Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Time for Cookies?

I can not believe over a month has gone by since I've actually written something here - I feel TERRIBLE that I abandoned my blog for the month of October but, in my defense, I have a pretty good excuse, or perhaps 'excuses' and hopefully the handful of folks who actually check in here from time to time will forgive me, see, I've been a little busy.

For starters there's the cookies.  While I may have shirked my blogging duties, I can assure you that on the cookie front it's been full steam ahead - I'll get the cookie list on the right updated (if I can remember them all - I may have to do some fact checking on some of those!) - but here's a few shots of some of my other 'cookie projects' I did on the side the past several weeks:

First there were about a hundred decorated hearts for an engagement party - I found myself wishing 'Cristina' had a much shorter name, but I was just getting warmed up!

Because then I had the privilege of doing cookies for a family wedding - Betsy Donner & Mike Carubba.  Luckily for me they came with their own 'MBC logo' and had a very elegant black and white theme (perhaps not as flashy and colorful as the Luau cookies I did for Betsy's shower but so much easier!).  These cookies were so fun to decorate and I was so happy to do them and even happier to be able to attend and celebrate their day with family and friends (working on pictures from the wedding, of people, not just cookies :) And by the way, they had the greatest wedding band ever!

I'll confess that I stole the 'betsy loves mike' cookie idea from another website, but they are definitely one of my favorites!

OK, so let's see, that takes care of the engagements and weddings for now, but remember too that October was Breast Cancer Awareness month, so along with that I did 125 pink ribbon cookies for an event for Gilda's Club - I actually colored the sugar myself  - not only was it SO hard to find a magic marker with edible ink, but you should've seen my fingers after I got finished coloring all those grains of sugar!!  And if you believe that one?  ... but I did color it myself and thought these came out great ... the odd shape made for  a challenge when rolling, cutting out and baking these cookies (don't forget I do that too - not just decorate!) .. but I thought they really looked nice once they were all finished

What else?  Oh yeah, October also had Halloween!  So I did several dozen decorated Pumpkins, Ghosts & Candy Corn cookies - because those were the easiest and least likely to discolor peoples tongues with the gobs of black frosting that would've been a part of the black cats and bats.  But here's the thing on those cookies - I don't have any pictures because I was kind of in a hurry when I did them - why you ask?  This is the other part of my excuse. I was traveling in Ireland with my nephew Kyle & niece Katie (they're cousins) for the last 10 days of October ... and yes it was a blast!  Here we are having our first of many, many pints.

But being the stubborn cookie project person that I am, I hadn't missed a week of cookies for Gilda's Club yet this year and I wasn't about to break the string - so the I did all the decorated Halloween cookies, along with some Chewy, Chunky Blondies from Dorie Greenspan's Baking cookbook, before I left and froze them for the week I was gone - phew, the streak is still alive! (although I have to confess that Ronald McDonald House didn't get any cookies that week - but I made up for it by doubling up the week I got I back.)

So my trip was done and I jumped right back in to the cookie project cookies long before I lost the jet lag. With things winding down with my running group, Team LUNA Chix (which, by they way also got their share of cookies in October at our wrap up party, and they were all light - Cocoa Fudge Cookies, Lemon Coconut Meringues & Oatmeal, White Chocolate & Blueberry cookies - one of my favorite cookie project finds! - Oh, did I forget to mention Team LUNA Chix and our weekly runs? and the season ending party we had in October? and the LUNAFEST Film Festival I helped put on last week?  See, I told ya I've been busy!) and my schedule was such that I was hoping for a bit of a break before the crunch of the Christmas cookie season descended.  But that notion was long forgotten when I foolishly, uh, I mean GLADLY agreed to do 200+ decorated VNA 125th Anniversary logo cookies for our 'gala' just 5 days after I returned from Ireland... seriously, WHAT was I thinking?  A few dozen? Sure! No problem, they'd probably even be fun. But TWENTY dozen?  Yikes! Can you say 'carpal tunnel syndrome.'
At least I was smart enough to get them all baked before I left - and I do love the sugar cutout cookie dough recipe I've been using - they really are a deliciously, light tasting cookie and they not only freeze well, but also hold up well to frosting (at least when it's not 85 degrees & 90 % humidity!) and still taste fresh a week or two after baking.  So this is the last of my side projects for awhile - the decorated cookies along with a Mary Lou original "Cookie Logo Mosaic."  (ok, yes I also stole that idea - well, kind of from the Zilly Cakes Cupcake Obama display, but still this is different so I'm gonna steal the credit for doing it in cookie tiles ... so fun to do ... can't wait to try some other logos & designs.

Ok, now I'm done - hopefully it won't be another month before I post again here - but with the holidays looming, I can't make any promises - just rest easy in knowing, blog or no blog, there will always be cookies!


  1. Lou,
    I know you were busy, But two months and no blog... Slacker! I was hoping to see the Betsy & Mike cookies while the Paynes were visiting, but the blog was a no show. Hope you will recover from your Irish Stews & Brews, and get back to your normal, hectic, schedule.
    Talk Soon,


  2. Nice idea of the cookie mosaic spread! Creativity makes you tired, doesn't it? Love, Kim

  3. Beautiful cookies, do you use the Betty Crocker cutout (Merry Christmas Cookies) Light and Dark dough recipe for all your cutout cookies?

  4. Hey Deb!
    Hopefully I'll be seeing you soon - but FYI - for all the decorated cookies here I used the "Christmas Cutouts" recipe - originally from Bon Appetit - the link is on the side (week 13)...It's really good, crisp, light tasting sugar cookie made with a little sour cream (the "Holiday Sugar" cookie recipe that same week is just as good, but has a little nutmeg in it and I know not everyone loves that, so I don't use that recipe as much) These recipes bake up crisp (but soften a bit with the icing) and hold the shape of the cookie cutter better for all that fancy decorating!

    But truth be told the Merry Christmas Cookie Light Dough (made with Vanilla instead of lemon) is still the definition of Christmas Cookie to me - the BEST! But when I do make those these days it's either with butter or Organic, trans fat free shortening (I try not to use shortening at all any more - see the 'Got Oreo's' post in April)

    The Merry Christmas cookies pretty much require some version of butter cream but the crisper cutouts can use royal icing or decorator icing made with simple syrup...

    Back to baking! :)