Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Build a Boat - sail boat and pirate ship cookies for Kids to decorate themselves

Build a boat cookies with edible fondant cut outs like a jigsaw that the kids can decorate themselves.They are so simple to make. If you can roll out fondant and use a cookie cutter pretty much you'll have these down pat.

My just turned 3 year old completely decorated this cookie below on his own. OK, granted that's not the normal spot for an anchor or flag, but I'm no ship building engineer so perhaps this design would totally work in real life ;)

Look how serious he is about it. He had already watched the girls make their cookies so he knew exactly what was going on.

and don't even think about trying to help him squeeze out the icing.

Yup all on his own and so proud of it - I think it made the cookie taste even better to him.

These boats were the cookies I made for the boys to decorate at Sophie's birthday party. In case you didn't see the previous post the girls got cookie paper dolls with edible fondant clothing so they could dress up the dolls for real.


Make the fondant 'build a boat' pieces a couple of days in advance to allow time to set hard so that it will be easy for the kids to pick up.Roll out the fondant on a workbench dusted with cornflour (cornstarch), until a couple of millimeters (1/8") thick.

 Use the boat cookie cutter to cut out a boat shape and then use a sharp knife to cut out sails and the boat hull so you end up with 3 pieces. I used my knife to draw a couple of shallow lines in the hull to look like wood and then a toothpick to pop in some nail marks.

Once you have the sails and hull sorted you can cut some triangles from the fondant offcuts to make little flags. Place fondant boat pieces on a tray covered with parchment paper to set for at least one day or more if the weather is humid.

I also made some little boat decorations by hand, I shaped some yellow fondant to make little anchors by pinching the fondant into shape and some life buoys by rolling white and red fondant together and shaping it into a little O.

To make the pirate flag I cut out a rectangle and shaped little teensy skull and crossbones.....but while I was doing it I was thinking it might be easier to cut out a white flag and draw a black skull and crossbones on with edible pen.

Once you have the fondant boat pieces ready and they have set for a day or so bake up a batch of boat cookies and allow to cool.

Mix up some royal icing and put into piping bags or ziplock bags with a tiny hole cut from the corner.

and then finally allow kids to squeeze royal icing onto the cookie boat and then stick on boat sections to decorate as they like.

We also added some blue and white sugar confetti to the boat hulls in some to look like little portholes.

- if you haven't already seen the pics you must have a look at the paper doll dress up cookies I created for the girls they were a huge hit. Click Here for the link.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Easy Pink Ombre Butter Cream Frosting Cake tutorial for Real people


I made a pink ombre cake for my daughter's 5th birthday party (you know that's just fancy talk for saying pink graduated rainbow cake).

I'm so sorry, there are no endless ruffles, and inside there are not 8 different graduated layers.It's just a simple cake you can decorate with a spatula or if you needed to a knife. So simple pretty much anyone could do it.

The key here is to start off with a purposely messy design. Cause lets be real for a change. Most home cooks don't have all the tools you need to make one of those super spectacular graduated ruffle cakes, and even if you do go out and buy everything, your first or even second attempt probably won't look like the ones you see in all the pictures online.

So if you want to see a graduated pink cake that real people can make here's how I did it...... 

Easy Pink Ombre Frosted Cake

Ingredients and Equipment
1 cake baked in 2 layers 
1 large batch frosting (I used Kaye's butter cream from The Whimsical Bakehouse: Fun-to-Make Cakes That Taste as Good as They Look)
1 cake board same size as cake
Light Pink, medium pink and dark pink/burgundy gel food color, maybe also purple and black (mine were mostly Wilton which you can pick up from cake decorating or hobby stores)
Disposable piping bags or ziplock bags
Offset spatuala or large flat knife

Step 1. Cut the rounded tops from your cakes to make them flat and even. If you like you can also cut all the brownish crusts off the edge of the cake so it looks even prettier when sliced but that's totally up to you. If you not taking photo's of the slices I wouldn't bother.

Step 2. Make up your frosting, what ever type you like as long as it is firm enough to hold it's shape. For the cake in the pictures I used a Meringue Buttercream which is lovely and smooth and holds up ok as long as it's not the middle of a humid summer here in the sub-tropics. Color the frosting very light pink.

