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Showing posts from April, 2016

How to Package and Ship Decorated Sugar Cookies

Shipping fragile sugar cookies that are decorated with royal icing require special care.  These types of cookies get baked on a monthly basis at my home, and more often than not, they are shipped throughout the United States to friends, family and clients.  I try my best to ensure that the treats arrive in one piece because it would be a waste of my time, material, expertise and money if I were to be neglectful in their packaging. What I've learned throughout the years of mailing out hundreds upon hundreds of cookies is that you must have a sturdy box, lots of packing peanuts, small-bubble bubble wrap and perhaps some cardboard cut outs to use for layering. Moreover, the sugar cookies themselves must be rolled out to a thickness of a solid 1/4" to give them the firmness required for shipping.  Anything thinner will have a greater chance of breaking into small pieces or snapping in half. Learn from these tips so that your works of edible art arrive at their destin

Garden Party Sugar Cookies

Bright, colorful sugar cookies inspired by the garden take on such a charming appeal when you make several shapes.  Last year I made a set of cookies for a dear friend who is an avid gardener , and this year, I was asked to recreate the shapes using a variety of cheerful colors.  With flowers, ladybugs, watering cans and garden sheds, you can easily plan an outdoor party or an open house, and have decorated sugar cookies for guests. This particular set of cookies were cut out with a variety of cookie cutters from my collection.  The flowers and watering can were part of a set from Macy's under the Martha Stewart Collection brand, the ladybug was from the Martha by Mail Beautiful Bug Cookie Cutters Set , and the garden shed is the Birdhouse Cookie Cutter by Coppergifts .  With a range of colors of royal icing, the cookie designs can be iced with a minimum of effort. Chances are that you've encountered a ladybug or two, or more, while out in the garden.  These be

'The Little Red Hen' Sugar Cookies

'The Little Red Hen' is a familiar children's book published by Little Golden Books, and many kindergarteners are taught the virtue of work ethic through its story line.  Told from the perspective of the little red hen and her barnyard friends, the book is a classic and a favorite with kids. I was recently asked to make a set of cookies for a classroom that was putting on a production of 'The Little Red Hen'.  The cookies were given out as a reward to every single child that participated in this stage performance.  Let me assure you, they were a hit! Keeping the sugar cookies to two shapes and only five colors, I baked and iced chickens as well as pigs for the children.   Do you remember this book from childhood?   I cut out large pigs using a  cookie cutter from Copper Gifts   and used a rooster cookie cutter that I got from my friend, Janet .  She told me that she discovered this little rooster at a specialty kitchenwares store in Carmel, Cali

How to Assemble an Antipasto Platter

A quick and easy solution to serving a crowd when entertaining is to make an antipasto platter.  Having a variety of store bought cured meats, cheeses, olives, peppers, among other items, leaves the host extra time to focus on the details of the day. Assembling these savory ingredients can be as simple as setting out a few bowls and plates of them, but if you want to create a focal point for a buffet table, get a large platter and arrange the tasty components in a colorful way. Make sure to have plenty of everything so that you make the platter look full, abundant and very enticing. Determining what you put out for individuals is all based on your preferences, and many regions in Italy have specialty items that are a must for antipasto. Whatever ingredient combination you decide on, do purchase your ingredients from a reputable food purveyor that sees high volume sales. Luckily for me, I have Di Bruno Brothers here in the Philadelphia region that I rely on for cured meats, chee

'Silver Point' Sauvignon Blanc, East Coast, New Zealand 2014

Silver Point’s 2014 Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand hits all the right notes for this type of varietal.  Bright apricot and small hints of passion fruit and nectarine make this light wine such a pleasure to drink when the weather gets warm.  Use it as a base for a delicious white sangria or enjoy a glass with your favorite seafood such as crab, shrimp, mussels or scallops.  Sauvignon blancs are a favorite at my house and this one from Silver Point, will undoubtedly become a favorite with you.   Enjoy!