Thursday, September 27, 2018

Yellowware Bowl Sugar Cookies

It's no secret that I love yellowware mixing bowls and that I collect them whenever I find any in good condition.  They are used in my home throughout the year as decoration, for holding fruits and vegetables on the counter, and for blog posts whenever I have the chance to showcase them.  During the Fall season though, they are used a lot more than at other times because of their beautiful earth tones.

Yellowware bowls in the form of cookies though?  Absolutely!

I had been wanting to make sugar cookies in the shape of mixing bowls, and as much as I searched online for cookie sources and inspiration, I couldn't find any!  How is it that no one has iced and decorated mixing bowl sugar cookies?

It doesn't help that there really aren't any cookie cutters on the market suitable for cutting out forms that resemble big mixing bowls from yesteryear (Help @coppergifts!!!).

Suffice it to say that I had the perfect temporary solution.  Using a vintage Martha by Mail cookie cutter meant to create teacups, I cut out and fashioned big mixing bowls for this project.

Let me show you how I made my yellowware bowl sugar cookies.

This teacup shape is from the Teacup and Wedding Cake cookie cutter set that was once sold through Martha by Mail.  The giant copper cookie cutter had that beautiful footed base and wonderful bowl shape that I was looking for, and the only thing getting in the way of what I wanted was the handle.

After rolling out the perfect sugar cookie dough, I began to cut out my shapes.  The handles were then sliced off with a sharp paring knife (above).

At this point the teacups resembled cafe au lait bowls (another great idea for royal icing cookies!), so I had to further enhance their shape.  Using the same paring knife, I sliced and sculpted the rolled rim that is very prominent on yellowware bowls, and then I went down the sides, slicing off the rest of the bowl shape as shown above.

The cookies were then baked and cooled.

To get that rich "yellowware color", I used Americolor egg-yellow, along with a hint of Americolor copper, and Americolor brown, to tint a large batch of royal icing.  There is no one true color of yellowware, for these antique pieces all have different shades.  That's one of the aspects that makes them so beautiful and collectible.

With a #4 plain piping tip, outline and flood the rolled rim and the footed base of each cookie, and allow to set for at least one hour.  This is what will give these two areas of the cookie some dimension.  Using the same royal icing, outline and flood the body of the bowls.  Let dry completely.

For this entire set of cookies, I then used royal icings in white, dark red (add a few drops of black to red food coloring) and chocolate brown.

Using #2 and #3 piping tips, I began to pipe stripes of colors the way potters added slips of clay to yellowware bowls at the end of the 19th century.  Again, I used my own collection of yellowware bowls for ideas.  However, you can always do an online search for your favorite yellowware bowl designs.

Whatever you decide on, let the colors set and dry completely before putting the finishing touches on them.

Yellowware bowl cookies on a wirework tray.

Using a pearl shade luster dust in gold and a very fine paint brush (reserve paint brushes for cookie decorating), gently apply and brush the decorating dust along the bottom of the rolled rim.  Add it so that you give the rolled edge some contour.  Do the same for the footed base, however, apply it at the top of the foot.  By doing this contouring, you're creating the rolled edge that is unique to antique yellowware bowls. 


My Favorite Yellowware Bowl Cookie

I loved every single one of these cookies, but perhaps my favorite was the red striped bowl with the large band of white.  This bowl was the first piece of yellowware to ever come into my home almost twenty years ago.  I can still remember the day I discovered it at a flea market near my former home in Haddonfield.

Yellowware Mixing Bowl Sugar Cookies

If you're a collector of yellowware or know of someone who is, why not try making them some yellowware bowl sugar cookies as a surprise?   With a set of these set out on nappies or milk pans from the turn of the twentieth century, they will undoubtedly make a great gift for someone special.  

Fall is the perfect time to bring out the yellowware from the cupboards. It's also the perfect time to make a batch of yellowware cookies.  Have fun making them now that I've shown you how!

Monday, September 17, 2018

'The Incredibles' Sugar Cookies

If your kids like the Pixar movies of The Incredibles, then you may want to have a set of 'Incredibles' logo sugar cookies for their next birthday party.  A neighbor of mine asked that I make a set of these cookies for his son's birthday several weeks ago, so that all of the kids in attendance could get one as a party favor.

This set of cookies came together very quickly because the design was straightforward and there were only four colors to work with.  

After cutting out dozens of oval-shaped sugar cookies, I took a smaller oval cookie cutter and traced a slanted oval and a slanted 'i', using a food coloring pen.  With yellow royal icing, I then outlined and flooded the letters, and then added a single dot of white royal icing to the center of the dotted 'i'.  

