Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Learning to.... Bake & Decorate Cookies

Growing up, Real HouseMom would usually have some kind of baked good around the house as an after-dinner treat.  The most common desserts were brownies-- Duncan Hines, I believe-- or chocolate chip cookies from scratch.  Real HouseMom is definitely more than competent in the kitchen, baking and cooking (sometimes at the same time!) with the greatest of ease.  The problem with this was that she and I weren't the only people around.  The two of us could stretch a batch of brownies to last a week-- but with Soccer Dad and Little Bro in the house, it was a different story.  Between the two of them, at least half the pan of brownies/cookies/cake/whatever would be devoured that day.  And the remaining half would be gone by the following night.  With those two in the house, homemade desserts never last 48 hours.
The most common treat at our house, always frosted =)

Because of this, Real HouseMom never went through the trouble of decorating anything.  Cookies and cakes always go so fast that any sugary artwork would go completely unnoticed-- so I never learned how to decorate any sweets, beyond the occasional "Happy Birthday" that looks like it was written by a six-year-old.

Now that I'm 24, I've decided it's time to learn to be a pastry artist.  Not professionally or full-time or anything crazy like that!  Just for the occasional party, holiday or birthday.  And I'm going to start by making a batch of Harry Potter cookies for the midnight launch of 'Deathly Hallows: Part 2' (which, of course, I'm going to see at midnight).

The cookies I will be attempting later this week!  [details below]

Here's the story: our next door neighbors just sold their house and will be moving in the next few weeks, so Real HouseMom and I decided we're going to throw a going-away-slash-block-party in our cul-de-sac.  Me being the overly ambitious planner I am, I decided we're going to have some great decorations and some fabulous desserts.

I decided some cute shaped & decorated sugar cookies would be a fun treat for everybody, so I Googled "frosting cookies" to find a how-to guide.  What I found was this awesome video from Bridget of Bake at 350.  Confession: I can't get enough of her blog!  First of all, the video was super helpful to someone like me, who's completely kitchen-challenged.  Then when I went to her blog, I saw these adorable cowboy boot cookies!!

I think these are insanely precious but I just can't think of an occasion when cowboy boot cookies would be appropriate here in Chicago... I might throw a western-themed party just to make these!

Below those cute boots were three "You might also like" posts-- and one of them was for Harry Potter cookies!  [Side note: I'll do a Harry Potter post later this week, to explain why these cookies have just become the highlight of my life]  So I've decided that my first attempt at piping and decorating with royal icing is going to be this week when I do my best to make the Harry Potter cookies.  I promise I'll post pictures!

In the meantime, I'm trying to find anything related to North Carolina (where Mr. & Mrs. Next Door will be moving) so I can get cookie cutters and icing colors that pertain to the party.  Let me know if you're from the Charlotte area (or even NC in general), I'd love some ideas for the decorations and food!

Have a great Tuesday =)


1 comment:

  1. Hi there! Oh, your post made me smile!!! Thank you so much for the sweet, sweet shout-out! (I'm working on Harry Potter cookies this week, too!) Happy baking!