Sunday, December 4, 2016

lovebird cookies

This past summer, my little brother got married! And it was such a beautiful wedding! He and his wife were married on a beautiful ranch in Carmel, among beautiful scenery, a view of the ocean, and grazing sheep nearby. And all of our family were there to celebrate with them. It was a beautiful day. And I had the privilege of making cookies for their wedding favors!

My brother and his wife love birds, so we decided on these lovebird cookies. I saw the original design at Little Wonderland, and thought it would be perfect for them! Their wedding colors were robin's egg blue and coral, so we decided on blue and white birds, with a coral beak and feet. I used my favorite sugar cookie recipe, which you can find in my book, and this heart cookie cutter which I found on Amazon. (I actually purchased several different heart cookie cutters, because I was looking for the perfect size and shape of heart! Some were too narrow, or too small, but this one was perfect!)

After the cookies were baked and cooled, I started on the royal icing (recipe also in my book!). I used white stiff icing and a small round tip to pipe the outline for the white bird, and then I filled it in with white runny icing.

Then I did the same for the other half of the cookie, using stiff blue icing for the outline, and then filling in with runny blue icing. (I used this gel-based food coloring get the perfect robin's egg blue!)

I let the cookies dry for several hours, before adding the details. First, I used brown semi-runny icing to create the branches.

Once that was dry, I used coral icing to create the beaks and the feet.

Then I used black stiff icing for the eyes, and then stiff white and blue icing for the wing details.

Aren't they sweet?

My brother's wife even made cute little cookie tags for me to package them up with!

I'm SO happy for them! Here are some pictures from their amazing day.

Congratulations Michael and Robin!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

apple tart with olive oil crust

I follow Amanda Hesser on Instagram (love her!), and about a year ago I was drooling over a post of a pie that she made, which had a press-in crust made with olive oil instead of butter. I was intrigued because it sounded so simple and yet looked so fancy! So I looked it up, and while the original recipe was for a peach tart, the comments suggested that the apple version was just as good. I just had to try it!

The crust was super duper simple, as promised, and actually the part that took the longest was peeling, cutting, and arranging the apples!

Instead of a top crust, the recipe uses a topping of sugar, flour, and butter (to which I also added some cinnamon), which is just sprinkled over the top. So easy!

When it came out of the oven, bubbling and delicious-smelling, it was hard to resist cutting into it right away!

After the tart had (finally cooled) and we were able to dig in, it was definitely pretty tasty. And even though I prefer a traditional pie crust (this crust was more of a crumbly/sandy crust rather than a crunchy flakey crust), I would definitely make it again especially given that it was super quick and easy.


Sunday, November 20, 2016

savory roasted onion tart (quiche)

Last November, I was invited to a Chantal Guillon macaron party hosted by my friend Anita from Dessert First. It was such a fun party! We got to drink champagne, eat macarons all night, and we were even invited into the kitchen to fill and decorate macarons as well! 

While I was there I met a few fellow food bloggers, which led to following a few new people on Instagram as well, including Brenda from Bites and Bourbon. Fast forward several months, and I happened to see a beautiful roasted onion tart on Brenda's Instagram feed, which I instantly knew that I HAD to make!

In her post, Brenda mentioned that the recipe was from Edible Cleveland, so I looked it up and found it here! It starts with pie crust, fitted into a 9-inch pie pan and then blind baked at 375F for 20-25 minutes.

For the onions, I chose a yellow onion as well as a purple one, so that the color would stand out and make the tart pretty. The onions are first roasted before being added to the tart, to give it a nice caramelized onion flavor. After being drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper, they were roasted on the top rack of the oven while the pie crust baked on the bottom rack.

In the meantime, I made the filling, which was so simple! Eggs, thyme, milk, and salt. And cheese of course!

Once the pie crust was baked and cooled slighly, I added the filling...

... and carefully decorated the top with the beautiful roasted onion slices. Who knew onion slices could make such a pretty pattern!

Then the whole thing went back in the oven for 45-50 minutes until the filling set.

Mmmmmmm ....

I must say, this tart was delicious!!! It would be perfect for breakfast/brunch, lunch, or even dinner (which is when we ate it!). Or even just as a snack. :)


 Thanks for introducing me to this recipe, Brenda!

Sunday, November 13, 2016

wedding dress cookies with brush embroidery lace

A few months ago, an old friend of mine from college (hi, Kym!) was planning a bridal shower for a mutual friend from college (hi, Cora!), and she asked me to make wedding dress cookies for the bridal shower favors. I had actually been wanting to make wedding dress cookies for quite some time, so I happily accepted! Kym was nice enough to order me a brand new wedding dress cookie cutter from Etsy, one that matched the strapless trumpet-style wedding dress that Cora was going to wear on her wedding day.

For the cookies, I made a few batches of my trusty sugar cookie dough (recipe in my book!), and used my beautiful new cutter to cut out the shapes. After baking them at 350F for 10-12 minutes and then cooling them, I was ready to decorate with royal icing (recipe also in the book!).

First I used a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip to pipe stiff icing to outline each dress. (This helps to keep in the runny icing that you are about to fill them with!)

Then I used runny icing to fill them in, and let them dry for several hours.

Kym sent me a picture of Cora's wedding dress, which was covered in lace, so Kym and I decided that I would replicate that with some sort of lace design on the dress.  I immediately thought of these brush embroidery teapot cookies I had done a while back, and used the same technique to add a lacy design to the dress. I basically outlined my lace pattern with stiff icing ...

.. and then I used a food-safe brush to drag the wet icing into the center of the design.

I also added a lacy design to the bottom of the dress, and a beaded border to the bodice of the dress.

I loved how they turned out!

I think it would be so fun to recreate wedding dresses in cookie form, so I'm going to have to do more soon!


Happy Bridal Shower, Cora!

Hope everyone enjoyed the cookies!