I then made a template for the body, outlined it with a food color marker and completed the cookie with royal icing.
I was happy with the cookies, but they were very time consuming. 
Happy Birthday to my little buddy, Elliot.  I love you to infinity and beyond.
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