Thursday, December 18, 2014

Decorated Sugar Cookies - Santa Owls

I love owls almost as much as I love decorating cookies. Or do I love decorating cookies almost as much as I love owls? Either way, my entire apartment is full of owls. Owl curtains, owl candles, owl wax warmers, owl measuring cups, owl's bordering on obsessive. But I couldn't let a holiday season pass me by without making some adorable Santa Owl Cookies!
The Santa hats, scarves, eyes, and beaks were all made using royal icing transfers, and "glued" onto the cookies once the base coat was dry. It's an easy way to add embellishments to a cookie while giving it a 3-D effect. I also used a vintage color palette which was actually kind of an accident. While mixing up my icing I was having trouble getting my red to be that bright, vivid "Christmas" red so I called it good enough and mixed up some pale shades of green and blue to complement the maroon. Sometimes "mistakes" can give you very pleasing results so I try not to stress too much about the small stuff and see what I end up with. The only thing I would change about these cookies is that I didn't add small dots for the "whites" of their eyes - they look a bit like they're dead inside...

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Christmas Log Cabin - Gingerbread House

I decided this was the year to build my very first gingerbread house. I have no idea why it took me 25 years to get to that point, but I can say with complete certainty that this is going to become a Christmas tradition! I had a BLAST making this, and I'm really pleased with the results. 
It took me probably a week from start to finish to make this as I only worked on it for a couple hours a day. I had so much fun creating it and am already planning next year's gingerbread house(s)! Not only does it serve as a beautiful (and inexpensive) holiday decor, it's like Christmas scented potpourri for your house! I used LOTS of warming spices in the dough such as cinnamon, nutmeg, clove, ginger, cardamom, and allspice. Haniela is known in the cookie world for her incredible gingerbread creations and it is from this video tutorial that I took inspiration. She lays out the whole process, step by step.
I didn't have snowflake OR Christmas tree cookie cutters, so I improvise a bit and used flower shaped cookies and upside-down heart shaped cookies. I actually really like how whimsical and fairy-tale like it makes them look.