Category Archives: Cookies

It’s an Orgy of Baking

All the Sugar Cookies
(I can’t decide if ‘orgy’ is supposed to be capitalized or not. It looks kinda funny that way…maybe it’s just that I don’t use that word often enough.)

It’s that time of year again.

The table is cleared and the kitchen is clean.

Recipes are brought out, picked through, and a lucky few chosen.

Around $150 in baking supplies and gift containers are stacked up against a wall.

My updated Kitchen playlist is scaring the cats and probably also disturbing the neighbors.

And for once, I was actually able to schedule four days in a row off from work so I can do all my Christmas and holiday baking early this year. I’m so excited about this that I’m sitting at my cleared table, in my nice clean kitchen, writing all about it before the baking actually begins.

Normally, I’m baking on my weekends and after work, frantically picking through my list of cookies and candies to see which can be quickly doubled or completely dropped from the list because I’m already out of time. It’s always so stressful that I not only don’t get to enjoy the baking part–but I don’t have time to enjoy delivering the treats either. Steve may argue that the point of all this is to thank people and businesses, but to me it’s really all about feeding people and making them happy, even if it’s just a momentary happiness.

This year I plan on enjoying myself.

The tentative list for baking is:

  1. Dark Chocolate Covered Coconut Balls
  2. Divinity
  3. Sugar Cookies
  4. Gingerbread cookies
  5. Raspberry Almond Cookies
  6. Mango Chai Almond Bark
  7. Chocolate Spritz Cookies
  8. Cherry Pecan Cookies
  9. Sugar & Spice Coffee Slices
  10. Raspberry Fudge Brownies
  11. Citrus Glazed Lemon Spritz Cookies

It’s tentative because I padded it just enough that I can remove one or two items if things get behind, and they’re items that don’t require any special ingredients to purchase either.

The first two I make every year because it’s something my grandmother used to do at Christmas until I took over for her. I’ve modified the coconut ball recipe, but the divinity is exactly the same. One of my coworker’s calls it “Shiny Ferret Sugar Crack” because of how wired she gets when I bring divinity to work. The next three cookies are things that have become a holiday tradition for Steve and I (two of them are recipes from the resort where I did my externship). Hopefully the Mango Chai Bark will be an improvement over the nasty Apricot Chai Almond Bark from last year. It had a lot of potential, but crashed and burned once I added the apricots. Everything below that is new. We’ll see which ones are good enough to keep on the list for next year.

Now it’s time to stop writing and start baking.  Woo hoo!

And now for something clever, yet adorable

It’s a song.  About chocolate. And it’s stop motion animation using cookies, chocolate, cake sprinkles, and all other sorts of deliciousness (…I said CAKE SPRINKLES!).

Seriously cute.

Oh, and all the text below this is from Carlos… I can’t take any credit for it (he’s the director of the deliciousness).

Jesse & Joy- “Chocolate” from Carlos Lopez Estrada on Vimeo.

WARNER MUSIC 2010

WATCH THE BEHIND THE SCENES HERE: http://vimeo.com/9758804

During the first month of the year 2010, a group of 9 brave soldiers worked for 30 days straight, without seeing the light of day inside a secret dungeon located in Los Angeles, California. Their task was to gather 90 handmade cookies, sugar, milk, flour, chocolate, eggs and dough; and utilize them to create a 4 minute stop motion video for a foreign artist whose lyrics still remain unknown. They disappeared for 6 weeks and just recently emerged out of the darkness with a small floppy disk containing this:
The Official music video for Chocolate!!!

Please watch while enjoying a cold glass of fresh milk.

2011 Cake Show: Adult Intermediate Division, part three

Adult Intermediate

Developing skills. 2 to 4 years cake decorating experience; 30 to 60 hours of cake decorating or sugar art instruction. Open to all styles.

And finally it’s time for the one category that I actually entered this year (I was supposed to also enter the Buttercream Only category and the Tasting Division/Soda Category–my recipe for rootbeer cake turned out fabulous–but there just wasn’t enough time to finish either one).

Confections Not-On-A-Cake: Cupcakes, cookies, candy, chocolate, etc. An individual entry, not on a cake.
 
 
All the Confection Entries for Intermediate

This year, there were seven entries in the Confections Not-On-A-Cake category.
 
 
Butterfly Garden

Title: Butterfly Garden
by Leah Tackitt
 
 
Truth, Justice, and the Cupcake Way

Title: Truth, Justice, and the Cupcake Way
by Irma Arenivar
 
 
Spring has blommed

Title: Spring has blommed [sic]
by Irma Arenivar
 
 
Jungle Babies

Title: Jungle Babies
by Rachel O’Kon
 
 
day of the dead cookies

3rd Place
Title: Dia de los Muertos Cookies
by Kelly Guerra
Blog Name: Billa Cakes
Another Day of the Dead entry, and it’s one of the better ones too. She was the one I was worried about since everyone already knew who would place first.
 
