Tulip Cookie Bouquet of Thanks!

I volunteered to coordinate the flowers for this year’s Temple Gala.  I thought that it would be a very simple task and would not require huge amounts of time….boy was I wrong!  I have a new-found respect for florists!!! We cooked up a tulip cookie bouquet to thank the lovely Barbara Jucha for teaching us how to make flower arrangements.  She is a retired florist and volunteered to help us go to the wholesale flower market, design the arrangements, and use her fabulous floral studio.  After 4 days of preparation….this was the final result….16 large centerpieces, and 12 small centerpieces.  To thank her we thought that a tulip cookie bouquet was perfect…especially the custom message cookies! Each tulip and bird cookie are secured on lollipop sticks!

We loaded all these flowers in our cars:

Here is the final result at the Carlsbad Sheraton…one side had roses…

and the other side had spider mums…

The mini arrangements were three roses each:

all together…


What do you do with your left over bananas? I usually have my go to low fat blueberry banana bread that I make using low fat yogurt.  We were looking for something with chocolate chips and after searching the internet and my cookbooks…we had to look no further than the Nestle Mini Morsels bag for a great recipe.  Everyone loved theses “Banana Mini Morsel Bars (click here for link to recipe.” We would say that this recipe is a keeper! We used a 9×13 glass pan lined with parchment paper, so the bars were a bit thicker than theirs! The kids can’t wait for another batch.

This is from the Nestle site:

2 Cups All purpose Flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 cup butter or margarine
2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup (3 medium) bananas
1 large egg
2 cups (12 oz pkg) Nestle Toll House Semi Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels

Pre-heat Oven to 350 degrees. Grease 15×10 inch jelly roll pan… (I used 9×13 glass dish)

Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl. Beat butter, sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in a large mixer bowl until creamy. Beat in bananas and egg. Gradually beat in flour mixture; stir in morsels. Spread into prepared pan.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool. (Makes about 4 dozen)

Thoroughbred Baby

We love new babies, we also love baking in honor of the little ones, especially if we get to experiment with new cutters! This time, it was mom-and-dad-to-be’s love of horses that spurred our interest in procuring a horse shoe cutter. The results are below and isn’t it a pretty package, some of our little babies even have jockey caps! Lucky Boy!


Shake, Rattle and Roll … Over

When asked to make some cookies for a baby shower, we immediately thought we’d like to try cute little baby faces. Later, we realized we wanted to do something special to shake it up and decided to invest in a baby rattle cutter, check out the total package below. The onsies are always adorable. We were on a sanding sugar kick this week, so the rattles and onsies are all sugared up!

Here is a picture of the three different cookies on the platter! Which baby face do you like the best? I had binkie babies…so those are my favorite.

We made party favors with three cookies in a bag.


Eat Your Heart Out Vera Wang!

When asked to bake something for a bridal shower, our minds went to our experiences of choosing that perfect wedding gown, similarly, with our mini wedding gown replicas, the bride-to-be might have a hard time choosing just one special treat.

Here’s a little tutorial on how we do it!

1. Bake a great sugar cookie! Mix up some royal icing that is loose enough to pipe and flood! We are finding that I like using a loose piping because we like not seeing the piped edge. Royal icing is definitely an art….it is never the same…even though we think we are doing the same thing we always do.

2. Outline the cookie and let the icing set for a few minutes. We like to use a #2 tip.

2. Fill the cookie with the icing.  Then use a toothpick to fill in the all the holes and pop any air bubbles.

3. Let them dry for at least 5-8 hours. We usually let them dry overnight before I move on to decorating the details. We love a white cookie…so crisp and clean!

4. For the detailed piping, I use a stiffer royal icing in white.  We like to use the #1 tip for the details.  If you are using sanding sugar, be sure to do only those sections before you pipe other details. The sugar will stick to any wet icing! We couldn’t decide on one design, so all the dresses were different.  This our favorite part of making cookies:)



Purim is Coming…..

Purim is Wednesday, March 7, 2012…..we know that you are supposed to eat Hamantashen, but we like sugar cookies better!

We made King Ahasuerus and Queen Ester cookies to get in the spirit! Our kids will be delivering these as miscloah minot gifts (A phrase taken from the Megillah that commands the Jewish community to give small packages of food or gifts to friends on the day of Purim). For our non-Jewish friends….Purim is a festive holiday where we dress up in costume and celebrate the triumph of good versus evil and Queen Ester’s bravery.  For more information check out this link about Purim. Get your groggers ready and hopefully we will see some friends at the Megillah reading on Wednesday night at Temple Solel!


A Girly 4 Year Old Monster Bash!

It all started with the song….”Calling all the Monsters” by China.  My four year old has been in love with that song since Halloween, so when it came time for planning her birthday she said, “I want a Calling All the Monsters Birthday.”  I had been imagining rainbows, but how could I resist cute girly monsters. We had a blast and the girls had fun getting things ready for the party! Here’s a sampling of the Monster Fun. I must confess that I love all the fun perfect parties I see all over pinterest and the web, but I do love when the girls can help make things too! My little one made a monster decoration out of a tissue box and the guests entered through the front door and were welcomed by this sign painted by the birthday girl!

The house was set-up with crafts and activities….first were monster headbands so each child could make their own. We hot glued the googly eyes to the pom-poms and pipe cleaners prior to the party.  This was perfect for 4 year olds to wrap the pipe cleaner around the headbands! Even the adults thought it was fun.

It was photo booth fun after putting on your monster eyes! The mouths were painted on poster board, cut out and then hot glued to straws.The kids danced, played, and had a blast…..we made playdough monsters, colored and made some necklaces! Of course, we played “Pin the eye on the monster.”

I made the monster birthday cake! I thought it came out great! It was a two layer cake with chocolate covered mini cupcakes for the eyes.  The eyelashes were made with semi-sweet chocolate which I piped on parchment and then attached with icing! The teeth were made with piped white chocolate as well.

It wouldn’t be a yenta mamas party without cookies! As a party favor I made monster tote bags and monster cookies! The cookies were made with a 3 inch scallop cutter.  Then I piped the monster shape.  This was really fun becuase you can’t mess up a monster! I used the Wilton pre-made eyes and piped on some party hats.  The kids loved them.

As the kids were leaving they got to take home a monster tote bag. My aunt helped me sew these (maybe the instructions will be on a future blog post)! They had a space for crayons in the monsters mouth and each one was unique.  The kids were super excited to take them home and they made a cute decoration. They filled them with some bubbles and cookie:)


We opened presents…hence the sock monkey hat….and enjoyed the cookies!

Hope you enjoy all monster fun as much as we did! -Elaine