Step 3. Place a dollop of frosting into the middle of a cakeboard and press the bottom layer of the cake onto the frosting dollop so the cake does not move around.Spread a layer of frosting over the top of the cake and then press the second layer onto the top making sure the cake looks level.. Cover the top and sides of cake with frosting, make it kinda even and smooth but your going  to pop another layer on so don't go crazy.

Stick the cake into the fridge and let it set up while you color the remaining frosting.

Step 4. I started with the lighter color and just keep adding gel food color until I had all the colors I wanted. Remove about 2/6ths of the light pink frosting and place into your piping bag/ziplock bag and set aside.

Add a little more color until you have the next shade you want and remove 1/6th of that color into a piping bag/ ziplock bag and set aside.

Continue on until you have 5 different shades of pink. For the darker color I needed to add a touch of black and purple to the burgandy to get the color I wanted. Just a touch remember you can add more if it's not quite right but you can't take it out :)

Step 5. Once you have your 5 different colors remove the cake from the fridge. Use a ruler to measure the height of the cake and divide into 5 - mark around the cake at regular intervals with a knife. So for example if your cake was 12.5cm (5") high you would mark at 2.5cm (1") then 5cm (2"), then 7.5cm (3")and a final mark at 10cm (4"). # Note these measurement conversions are rounded

Step 6. Take the darkest color and cut the end of the disposable bag. Using the marks on the cake as a guide pipe a thick layer of frosting all the way around the cake. Repeat with all the graduated colors finishing with the lightest pink around the top, pipe a bit of extra frosting over the top of the cake. You might need to go back and fill in any big gaps at the end. Don't worry the finish does not need to look really neat.

Step 7 smooth the frosting

Step 7. Take your spatula and smooth around the edge of the cake. If you have a cake turntable you can spin it with one hand. Don't move the spatula up and down or you will smudge the colors into each other, if needed use paper towels to wipe excess frosting off the spatula to reduce smudging. Clean off the spatula and roughly smooth down the top of the cake.

OK so once again it doesn't need to be perfectly smooth - I know this is TOTALLY my type of cake decorating as well - check out the picture above to see how mine looked.

 Step 8 decorate the sides with short strokes using your spatula

Step 8. Next take a smaller knife or spatula and using short strokes around 5cm (2") and lifting the spatula completely off the cake at the end, make a rough pattern. Work around the cake on each color of frosting separately making sure the spatula/ knife is clean in between each layer. If you need to practice the technique do a few on the top of the cake. Frosting is pretty forgiving so you can go back and rework it as needed.

Step 9. Once you have finished all the layers on the sides use the same short stroke and lift technique on the top of the cake. I made these ones a bit smaller about 2.5 cm (1").

Step 9 decorate the top of the cake

For more easy to make recipes check out my book which is due for release in December, there are a stack of delicious small treat type recipes to make with your kids, ranging from super easy to more advanced.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Babushka Cookies for Polkadot Prints printable range

All photos by Naomi V Photography

EDIT - I now have a tutorial for these cookies on the blog CLICK HERE

Babushka doll , matryoshka doll, Russian nesting dolls, they have so many different names but one thing is for sure they sure make cute cookies and also printable invitations as well for that matter as you'll see.
I know I've done the whole babushka doll cookie thing before, but I love them so much, they really are one of my favorite cookies so when I had the chance to make a new version of them I couldn't wait..

I already shared the cherry and the Tiffany cookies I did for Jordan from Polkadot prints, but I have to tell you this set were the ones I loved doing the best.

It's kinda hard to tell from the photo's but I made 2 different sizes using the medium size and small size from my bisk-art cutters and trying to match the design in with the ones on the invitations.

How awesome are the photo's that Naomi took?

The ones in the photo above at the back that are part yellow background (like the below photo) are the medium size and the pink ones are the small

The are a sugar cookie covered with fondant, decorated with a variety of fondant flowers (carnation, daisy and blossom cutters) and a few dots of royal icing. I've already have a tutorial for Babuskha cookies (Click Here) on the blog I did up about a year ago, if you follow that tutorial it should give you the basics so you can build up your own babushka masterpiece.

Oh and you all know I love square cookies at the moment so I couldn't help but do up a couple in a matching design as well.

