Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Bells, er, (foot)balls and whistles...

OU Sooners football cookie set ... with tutorial for whistle cookie
There are certain things I've learned about writing a book.

1. Publishing a book is like having a baby.  You forget the work, the pain, the sleepless nights...once the baby is around, you think, "hey, that wasn't so bad...let's make another."  You only show people the cutest poopy diapers (baby), no dirty dishes stacked in the sink for three days (cookbook).  Hopefully, it was obvious which one of those was baby and cookbook. ;)

2. You'll have to swear to your copy editor that yes, there IS such a thing as white food coloring.

3. As soon as your book is sent to printing, you'll think of a million things you'd like to add. 

how to make whistle cookies
4.  Things get cut.  Like this whistle.  Oh, I loved this little whistle cookie.  With it's Twizzler cord, it stole my heart.  Well, there wasn't enough room in the book for every cookie, so this one ended up on the chopping block.

The good news, I can share it with you here!  If you have Decorating Cookies Party, this is goes perfectly with the Tailgate cookie set. 

The whistle cookie cutter comes from e.crandal.  I love their cookie well made and so unique.

how to make whistle cookies

Before you bake the cookies, use a straw to poke a hole in the cookies.  After they've baked, if the hole has closed up a bit, press the straw through the hole again just after they come out of the oven.

To make the ref whistle cookies, you'll need:

Use a #2 tip to outline the cookies in grey icing.

Reserve some of this outlining icing. Thin the rest of the grey icing and all of the white with water, a bit at a time, stirring with a silicone spatula, until it is the consistency of a thick syrup.  You'll want to drop a "ribbon" of icing back into the bowl and have it disappear in a count of "one thousand one, one thousand two." Four is too thick, one is too thin.  Count of 2-3 is good.  Cover with a damp dishcloth and let sit for several minutes.

Stir gently with a silicone spatula to pop and large air bubbles that have formed.  Pour into squeeze bottles.

Fill in the outline, using a toothpick to guide into the edges and to pop large air bubbles.  Let the icing dry for at least one hour.

Using the piping consistency icing again, pipe detail lines onto the whistles. 

Let the icing dry completely, 6-8 hours or overnight.

how to make whistle cookies
Once dry, mix a bit of luster dust with vodka and brush onto the bottom section of the whistle to give it dimension.

how to make whistle cookies ... perfect for a football cookie set!
how to make whistle cookies
Thread the licorice through the hole of the whistle and tie.

OU Sooners football cookie set ... with tutorial for whistle cookie

These cookies would be perfect for almost any sports theme or for a lifeguard.  I made these cookies for the OU/Texas football game.  Boomer Sooner! ♥ 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Sweet on Trader Joe's Saturday: Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins

trader joe's pumpkin cream cheese muffins review
I have to admit, at one time, I was obsessed with the Starbucks Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffin.  I dreamed about those muffins all year, and was at the door of Starbucks on September 1st when they returned.  My obsession has lessened a bit, but I was still so happy to see a Trader Joe's version of the PCCM.

trader joe's pumpkin cream cheese muffins review

Trader Joe's describes these muffins as "pumpkin cream cheese muffins with a delicious cream cheese filling and a sprinkle of pumpkin seeds."  A package of 4 muffins costs $3.99.

trader joe's pumpkin cream cheese muffins review
A mom's (my) take: The muffins are really pretty...I loved just looking at them in the package.  The pumpkin and spice flavors were right on the money and the ratio of cream cheese to muffin was perfect.  I found the muffins to be slightly dry, though.  Maybe it was just the batch we got...I ate two to be sure. ;)  I'd be willing to try again.
Overall rating: 4 of 5 stars

A teenager's (kiddo's) take: I think these are the perfect interpretation of what pumpkin cream cheese muffins are supposed to be like. The substantial, rich muffin is supplemented by a wonderfully flavorful (and also rich) cream cheese. I would not be opposed to having these more often. :)
Overall rating: 5 out of 5 stars

trader joe's pumpkin cream cheese muffins review
Trader Joe's Pumpkin Cream Cheese Muffins: we'd eat more.

trader joe's pumpkin cream cheese muffins review
Click to read all of our Trader Joe's dessert reviews.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Decorating Cookies Party: Book Signing and Cookie Party Dates

decorating cookies party: book signing dates (houston, tx)

I would love, love, love to meet you and talk cookies (and Trader Joe's, and Real Housewives of Melbourne)!  I have three local Decorating Cookies Party events to tell you about...each one different and special in its own way.

1. November 7th: Signatures Author Series Event
This is where I'll be hanging out with Tyler Florence.  Well, we'll be in the same LARGE ballroom...does that count?  Anyhoo...this is a super neat event that one of the private schools in our area puts on as a fundraiser every year.  A bestselling author comes in to speak (they've had Katherine Stockett, Jodi Picoult, Candace Bushnell)...this year is Tyler Florence.  There's lunch, and a handful of local authors are invited to sign books as well.  I'll be there.  Come see me and we'll get brave and go talk to Tyler.  ;)  Signatures Author Series is a ticketed event. Click the link for more information.  The event takes place at the Woodlands Waterway Marriott.

2. November 15th: Book Signing
I'll be signing books at the Barnes & Noble in The Woodlands, TX from 1-3pm.  Come and go...I'll be the one at the table with the Sharpies...talking to myself.  I  might even bring cookies. ;)

3. November 22nd: Cookie Party & Book Signing
OK...this one is interactive.  Want to come decorate a cookie from the book?  Yes!  Yay!  Also in The Woodlands, Hubbell & Hudson Bistro has undergone some incredible renovations and we'll be some of the first people to utilize the new upstairs space along with the former Viking Cooking School Kitchen.  This is a ticketed event.  With each $25 ticket, you'll get to decorate a cookie from the book (to take home or EAT there), and receive a signed Decorating Cookies Party (no need to bring a book, it is included with the ticket).  To purchase a ticket, click below...must be purchased in advance (so I know how many cookies to bake.) :) 

{This button is for the Cookie Party Signing #3...NOT the Signatures Author Series event.}

Can't wait to SEE you!!!

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