Working quickly and while the icing was still wet, I then outline and flooded the slanted oval in black royal icing, and then outline and flooded the rest of the oval in a bright-orange royal icing.  These were then left to dry completely.

How easy was this?

Clear cellophane bags and orange ribbons were used to package up the cookies before being delivered to the party.

Easy, tasty and simply incredible, these Incredibles logo sugar cookies are a great treat for any kid's birthday.  Remember them the next time you're planning a party for the little ones, and they happen to be big fans of this particular Pixar franchise.  They're going to be a hit, just like the movie!

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

Have you ever had the pleasure of eating eggs poached in tomato sauce?  It's such a delicious way to cook and serve eggs for a light breakfast, lunch or even a dinner.  Nothing could be easier than cracking a few eggs into a pot of simmering tomato sauce, and then having them poach to perfection.

Since there are only a few ingredients to this dish, it's of the utmost importance to use good, cage-free, free-range eggs, and fresh garden tomatoes, if possible, or canned San Marzano tomatoes.

Many gardens are still bursting with tomatoes, so if you're lucky enough to have a bumper crop I strongly encourage you to make a large pot of marinara sauce.  It's an easy thing to do, and it's such a great way to capture the essence of summer. 

After harvesting several plump Brandywine tomatoes a couple of weeks ago (above), I wasted no time in making a most delicious marinara sauce. 

The first order of business is to skin the tomatoes.  Fill a pot halfway with water and bring it up to a boil.  Score an X on the bottoms of the tomatoes (I made marinara sauce with about 8 lbs. of fresh Brandywine tomatoes).  In the meantime, fill a large bowl halfway with water and add plenty of ice; set this on the counter next to the pot.  As soon as the pot is boiling, plunge 2-3 tomatoes at a time (depending on size) and leave them for about 30 seconds in the boiling water.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to the ice water to stop the cooking.  Continue with all of your tomatoes.  Peel your tomatoes and cut into segments.

Marinara Sauce
  • 8 lbs. peeled, chopped tomatoes (or two 28 oz. cans of San Marzano tomatoes)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, finely minced
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 bunch fresh basil or Greek oregano
  • salt and pepper
  1. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat and add the onion.  Saute until translucent and then add the garlic.  Let the garlic cook and sizzle for about 1-2 minutes, add a few pinches of salt and pepper, then add the tomatoes.
  2. Bring the tomatoes to a simmer over medium-high heat.  Using a large wooden spoon, stir the tomatoes a bit and then cover.  Add the bunch of herbs (either basil or Greek oregano makes a delicious marinara sauce).
  3. Let the tomatoes simmer over medium heat for 10-15 minutes until they release most of their juices and the tomatoes start to break down.  Stir from time to time.
  4. Lower the heat and simmer the tomatoes for 1-2 hours until the marinara is reduced and thickened.  Remove the herb stems.
  5. Use immediately in your favorite recipe(s), can the marinara sauce, or let cool completely and refrigerate/freeze for future use.

Eggs Poached in Tomato Sauce

  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 2-4 fresh eggs
  • sliced bread (grilled or toasted)
  • salt and pepper
  • fresh oregano or basil
  • freshly grated parmesan (optional)
Serves 2 people
  1. In a small sauce pan or frying pan with a lid, bring the marinara up to a simmer over medium heat.
  2. Add 2-4 eggs into the marinara sauce, spacing them evenly throughout the pan.
  3. Cover the pan and gently poach the eggs for approximately 5 minutes.  
  4. When done, the whites should be completely set and the egg yolks should still be runny.
  5. Ladle eggs and marinara sauce into shallow soup bowls and serve with toasted bread.
The recipe can be halved or it can be doubled.  The amount of eggs will depend on your appetite and that of your family/guests.  Calculate 1/2 cup of marinara sauce per serving.

As you can see, this humble dish of eggs in marinara sauce is not fussy or difficult to make.  It's a great thing to have for a weekend brunch or an impromptu dinner.  If truth be told, you could even make this with some doctored up, store-bought marinara sauce.  Just don't tell anyone that you did.

A good slice or two of some hearty bread that's been grilled or toasted is very important.  I love to scoop up an egg and some marinara sauce onto my bread and simply bite into it.  How delicious is this?

If you have a lot of garden tomatoes and have run out of ideas on how to use them, make a batch of garden tomato sauce.  Marinara sauce freezes very well. When the moment is right, simply simmer some sauce in a sauce pan and crack some eggs into the mixture.  A most delicious lunch or dinner can be ready in less than 30 minutes.