Jungle baby shower cupcakes

I made these chocolate cupcakes with jungle animal fondant toppers for a baby shower. I used the silicon mold from Wilton to shape the animals. 

   
     
   
 

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Patriotic goodies!

I’ve been working hard lately on custom orders. I will be making two more of this red, white and blue cake in the coming days. It’s perfect for both the Memorial Day and July 4th holidays. 

   
   
These red, white and blue quilted star cookies are a perfect accompaniment or party favor for guests to take home. 

  

  

   

King Arthur Cookie Decorating Contest

The King Arthur Flour Company holds a cookie decorating contest annually at the holidays. The submissions must be either within the “snowman” category or “gingerbread”. Some entrants do take license with those rules by submitting other designs made with a snowman or gingerbread cookie cutter, but I chose to submit a classical decorated snowman. This was made for a big order of 7 dozen Christmas cookies, so I just went ahead and submitted a photo of one of the snowmen. Maybe next year, I’ll get more ambitious and try to come up with a more complex original design.

Visit the contest page and browse the gallery, and if you like it, please vote for my “Classic Snowman”. Winners get a King Arthur Flour gift card and a donation to the food charity of their choice. I chose the Greater Boston Food Bank.

http://offerpop.com/FacebookContestEntry.psp?c=695063&u=1178547&a=733601400052970&p=17421814173&rest=0&id=5064826&rest2=0

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4th Annual Food Blogger Cookie Swap!

For the first time this year, I took part in the 2014 Food Blogger Cookie Swap. This a fun event where different food bloggers are paired up and ship a dozen cookies to three matches and in return receive a dozen cookies from three others. If you are interested in taking part next year, you can sign up to be notified here.

I decided to make use of the Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips I had bought in anticipation of baking something for the holidays. I started with this recipe from Very Best Baking From Nestle and adapted it to incorporate the mint chips: https://www.verybestbaking.com/recipes/30152/double-chocolate-dream-cookies/ . I doubled the recipe so that I would have plenty to share with friends, so the photo below shows double the ingredients. This recipe makes a lot of cookies!! You can use any type of semi-sweet chip here. I just happen to really prefer my “chip” cookies made with the mini morsels.

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Double Chocolate Mint Cookies

Makes approximately 4 ½ dozen

Ingredients

  • 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa (I used Hershey’s Special Dark Cocoa)
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter or margarine), room temperature
  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • ¾ cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup Andes Peppermint Crunch baking chips (plus extra for adorning top of cookie)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375˚ F

Combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. Beat butter, brown sugar, granulated sugar and vanilla extract with the paddle attachment in the bowl of a stand mixer until creamy. Beat in eggs for about 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips and mint chips. Scoop with a 1-ounce cookie scoop onto cookie sheets lined with parchment paper. Place a few addition peppermint chips around the top of each cookie dough ball for an attractive appearance.

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until cookies are puffed. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

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These were sent out to my matches at Traveler in the Kitchen, Home Cooking Memories and Yummy Crumble.

In return, I received some expertly packaged and very delicious White Chocolate Iced Gingerbread Cookies from Aimee at aimeebroussard.com and some decadent Chocolate Peppermint Oreos from Betsy at betsylife.comIMG_20141206_131601        2014-12-15 18.52.45

Eagle Court of Honor cookies

I had the privilege of baking some special cookies for a very special event.  The son of a friend achieved the rank of Eagle Scout and we attended the ceremony and dinner,  adding these cookies to the dessert bar. It’s not small feat achieving the rank of Eagle Scout.  I found some statistics here. For instance,  only 4% of all Scouts meet the requirements necessary to earn the Eagle Scout Award.

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Cookie Cutter Collection

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I finally got around to organizing the cookie cutters by category, holiday etc. It will be so much easier to get started on a batch of cookies now that I can find a particular shape easily. The small containers were about $1.50 each at Wegmans.  Just love that store.  The larger containers were from Ocean State Job Lot,  which we affectionately call OSJL and they were also very reasonably priced.  Now to find a place to put all these containers!!!

UPDATE: after counting and categorizing,  there are more than 675 cookie cutters!!

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