Monday, May 6, 2013

dr. seuss cat in the hat cookies

A few months ago, my husband's coworker asked me to make cookies for a Dr. Seuss themed baby shower.  She sent me a few Dr. Seuss cartoon images, and I was immediately excited at the challenge!  We decided that I would make Cat In The Hat cookies, Cat's hat cookies, and One Fish Two Fish cookies.

The first thing I did was ask my husband to make me a Hat cookie cutter.  He's the best at making custom copper cutters!  (See my Superman, Thomas the Train, Dora The Explorer, Spiderman, custom Cat, and Standing Piggy cookies).  We even have an Etsy shop up for them!

After using my favorite cookie and royal icing recipes, I was ready to decorate my cookies!  I started by piping an outline and stripes on the hat cookies with stiff black royal icing.  Then I filled them in with red and white runny icing.

After letting them dry overnight, I finished them by using an edible food marker to draw on the details, to give them a "cartoon" look.

For the Cat In the Hat cookies, there were a few more steps.  First, I used royal icing to hand pipe each Cat onto waxed paper, let them dry overnight, and then used an edible food marker to draw on the face and the details.  Then after I baked rectangular cookies, I outlined and filled them with blue royal icing, peeled off the pre-made Cats, and dropped them on the cookies while the blue icing was still wet.

I used the same technique for the One Fish Two Fish cookies, which were inspired by the ones at Sweet Sugar Belle (love her site and her amazing work!).

These ended up being the most complicated cookies I've ever made!  But they were also super challenging and so much fun, and totally worth it!

Thursday, May 2, 2013

dark cherry ice cream

Near the end of my pregnancy with my third baby, I started making a lot of ice cream.  Like, a lot.  Particularly, various flavors of ice cream with chopped Oreos.  And then my cousin suggested that I make black cherry ice cream.  I instantly set about to find the perfect recipe, and finally decided on David Lebovitz's recipe from The Perfect Scoop (what a surprise!).

The first step was to make candied cherries by simmering cherries, sugar, lemon juice, and water together.  They cooked for about 30 minutes until the cherry liquid reduced and became syrupy.

For the ice cream base, the recipe called for making a custard with egg yolks, sugar, heavy cream and milk that had been steeped with chopped almonds to give an almond flavor in the custard.  But since my 3-year old is allergic to nuts, I skipped that step and instead used imitation almond extract.  Then after chilling the mixture overnight, I churned it in my ice cream maker, and added the strained and chopped candied cherries during the last few minutes of churning.

Let me just say that once I tasted this ice cream, I instantly fell in love with it.  And so did my husband.  I must have made it at least 5 times during my last month of pregnancy!  This is definitely at the top of my list of favorite ice cream recipes!