Jordan has done a post over on her blog here as well, awe and she was so nice about my cookies I'm still blushing a bit. She is lots of fun and full of creative ideas, make sure you pop over to check out her blog :)

Printables by Polkadot Prints
Photography by Naomi V Photography
Babushka Cookie Cutters by Bisk-art
Babushka Cookie Tutorial by Bubble and Sweet

Here is a link to my book Sweets on a Stick due out in December, the recipes and ideas in my book are kid friendly and not a difficult as the cookies pictures above. It's a collection of my favorite recipes and ideas for sweets on a stick that I enjoy making with my kids

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Sophie Doll Cookies - Paper Doll Princess Cookie and Fondant Dress Up Tutorial

Yup these are cookie dolls that you get to dress up with fondant clothes like paper dolls - for Real!

When I was a little girl I used to love paperdoll dress ups, they were so much fun all the incy little paper doll clothes and the pretty little dolls. So when I had my 2 girls I of course bought them some. Suddenly I did not love them so much. All those incredibly cute little paper doll bits of clothing  were all over the house, and as the girls (plus my little destroyer as well) both love craft it was really hard to tell what were bits of scrap and what was precious little bits of doll clothing.

Dessert Table Tag from Polkadot Prints

So I came up with a yummy solution. Edible sugar cookie dolls with hand cut fondant dress ups you can stick on with icing. It's perfect the kids won't be leaving bits and pieces all around the place 'cause it'll all be in their tummy.

Photo by Terri Vandermeer dress by Chicoco

I made these super cute cookies up to look like my daughter Sophie (well kinda) to serve at her Birthday Party, it was part of the party activites, all the kids got to decorate a couple and then take them home as treats.

Photo by Terri Vandermeer

I'm calling it a huge hit.

Photo by Terri Vandermeer

Some of you might be wondering what's going on with the whole Princess titile. I know that there are no actual princess crowns on these dolls, the princess in the cookie name comes from Princess Ratbag a clothing designer/shop who styled a photo shoot that inspired Sophie's party and these cookies. Click here to check out the photo inspiration.
Photo by Terri Vandermeer

If you want to make actual princess paperdoll cookies go ahead and make some little tiara's as well, or you could pipe them directly onto the cookies.

The recipes I used for these cookies and the royal icing are from my book Sweets on a Stick: over 150 kid friendly recipes presently available for pre-order at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository (UK- free postage worldwide) and Fishpond (free postage Aust/NZ).....and many other stores.

There are quite a few cookie decorating ideas in the book that you could do with your kids that are way less detailed and way easier than this but just as fun. Remember the book is kid friendly so the stuff in the book will be stuff the kids can actually make themselves not this stylized and difficult.

Square footed bon bon dish available from Sharnel Dollar Designs

Sophie Doll - Paper Doll Dress Up Cookie Tutorial 
The paper doll template was custom designed by Karen McCubbin she'll be popping up an etsy store soon but in the meantime if you need to contact her you can email the Bubble and Sweet hotmail address.

Or you know - you can just make your own :)

Ingredients and equipment

cookie dough (I used the recipe from Sweets on a Stick but I also have another one here)
Doll template
royal icing
Food Color (Wilton Pink (Rose Clair), sky blue, white; Americolor Copper (fleshtone); Sugarflair dark brown)
Dusting Powder pink
Black edible pen
Rolling Pin large wooden
Piping bag and tips (#2)
Sharp Knife
Brushes (4 different)

Make cookie dough and roll out quite thinly on a workbench dusted with cornflour, about 1/2cm. Place the template onto the dough and using a sharpe knife cut around the template carefully. Remove all the excess dough and if necessary smooth the edges of the cookie dough doll. Place the cookie cut out doll onto a parchment/baking paper lined tray. Bake until golden and allow to cool.

Using the doll template cut out the hair and draw around where you will be piping the hairline with an edible pen (or other non toxic drawing implement) as per picture, also draw on the underwear and the shoes.

Mix up a batch of royal icing and color some skin tone, some white (I add white color to the already white icing as it makes a difference) and some brown. Place the royal icing into piping bags ensuring that you keep the tips covered so they do not dry out and clog up. Check out Sweetopia for piping tips.

Pipe the brown hair on each doll and flood and the pipe the underwear and shoes and flood. Allow to dry and then pipe on the skin. Leave dolls to set for at least 24 hours.

Using an edible pen draw on the face outline features. Practice with a normal pen on some paper until you get the hang of it. Once the faces are complete draw in a belly button and lines at the knees.

On a plate place a few drops of white food color, some pink and some sky blue. Mix the pink and blue with some extra white until you have a nice bright color suitable for painting eyes and lips.

