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simple flower cookie pops

flower cookie pops

‘Tis the season for simple flower cookie pops. Spring, Mother’s Day, birthdays, parties, I could go on with the number of uses for simple flower cookie pops… This particular arrangement I donated to an auction benefiting the DC Diaper Bank, a kick tushy organization that provides expensive diapers, ie. “health and happiness,” to families in the metro DC area.

 

flower cookie pops

When in doubt for donations, I choose flowers. They are pretty, simple, and can be used for anything. I also include instructions on how to freeze cookies, so the recipient doesn’t need to use them right away. And just in case you forgot, here’s a reminder on how to freeze cookies: Place the cookies (you can keep the cello bags on them, if they are wrapped) in gallon-size, freezer-safe Ziploc bags. Freeze. To thaw, remove from the freezer, but keep IN the Ziplocs. Let thaw completely at room temperature before removing from the Ziplocs. That’s it. It works super duper well for me.

 

flower cookie pops

 

 

how to make simple flower cookie pops

you will need:*

cookie dough
royal icing
flower cutter
lollipop sticks 
food coloring (yellow, pink, orange, blue, green and white used here)
disposable decorating bags
couplers
decorating tips (sizes 3 and 4)
rubber bands

*Find the cutter, lollipop sticks (6-inch and 8-inch used here), decorating bags, couplers and tips at the craft store. You’ll also find cello bags, ribbon, containers, tissue paper and Styrofoam blocks at the craft store, if you are making an arrangement. For food coloring, I suggest Americolor Soft Gel Pastes (Bright White, Electric Pink, Egg Yellow, Orange, Electric Green and Sky Blue used here).

For basic cookie decorating how-tos, CLICK HERE.

flower cookie pops

 

step one: bake your cookies. Prepare cookie dough according to the recipe, chill it, roll it out about 3/8-inch thick, cut out flowers, insert sticks and bake. Let cool completely. For detailed how-tos on making cookie pops, CLICK HERE.

step two: make your icing. Prepare royal icing according to the recipe. Divide and tint your colors. Prepare decorating bags with couplers and tips. Fill with the icing and close tightly with rubber bands.

flower cookie pops

step three: decorate your cookies. Pipe a spiral in the center of the lower in yellow with a size 4 tip. Outline the petals with a size 4 tip. Pipe to fill the petals with the same color and let set about 15 minutes. Pipe dots on the flowers with white using a size 3 tip. Let dry overnight.

 

Want to make an arrangement? First, I wrapped each cookie with a cellophane bag and ribbon. Then, I wrapped a Styrofoam block in tissue paper and shoved it (tightly!) into a container. Then I inserted the cookie pops. That’s it. For more information on making cookie arrangements, click HERE.

flower cookie arrangement

 

SUPPLIES:



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lemon herb shortbread cookies for Tablespoon

lemon herb shortbread cookies

While I’m all about silly, fun food here, I’ve been moving out of my comfort zone a lot in the last year. Instead of baking, I’m–gasp–cooking a lot more. With fresh vegetables and herbs and oils and whatnot. So in this vein of experimenting with fresh ingredients, I’ve been wanting to try baking with herbs for ages. (Only on a food blog can one type that sentence.) These lemon herb shortbread cookies are easy to make, but the balance of flavors is so divine they feel complicated. They aren’t. And I added the herbs on top instead of blending in the dough so you could try a variety of herbs for one batch.

Want to try? Find the recipe HERE at Tablespoon. 

 

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

5 ways to make cookie decorating EASIER!

5 tips for making cookie decorating EASIER

I’ve been decorating cookies since 1998. The first ten of those years at a shop for 8-plus hours a day. As a result of all that practice, at home, I can whip them out relatively quickly. Relatively. The whole process of making dough, chilling it, rolling it out, cutting it out, baking it, making icing, coloring the icing, filling decorating bags, decorating and letting dry is inherently cumbersome. Even with my relative speed I kind of groan every time I have to make cookies, because it takes forever. And I have so much stuff to do. Because I’m so busy and no one understands. But I digress…

On to cookie decorating. Let’s make all of our lives easier, shall we? Here are a few tips to speed things along.

 

cookie decorating how-tos

1. Use disposable decorating bags. Instead of washing out bottles, I use disposable decorating bags. These are just all around easier to use, I find. And I use them for a lot more than cookie icing (I stuff pasta, fill cupcake liners, make pancakes… and I use them all the time to make candy pops, like these sea animals or chocolate bacon pops). I buy them by the 100s. To decorate cookies, insert a coupler (without the ring) into the bag. Snip the tip of the bag below the edge of the coupler. Fit a tip on the coupler (around the bag) and screw the ring on the coupler. Fill with royal icing and close the bags tightly with rubber bands. Pipe away! When you’re done, cut out the couplers to re-use and toss the bags. To flood cookies, I fill an empty bag (no coupler) with thinned icing and just snip a bit off of the tip, then pipe to flood the icing. By the way, the picture above is from my book, Sugarlicious.

 

 

 

cookie decorating tips

2. Embrace the sprinkles! I use sprinkles liberally in cookie decorating. Why? They cover all your imperfections. Rather than create two consistencies of icing (one thicker one for outlining and one thinner one for filling in), I often just create the thicker consistency. Then, I pipe to fill the cookie and immediately coat the icing with sprinkles of the same color. Sparkle and easy all in one. Here are a few examples of how this is done: Make sparkly rainbow cookie bites, grape cookies, swirly cookie pops, and star cookies.

