Monday, December 10, 2012

Martha by Mail ~ Evergreen Tree Cookie Cutters

Bake a wonderful quintet of evergreen trees for gift giving this winter using a set of collectible cookie cutters from Martha by Mail.  Created by one of this country's most talented coppersmiths, in conjunction with the designers from Martha Stewart Living, is a set of solid copper cookie cutters that many of us collectors cherish; keep an eye out for them when they come up for auction.  

It's so nice being able to bake such shapely cookies from spicy gingerbread cookie dough or sweet sugar cookie dough this time of year, and then decorate them in fun colors that evoke the spirit and merriment of the season.  Let your artistic creativity dictate if you want these evergreens to look representational or if you want them to be one-of-a-kind creations that are unlike anything found in nature.  A diamond-patterned arborvitae decorated with sugary spheres or a noble fir tree with its swooping boughs flocked in sanding sugar will make a superb addition to any cookie tray this holiday.  How about making a set of edible hemlocks as ornaments to decorate your tree and then letting the little ones hand pick their favorites to take home?

When the winter landscape is devoid of most color and it is bitterly cold outside, one can always count on beautiful evergreens to get us through the season with their verdant tones.  Add a bit of cheer to your holiday season with a batch of evergreen cookies and then decide whether you want to hand them out as gifts or whether you want to use them as decorations for an indoor evergreen.  Either way, these delicious edibles are surely going to spruce up the season this year for you and your loved ones.  Cherish the cutters for many years to come!

Decorating cookie trees can be just as enjoyable as adorning a real holiday tree - with tasty results.  Use these handcrafted copper cutters to create cookies to serve at a tree-trimming party or as a holiday dessert.  Or tuck decorated cookies into cellophane bags and give them as gifts.  Our set features five tree shapes, including juniper, arborvitae, spruce, hemlock and fir.



Decorating Techniques
We decorated these cookies using Martha's royal icing in white, green, brown, red, and purple; egg wash; and sanding sugar.  We also used pastry bags fit with small round tips and a pastry brush. 

Note: raw eggs should not be used in food prepared for pregnant women, babies, young children or anyone whose health is compromised;  if you wish, make a thin paste out of meringue powder and water instead of using an egg wash.

Juniper
  • This well-manicured tree might have been plucked form the garden of a colonial gingerbread house.  Pipe five evenly spaced lines of white icing diagonally across the cookie; pipe five more lines perpendicular to the first for a crisscross design; outline the cookie.  Working quickly, add green icing dots, and flock the cookie with sanding sugar.  Allow to dry, then tap off excess sugar.
Arborvitae
  • Colorful dots liven up this "tree of life".  First outline and flood the cookie with green icing, and allow the icing to dry completely.  Use brown icing to make protruding dots over the surface: Hold the pastry bag vertically above the cookie, and keep the tip in one place as you add icing until the dot pops upward.  Wile the brown icing is still wet, pipe a small white dot on top of each brown dot, then add a tiny purple dot over each white dot.  Add a few randomly placed dots of green icing over the surface, and allow the cookie to dry.
Spruce
  • A dusting of sugar spruces up any cookie.  Here we used paste-green sanding sugar.  First, use a pastry brush to spread egg was over the branches, and immediately flock with green sanding sugar.  Allow the cookie to dry, then tap off excess sugar.  Next, outline and flood the trunk with brown icing, and flock with sanding sugar.  Allow to dry, then tap off excess sugar.
Hemlock
  • White icing gives this tree a snowy coat.  Outline and flood the cookie with white icing, and allow it to dry completely.  Next, outline the branches with green icing, adding decorative swirls to delineate the boughs, and immediately flock green icing with sanding sugar.  Allow cookie to dry, and tap off excess sugar.
Fir

  • Add an icing bauble to every branch.  Pipe large protruding dots of white icing on the surface of the cookie, and flock them with sanding sugar; allow to dry, then tap off excess sugar.  Add tiny dots of red icing, and allow to dry.


2 comments:

  1. Oh, my! How long I've wished to own this set! Thank you for featuring it here at your blog - you have no idea how much we could just run out and purchase a set without the madness of what's going on out on e-Bay these days. Martha needs to bring back her cookie cutter collection (and I'm not talking the Macy*s knock-offs!)

    Happy Baking, my friend!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I know, ebay is hit or miss when it comes to MBM. Some prices just don't reflect what the market is willing to pay for such items. If ONLY(!) Martha by Mail would return, but it's just not going to happen.

    Happy Baking to you Janet!

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