 Using 000 or 00 paintbrush carefully fill in the face you have drawn by painting the eyes and lips with the food color.

Allow to dry and store in airtight containers until ready to use.

I made my cookies 1 week before the party which gave me a couple of days to decorate with royal icing. If you make sure everything is really clean they should easily last this long in airtight containers (or even longer).

Fondant Dress Up Clothes

Ingredients and Equipment
ready to roll fondant (I used Bakels)

Food Color(Wilton sky blue, moss green; Americolor electric purple; Sugarflair dusky pink/wine)
Clothing Template
Rolling pin - small plastic
Frilling tool (I used this one click here)
sharpe knife
brush and small bowl water
Piping bag and tips (#2) with a little royal icing

Before I start I wrote down approximately how many of each type of clothing in each color that I wanted to make. This should be a guide to how much fondant in each color you will need.

Color fondant with the colors until you have achieved the desired color. The light pink and darker burgandy are the same food color just using more for the darker color, that is the same for most of the colors.

Use the templates to cut out the clothing and the filling tool to add texture, place on a tray lined with parchment paper and allow to air dry for a day or until stiff.  Here are some examples of the clothing I made.

Simple top, cut out shape and use the large edge of the frilling tool on the sleeves to look like ruffles. Embelish with flowers (see below) or make a necklace of royal icing dots by gently touching the piping bag to the fondant and leaving a really tiny dot of the icing there. My icing was not stiff it was flood consistency, if your icing is stiff and peaky you can moisten your finger with a little water and gently smooth down the point. I always do a couple of practice runs on the bench or some spare parchment/baking paper first.

Pettiskirt, cut out 2 skirt shapes and trim one to make it shorter. Use the thinner edge of the frilling tool to make ruffled skirt by gently rolling it back and forth.

Adhere the shorter skirt to the longer skirt with a tiny amount of water and using the thin edge of the frilling tool to lift the skirt up in sections and make it look fuller.

Shorts cut out shape using template, place a contrast color onto the very edge of the short and then use the large edge of the frilling tool to make 'ruffles' on the short legs. Leggings were made the same way.

Dress cut out the shape using the template and using the thin edge of the ruffle tool roll back and forth to make the skirt look fuller. Cut out a smaller skirt in a contrasting color using the template and ruffle with the ruffling tool. Adhere the shorter skirt to the dress with a little water. Decorate the 'top' of the dress with some flowers or royal icing dots.

'Fabric' flowers - roll the fondant into a very thin log working quickly and use the end of the ruffle tool to start off a coil, continue to wrap the fondant around until you have a small flower shape, quickly press and edible silver ball in the center. If you work quickly you will not need anything else to stick the ball. If necessary use a little royal icing in the center of the flower to adhere the silver ball.


Use Royal Icing to adhere the fondant dress-ups to the cookies and have stacks of Fun!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Tiffany cookies for Polkadot Prints Cocktails at Tiffany's party range

A pretty plate full of cookies I made up for the Polkadot Prints new release photo shoot taken by Naomi V Photography.

These ones are Tiffany inspired perhaps for a stylish cocktail party. Or maybe an elegant afternoon tea seeings as I whipped up a batch of Tiffany blue macarons to match as well.

If you are interested in whipping up some of these elegant cookies to match your invites here are some basic steps. The blue cookies are covered in fondant coloured with Wilton Sky Blue gel, embossed with a patchwork cutter, sprayed with PME luster spray (blue pearl) and the topped royal icing dots. They would still look good without the blue luster spray, I just had it handy.

The white cookies are covered in white fondant embossed with the same patchwork cutter and then royal icing dots piped around the edge with a powder blue edible pearl every 2nd dot.

People like to use the embossers different ways, some people put the fondant onto the cookie (or cupcake or whatever treat) and then emboss, in this instance I embossed the fondant, used my square cutter to cut out the square fondant shape and then adhered it to the cookie - try each way and which ever works for you is the best/right way for you.

Helpful links to other sites, recipes and equipment
Polkadot PrintsBlog
Polkadot Prints shop
Naomi V Photography
sugar cookie recipe
chocolate sugar cookies recipe
the patchwork cutter I used:

Powder Blue Pearls

and I think that Jordan from Polkadot Prints is teasing me. I made one other set of cookies for her range that I can't wait to show off. It's a new cookie design based on one of my most popular ever cookies, so I bet you can all guess just what it is.