C is for Cookie (and for Cabana)

gingerbread house sitting on a bed of shredded coconut, decorated with white icing, M&Ms, necco wafersAround these parts, all it's been doing is raining raining RAINING. So I spent the weekend, grateful to be indoors, baking and decorating cookies to take to parties and give as gifts. We also made this gingerbread house. My younger daughter got to do the decorating. Didn't she do a fabulous job? I love her gumdrop/marshmallow topiaries.

Cabana is NOT a counter surfer. She has never put her paws up on our tables or kitchen counters (although I have seen her leaping up onto tables at our puppy group--of course, she saves her embarrassing behavior to keep me humble out in public). For some reason, this gingerbread house piqued Cabana's curiosity to no end. I had it on top of a high ledge in our entryway (I only put it on the kitchen table for this photograph), and Cabana would stand by it, looking up at the gingerbread house, wagging her tail, and making little sounds. Because the ledge was low enough that Cabana could easily jump up and reach the gingerbread house, I moved it to the top of a high bookshelf, not wanting it to be too much temptation for her. But even on the bookshelf, Cabana kept showing us with her wagging tail and great interest that she felt the gingerbread house should belong to her. She's never done this before, so I found it quite amusing.

A friend recently turned me onto Bake@350, a blog about cookie decorating. I have always loved making and decorating sugar cookies, but this blog took me to the next level in desiring sugar cookie perfection. I used the sugar cookie recipe posted on the blog. They were so easy and they taste great.

I made a double batch of royal icing. Then I scooped out small amounts and colored them with food coloring gel. I like to use small ziplock bags for decorating. I just chop off a tiny corner of the bag and squeeze the icing out. The top row is outline consistency (thick). The bottom row is flood consistency (thin).

Here are the cookies in various stages of progress. It takes a long time (hours!) and lots of patience. If you rush it, the cookies don't turn out as pretty.

Voila! Some of our finished masterpieces. They still aren't as perfect as the ones on the Bake@350 blog, but oh well. After all, who really wants to eat a perfect cookie? If it's too perfect, you want to save it forever. If it's not-quite-perfect, you don't feel so bad about chomping the head off a snowman--AND it also means they don't have any calories. Bet you didn't know that, did you?!

Katrin  – (December 20, 2010 at 1:54 PM)  

Those cookies look AMAZING! In my family we make stained glass sugar cookies. For those you cut out a sugar cookie then you use a smaller other shapped cutter to cut out a shape on the inside then you used crushed candy canes or other candies to fill the inside. Bake on tin foil and the candy melts in the cookie to form a stained glass. Very cool and very yummy.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (December 20, 2010 at 2:12 PM)  

Oooh, that sounds really pretty, Katrin. I'll have to try that sometime. Thanks!

Cassie and Dagan  – (December 20, 2010 at 2:35 PM)  

Those look amazing! I will stop by on my way home from work to taste test them for you ;-) I wish I had time to try out the recipe this year, but I decided that homemade marshmallows would be my thing this year.

Mimi and CC Cabana  – (December 20, 2010 at 3:20 PM)  

Sure, stop by! I'd be happy to give you some! I brought them to a party last night, saw Doug and Nancy there, along with their thneed(!).

Samantha  – (December 20, 2010 at 4:37 PM)  

OMD, Mimi! Those are spectacular! Wow - we are such amateurs hee hee, but we have an awfully good time! Thank you so much for sharing that blog site - amazingly pretty - what a pro you are. BTW, Cabana you are such a good dog - Sam came to us as a counter surfer - she's better now, but I still catch her trying to get the kitty's food!
Hugs xoxoxo
Sammie and Avalon

GDB Puppy Sitter :)  – (December 20, 2010 at 4:43 PM)  

Oh my gosh those cookies look amazing (and super delicious!) :-P

Lisa, Ellie and Hosta  – (December 20, 2010 at 5:37 PM)  

WOW all that looks incredible!!! I love it! Wish I had your skills!

Kari in WeHo  – (December 20, 2010 at 5:59 PM)  

oh we feel you. Flood warnings all over LA and more days of rain to come

Kari
http://dogisgodinreverse.com/

Carrie and Waffle  – (December 20, 2010 at 6:25 PM)  

mmmmm yum, yum, yum! My snack o meter is saying empty :( a cookie would hit the spot!
*big doggy grin*
Waffle

Mango  – (December 20, 2010 at 6:32 PM)  

I want you to be my mommy. Look at those noms!

Slobbers,
Mango

Becky  – (December 20, 2010 at 9:17 PM)  

Wow. You've been busy. Super cute title! Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Sierra Rose  – (December 21, 2010 at 7:49 AM)  

Wonderful gingerbread house decorating!! These cookies are fantastic! A perfect and delicious project for last weekends storm :)
Happy Holidays!

Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
Sierra Rose

ingrid  – (December 23, 2010 at 11:14 AM)  

Wow- that's a lot of work there! Everything looks great! This is my little pup's first Christmas so I've been having loads of fun introducing her to all the many elements of the season!

Emma Rose  – (December 24, 2010 at 12:23 PM)  

You put our cookies to shame! Guess we will just have to close our eyes when we eat them :)

Merry Christmas!!!

Kisses,
Emma Rose

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