 
The Crimson Chin Multi-verse

2nd Place
Title: The Crimson Chin Multi-verse
The comic book superhero from Nickelodeon’s Fairly Oddparents’ cartoon–voiced by Jay Leno.
“Let’s get mandibular!”
by Somara Maggi

That’s me! Last year they awarded third place to Maggie Somara, so this year I made sure to label which part of my name was the first name and which part was the last name on my entry form. It worked.

I had originally planned on doing a time-line of Wonder Woman’s design changes in cookie form until I watched a Fairly Oddparents’ episode that had quite a few different versions of the Crimson Chin (each one was a parody of standard comic book character designs throughout the decades). I couldn’t resist. Steve was worried that Crimson Chin cookies would be too obscure for the judges, but they really didn’t care. Besides, there were already way too many Wonder Woman entries at the show this year.
 
 
From a Fairys Perspective

1st Place
Title: From a Fairy’s Perspective
by Peggy Higgins

I will be perfectly honest here. My first thought about this entry was that this should have been in the Special Techniques category, because it looked like the only cookie used was the white and green base. So here was a gorgeous entry that was going to kick my entry’s ass and it shouldn’t even be competing against me to begin with. But you know what? I was so very, very wrong.
 
From a Fairy's Perspective - close

If you take a closer look, you’ll see that the leaves are cookies. So are the mushroom caps and stepping stones. I don’t know about the fairy house, but after all the rest, it really doesn’t matter.

So yeah, Peggy definitely deserved first place, and I didn’t mind losing to her at all.
 
 
Now for more photos of my work…
 
Outlines

Piped cookies, but not flooded yet.
 
Ready to travel

Crimson Chins packed up for transport.
 
Crimson Chin Cookie

Close up of the current version of Crimson Chin.
 

Today is the 2011 Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition!

It’s the Capital Confectioners’ 7th Annual “That Takes the Cake” Sugar Art Show & Cake Competition. I was shooting for three entries, but only ended up with one again. I ran out of time to finish up the buttercream entry, and it looks like it would have been an easy win this year too.

My entry this year is “The Crimson Chin Multi-verse” in the Confection Not on a Cake category. If you aren’t familiar with the comic book hero from Nickelodeon’s Fairly Oddparents (voiced by Jay Leno, hence the joke about the chin), you can check out the Crimson Chin’s wiki page.

I had originally planned on doing a cookie timeline of Wonder Woman, but after watching the Fairly Oddparents episode where Timmy calls up all the different versions of the Crimson Chin from the 1930′s and up, I couldn’t resist it. Steve’s a little worried that it’s going to be too obscure for the judges–good thing they care more about the technique than the subject.

Here are some photos of my entry:

Outlines
Outlines of some of the cookies.

Ready to travel
Packed up and ready to take to the show.

Finished entry
Not a great photo since I used my iPhone, but here it is on the display board I created for it.

There were only four other entries for my category when I dropped mine off (I was the 13th person registered for this category, and people were beginning to stream in with their entries as I was leaving). We’re heading back to check it out as soon as the show opens at 10:30 am.

I can’t wait to see everything.

I was up all night finishing this up (done at 7:30 this morning, just in time to shower and deliver it), so no promises about getting any photos posted tonight of my show favorites.

So far behind and so, so tired

My project at work has finally ended after five long months, and we had a stressful, yet successful release last week.  Now I’m trying to get back into the the technical support groove again and it’s actually harder than I thought it would be.  We’ve had so many changes, not only in our products, but also in our support procedures and I’m still trying to catch up with all of it.  The good news is that the Powers that Be were kind enough to thank me with a bonus, and my annual review went pretty well too (the raise wasn’t awesome, but it was still better than last year).

Hockey season has started and we’ve already attended two pre-season games over the past weekend.  I DO have photos, but I’ve been so wiped out that I haven’t finished sorting through them all yet. I promise to post them soon.  There was also a meet-and-greet with the players for all the season ticket holders earlier this week and we got to attend, or in my case, I got to pretend I wasn’t a fan girl when talking to Maxime Fortunus (I have a photo of him from Sunday’s game as the lock screen on my phone). While I feel bad that Dallas sent him down to the Texas Stars after training camp–I’m thrilled for myself and my team.

I also have two projects planned for Halloween this month.  One is how to make Jack-o-Lantern cookies that are fun and easy for kids to decorate (and I will include photos and recipes once I borrow some kids), and the other is a review of 8 different flavors/types of candy corn.  I can safely assume that I’m not the only candy corn freak out there since I was able to locate a wide variety of flavors this year.  Hopefully I won’t procrastinate too much longer because one of the bags is already half empty.

There will also be pictures of my annual Halloween cupcakes for work (last year’s cupcakes below).

Mummy Cupcakes Looking at you Wolfmen Cupcakes

I have a skull cupcake I’m testing for the fourth design this year, and there will be a few changes to the mummies, eyes, and wolfman cupcakes as well.  I haven’t yet decided if I’ll do a fifth design or not, but I will have to increase the total number because I added a whole ‘nother department to my list, thanks to the unnamed project.

Finally, we’re going to put costumes on our cats and take pictures because we don’t have kids to torture.