Sunday, December 22, 2013

Holiday Cookies

It's always a pleasure to bake and ice cookies during the holidays, because it allows us to express our creativity using our best and favorite cookie cutters.  This time-honored tradition is beloved by so many of us this time of year and I think you will agree, that the moment our loved ones near & far behold these edible creations, it makes all of that hard work worth it.


The cookie cutters you use to create holiday cookies need not be priceless heirlooms, for just about any cutter can make exquisite cookies in festive shapes.  Some of my friends have been sharing images of their cookies with me and I have to say that I’m thrilled with everyone’s  artistry.  It’s amazing what a little icing and some sugar can do to a cookie!
  
Here at home, once my dozens of cookies have baked and cooled, I tint royal icing in batches, thinning out for flooding as I go.  Once I have gathered the icings, sugars, sprinkles and other edible decorations, then it's time to express a bit of artistry, creativity and skill.  For me, this is when the fun begins.


If you want to see what I’ve done this year, please go through these photographs of the edible creations I’m sharing with my loved ones and apply an idea or two to your cookie decorating.  This is the type of project you will want to undertake once you’ve finished wrapping the last gift and tucked it under the Christmas tree.  There is still plenty of time to bake and ice a batch of cookies! 


This set of winter cookies is done in a simple white and aqua theme.  Each cookie was embellished with either sanding sugar and/or edible candies.  

The stocking is as easy as can be.  Outline and flood the cuff of the boot in pale aqua and evenly place snowflake candies along the middle.  Outline and flood the boot in white royal icing and while still wet, pipe aqua dots down the middle.  Carefully place pearl candies over each dot.  Let everything dry completely.

Outline and flood the candy cane in pale aqua and place snowflake candies down the pole.  While still wet, flock the entire cookie in clear sanding sugar.  Let dry. 

Each snowflake is unique.  Outline and flood a snowflake cookie in aqua royal icing and place snowflake & pearl candies in a symmetrical pattern.  Let dry.  

For the winter evergreen, outline and flood the cookie in pale aqua royal icing and haphazardly place pearl candies throughout the cookie to mimic ornaments.  Outline and flood the trunk of the tree in white royal icing.


The adorable Beehive Cookie Cutter that I designed for Heritage Home was used to make Winter Hives.  It seems as if the bees were busy decorating their hive this year, doesn't it?  The outside of the hive was outlined and flooded with aqua royal icing and was flocked with fine sanding sugar to make it appear frosty.  The bees then piped dots of royal icing in a large circle and placed holly leaf and holly berry candies to make a wreath. 

A brighter palette of colors was used to create this batch of cookies.

About a week ago, I made small snowmen for various individuals which were adored by those who got them.  This larger version was made in the same style.  I outlined and flooded the hat in black royal icing and placed two holly candies and two berry candies for a bit of flair.  The snowman was then outlined and flooded in white royal icing; while wet, I placed an orange jimmy for a nose.  This was left to dry completely.  Black dots for eyes and a smiling mouth were piped over the dry base.  Red royal icing was used to outline and fill a beautiful scarf which was embellished with snowflake candies and red jimmies to mimic a "fringe".  The body was then given green buttons with pearl candies.

The Christmas tree was a simple green royal icing with pearl candies.  The candy cane on top was outlined and filled with white royal icing and was then flocked with green sanding sugar.  Red royal icing lines were piped on an angle and green dots were placed between each space.  This was then left to dry.

The bottom candy cane was iced in red royal icing and while still wet, I placed holly leaf candies in a downward pattern and then added white pearl candies.

Here is another version of that adorable snowman and another version of a candy cane and Christmas tree cookie.  Simple, yet utterly of the season.

These cookies were pure whimsy!  I couldn't help adding more bees & hives to my holiday gift giving.  


Who says there can't be a holiday Bee & Hive?  This particular beehive was iced in a forest green royal icing and was then flocked with fine sanding sugar.  A giant wreath was placed in the middle.  To make the wreath, pipe two thick circles of royal icing in either red or green and then cover it entirely with green & red pearl candies.  

The adorable "Hollyday Bees" are as simple as can be.  Pipe a small red body and immediately place two holly leaves for wings.  For eyes, drop two tiny white nonpareils.  I guarantee you will have people buzzing after these cookies.  

Growing up, mom always used to hang our holiday stockings by the tree. We had red and white ones, but we also had a set of handcrafted ones that were given to us one year.  I tried to reinvent those stockings with these cookies.

Outline and flood the cuffs and boots in different colors and then either drop snowflake candies or white pearl candies in a nice pattern.  You can also add dots of alternating color to the cuff and boot (while still wet) and then drag a toothpick to make a bleeding hearts pattern.  

Something tells me that my little ones are going to love the various wintery shapes and festive colors of the cookies.   



Whether your decorated holiday cookies are meant 
to be part of a dessert table or gifts to be delivered, 
make sure to leave a couple of them on a tray
 or plate for Santa.

Happy Baking

8 comments:

Kenn said...

After baking dozens of cookies so far.. I'm not inspired to do more! I think I'll be decorating up until Christmas! xo

David P. said...

Oh my! Well, I know how it is. Keep lots of coffee nearby!

Jojo said...

So beautiful David, so perfect. Your cookie making abilities are something we call all aspire to, thank you so much. Merry Christmas!

David P. said...

Jojo,

Coming from you, that means a lot! Thank you. A Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Amy at love made my home said...

Beautiful David. I hope that you and yours have a very Happy Christmas. xx

David P. said...

Merry Christmas to you, Amy!!

Kenn said...

OMG! I just read my earlier comment.. LOL I meant to say, I AM inspired to do more.. I made another batch of dough today! Geesh! Love the green.. is this a custom mix?

David P. said...

Haha, Kenn! You're too funny. :)

The green (or aqua) is really a light application of 'willow green'. Use it sparingly. If you don't have that color, custom mix of some yellow & blue.

Enjoy!