 

 

 

cookie decorating tips

3. Break things up and make stuff ahead. Making and coloring icing, preparing dough, cutting out and baking cookies and decorating can take many hours. I usually make icing, color it, and prepare my decorating bags up to a week before I cut out and bake my cookies. Making royal icing with meringue powder instead of egg whites means it can last at room temperature for several weeks. You can also freeze cut-out, undecorated cookies. Stack in freezer-safe ziplocs and let thaw in the bags at room temperature before decorating. I also often freeze my decorated cookies. To freeze decorated cookies, let them dry overnight. Place in a single layer in gallon-size ziplocs and freeze. To thaw, let the cookies thaw completely in the ziplock bags at room temperature. Do not remove from the bags until they are fully thawed.

 

 

 

cookie decorating tips

4. Circle cutters are your friend. I love my Ateco set of circle cutters. When in doubt, I go for an easy design using a circle shape. Not only does it look better (I think), but it saves hours in decorating. For example, instead of making 20 character cookies, why not choose one element of the character (such as a pattern on their clothing) and just make circles? Here are some examples of where I used circles: Cupcake cookies, fruit and veggie cookies, burger and fries cookies, rainbow cookies, and superhero cookies.

 

 

 

cookie decorating tips

5. Perfection schmerfection. I (clearly) don’t worry about being perfect. If you see my lines a bit? Eh, who cares? Often, instead of making two consistencies of icing–one thick to outline and one thin to flood–I just use an in-between consistency to outline and fill. Life is so much easier that way. Here is an example of where I just pipe to fill. You can see my  lines (and you can see me totally unconcerned by this): Birthday candle cookies. You may also use the design to work in your favor to only use one consistency of icing. I do this in these “chaos” letter cookies or these monster cookies.

 

 

And before you go, here are some links to help you:

cookie and icing recipes

basic cookie decorating how-tos

all about food coloring

where to find supplies

where to buy cookie cutters

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

pizza ring for Tablespoon

pizza party ring

Pizza’s awesome and all, but pizza shaped into a ring is even awesomer. I mean, it’s pizza. It’s bread. It’s shaped like a ring. Hello, party.

Make a pizza ring HERE at Tablespoon. 

 

Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!

dark chocolate fruit and nut power pops

 

dark chocolate fruit and nut pops

Admittedly, this is a dessert blog. I can’t hide that fact behind my name. But contrary to popular belief (and by “popular,” I mean all my kid’s friends who think I just throw cookies at anyone that enters our house), it’s not all sugar all the time for me. I eat lots of green things. And I dried kale to hide in foods. And I go to the gym (sometimes). And I believe in the goodness of chocolate.

dark chocolate fruit and nut pops

So here’s a quick, good-for-you, protein and power-filled snack that you should kind of really always have on hand. And you won’t even get chocolate on your fingers what with the lollipop sticks and all.

dark chocolate fruit and nut pops

 

how to make dark chocolate power pops 

you will need:*

1 cup dark chocolate chips
3/4  cup to 1 cup assorted nuts, seeds and dried fruits
lollipop sticks
disposable decorating bag
baking tray
wax paper

*Find lollipops sticks and decorating bags in the craft store.

 

What to do: Line a baking tray (or trays) with wax paper.

dark chocolate fruit and nut pops

Prepare your fruits and nuts. Here, I used chopped, dried apricots, dried cherries, sunflower seeds and peeled and salted pistachios.

 

dark chocolate fruit and nut pops

Pour the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds at 70 percent power. Stir and continue to microwave at 30 second, then 15 second, intervals until fully melted.  Fold a decorating bag over a plastic tumbler and pour the chocolate into the bag. Twist at the top (and secure with a rubber band if you like). Snip 1/4 inch from the tip of the bag.

 

dark chocolate fruit and nut pops

Pipe a dot of chocolate on the tray. Place a lollipop stick on top. Pipe circle of chocolate on top 1 1/2 to 2- inches across. Immediately sprinkle with nuts and dried fruits. Put in the fridge to set, about 30 to 60 minutes. Will make about 14 pops.

 

By the way, the sticks are optional! For more ideas on making dark chocolate fruit and nut snacks, check out these recipes from the view from great island, Miss Information, and Bright Eyed Baker.

 

dark chocolate fruit and nut power pops

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 7 minutes

Yield: 14 pops

Serving Size: 1 pop

Healthy, dark chocolate, fruit and nut power pops.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup dark chocolate chips
  • 3/4 cup to 1 cup assorted nuts, seeds and dried fruits
  • lollipop sticks
  • disposable decorating bag
  • baking tray
  • wax paper

Instructions

  1. Line a baking tray with wax paper.
  2. Prepare your fruits and nuts and chop dried fruits into small pieces.
  3. Pour the chocolate chips in a microwave-safe bowl. Microwave for 90 seconds at 70 percent power. Stir and continue to microwave at 30 second, then 15 second, intervals until fully melted. Fold a decorating bag over a plastic tumbler and pour the chocolate into the bag. Twist at the top (and secure with a rubber band if you like). Snip 1/4 inch from the tip of the bag.
  4. Pipe a dot of chocolate on the tray. Place a lollipop stick on top. Pipe circle of chocolate on top 1 1/2 to 2- inches across. Immediately sprinkle with nuts and dried fruits. Put in the fridge to set, about 30 to 60 minutes.
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Feel free to share (nicely)! While my blog's photographs and text are protected by copyright, I do allow (and encourage) you to share ONE photograph with credit to "the decorated cookie" and link to this blog post. PLEASE don't reprint any part of the blog post and PLEASE don't post a photo without credit. Thank you!