Thursday, January 28, 2016

Decorating Sugar Cookies

I just LOVE cookie decorating!! I think I'm getting a little better at it, but I will say it takes a long time. I like to make the cookies one day and then decorate the next, it seems to go a little faster that way.

Here's are some new recipes I've found that I really like!

Sugar Cookie Ingredients:

2 sticks butter (room temperature)
1 cup sugar 
2 large eggs
2 tbsp vanilla extract
4-5 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 tsp salt

Sugar Cookie Directions:

1) Cream the butter and sugar together using a hand mixer. 
2) Add the eggs, vanilla, and cream.
3) Add the flour and salt. Do not over mix.
4) Refrigerate for at least 1 hour. The dough will stay good in the refrigerator for at least 3 days.
5) Roll out the dough by sandwiching it in-between two pieces of Parchment Paper. Do not use flour to roll out the dough, it will change the consistency of the dough. If worse comes to worse you can use flour, but try not to. Also, I suggest using Perfection Strips to roll out your cookies. Perfections Strips ensure that your dough is the same height, uneven dough leads to burning the thinner areas of the cookie. 
6) Cut into shapes and place 1/2 inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets. 
7) Bake at 350 for 11-14 minutes. 
8) Let the cookies cool and then you're ready to decorate!!

Royal Icing Recipe

3 tbsp meringue powder
4 cups powder sugar 
3 tbsp water
3 tbsp clear vanilla 

Beat all ingredients at low speed for about 7 minutes (yes it's a long time). This recipe is for your thicker royal icing that you will use around the edges of your cookies. When you are ready to flood the cookies add more water (5 second disappear). 

Monday, January 18, 2016

DIY: Dessert Bar

One day at work, one of my coworkers mentioned a project she was working on for her wedding.  I had some spare time that weekend so I decided to give it a shot.  I went to a few local thrift stores and picked up some items for the pie stands. I bought large plates, platters, and even a microwave plate for the top part of the stands (FYI: The large plates with decorative edges ended up looking the nicest). Then I bought candle stick holders, flower vases, candy dishes, beer glasses, and light fixtures for the base of the stands. I even found a two tiered plate stand at one of the thrift stores for $1!! It didn't come with matching plates, but I was able to find some plates to make it work. 

Once I had enough items, I started arranging the pieces to make the stands. Here's what I came up with:

Next, it was time to start assembling the stands. I used the clear Gorilla Glue to glue the pieces together. Be sure to read the Gorilla Glue directions carefully. Now this next part is going to sound weird, but you're going to want to tape the pieces together after applying the glue. I taped the pieces together to hold them in place, and then I added some extra weight/pressure by placing other items on the stands. Here's a photo to help explain this step:

Once the glue had dried, I spray painted the stands either cream or gold. Always, Always, Always use Rust-Oleum Spray Paint!! For this project I thought I'd try a new brand and the bottle literally broke on me. I ended up with spray paint going every where, including all over my face!! So I'm back to using Rust-Oleum!! Here's the finished project at my coworkers wedding:

I decided to keep the stands, I just loved them!! I figured I could use them for cupcake stands or food stands at a future party....really I just didn't want to get rid of them cuz I like them sssoo much!! Oh..and how much did this project cost me?? Well I spent about $2 on each stand. So if you're wanting a dessert bar for a party or a wedding, save yourself some money and just make the stands yourself.