Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2014

Happy Halloween!

I want to wish everyone a safe and Happy Halloween.   Remember to be mindful of others, including your pets, when going out trick-or-treating or when handing out candy at home.   Below is a list of safety tips courtesy of the ASPCA website for your four-legged family members. No tricks, no treats : That bowl of candy is for trick-or-treaters, not for Scruffy and Fluffy. Chocolate in all forms—especially dark or baking chocolate—can be very dangerous for dogs and cats. Candies containing the artificial sweetener xylitol can also cause problems. If you do suspect your pet has ingested something toxic, please call your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center at (888) 426-4435. Popular Halloween plants such as pumpkins and decorative corn are considered to be relatively nontoxic, but they can produce stomach upset in pets who nibble on them. Wires and cords from electric lights and other decorations should be kept out of reach of your pets. If chew

Can I Freeze Royal Icing?

This is a question I get asked quite a bit here on the blog and, much to my embarrassment, it is one that I had no answer for until I tested it myself.  It's baking season now and many people want to get into the kitchen to ice those marvelous cookies for friends and family.  I'm right there with you. Those of us who ice cookies on a regular basis inevitably end up with leftover royal icing and I'll admit that in the past I used to dump what was left (big guilt trip, believe me!).  Well, I no longer do that because I freeze what I do have left after one of my baking projects. It's simple, it's easy and it works! Unless one is icing hundreds of cookies, you may end up with leftover royal icing after making a couple of dozen cookies.  Most royal icing recipes (including my own) make a substantial amount to begin with.  I think it's good to have more icing than is needed, because there are always moments when you want to add a little flourish her

Simple Halloween Cookies

Look no further if you want to bake simple cookies for Halloween that will appeal to everyone.  Cookie baking & decorating doesn't get any easier than this.  At the baking demo I had at Williams-Sonoma just a few weeks ago, I decided to try a new approach to my cookie decorating for this spooky holiday .  It didn’t fail to catch the attention of the customers & sales associates that particular day as I was rolling out dough and cutting out cookies in Halloween shapes.  I noticed that many individuals left with the feeling of having learned something new that was easily approachable & doable. Yes, I still use some royal icing for these rolled out sugar cookies, but I make a minimum of commotion with it in order to spend less time in the kitchen.  The best thing to do is to make a superb sugar cookie dough that is easy to make, handle & bake.  Nothing is more frustrating than cutting out cookies and baking them, only to find out that they’ve lost their shapes

My Home in Autumn

It’s that time of year again when the leaves of our trees begin to change color.  No matter how often I see the same trees, along the same driveway near the house, I still manage to gasp when I behold all of the splendor of our deciduous trees at the right moment.  To me it almost seems like magic when we make our way up the curving, sloped driveway onto the road, because it is along this stretch that I first begin to take in what nature does during the Fall.   With our weather being rather balmy from week to week, peppered with thick clouds and the occasional rainstorm, it’s been difficult to capture good photographs of the property.  Thankfully, I did go out for a walk on a day in which the sun was poking through the clouds.  Although I was under the weather during this excursion, I feel as if it did me a world of good to be out and about.   I’m not sure if you have particular favorites when it comes to trees, but whether they’re sycamores, walnuts, beeches, maples, dogwoo

Halloween Cookies

Spooky, scary and hair-raising  Halloween Cookies make good treats to hand out at parties this time of year.  With so many great cookie cutters to chose from shaped like tombstones, skulls, scaredy cats, witches, witch's hats, pumpkins, Frankensteins and more, all one needs is a bit of spine-tingling creativity to bewitch guests this Halloween.  Let the partygoers wonder how on earth your ghostly creations came about as they nibble on a plump pumpkin cookie covered in orange & black nonpareils or when they take a bite out of a spider-infested tombstone.   Make a few of these if your Halloween party is small, but ice dozens of them if your gathering is meant for a crowd.  Nothing could be easier than flooding delicious sugar cookies in your favorite October colors and then embellishing each treat with an array of candies.  Halloween Cookies are meant to be as eye catching as any great costume.  You can get very creative with these.   After you bake the required nu

Sugar and Spice Cookies

Sugar and spice cookies are just the thing for Fall.  If you crave an iced cookie with a bit of spice, but don't feel like gingerbread before December, then this recipe is the way to go.  Think of it as a perked up version of my delicious sugar cookie recipe that so many of you already like.  Dough that comes together quickly, rolls out nicely and bakes into beautifully-shaped cookies, are just some of the virtues of this cookie recipe.  Last, but not least, are the texture and flavor of the baked treat; not too sweet and never unbearably hard & crisp. For the months of September, October & November, we all want to fill our home with the aromas of spices such as cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and nutmeg, among others.  In the right proportions when mixed into a stellar dough, the baked cookie can stand on its own, get sprinkled with cinnamon sugar or it can be brightened with a good royal icing. Take out those cookie cutters you've been meaning to use all year lo

October Demo at Williams Sonoma

My October baking & decorating demo at Williams-Sonoma will cover Halloween cookies & cupcakes using recipes that I've developed here on Good Things by David.  The two hour demonstration will introduce you to simple, tasty treats that are appropriate for this time of year.  Cookies in the shapes of pumpkins, tombstones, bats & cats, plus red velvet cupcakes in the shapes of menacing skulls will undoubtedly get devoured by all. The event takes place on Sunday, October 12th, beginning at 1pm.  Stop by to say hello and learn how to create irresistibly spooky cookies & cupcakes.  It's going to be fun! Address:  42 St. Georges Rd., Ardmore, PA 19003 Phone: (610) 642-5009    D a v i d

Fall Leaf Cookies

My favorite time of year gives us the most colorful leaves imaginable.  With a large number of deciduous trees surrounding our home, I'm fortunate to witness their beautiful transformation every single year.  It was only natural for me to try and capture those colors & shapes in the form of cookies for some of my family members on the west coast.  Using my trusted sugar & chocolate cookie  recipes,  I then set out to mix some seasonal colors into a double batch of my  perfect royal icing recipe.     Now that the Fall season is here, try making a batch of fall leaves for your loved ones.  All you need is a set of leaf cookie cutters and my tried & true recipes ( links provided above ).  Unless I have a special commission from a client or a friend, I usually go with what I feel like creating at the time.  Over the years of making countless cookies, I have usually stuck with a 'less is more' approach to icing my creations.  These types of cookies are equ