Something I’ve been working on alongside all the gaming props I’ve been 3D modelling are tools to help me in the kitchen. I started with cookie cutters and have been having a lot of fun putting them to use in a variety of ways, from the cookies themselves to using them in cake decorating. I wasn’t entirely sure how to approach it from a blogging perspective though. Sure, sometimes I’ll make a post just to show you guys a new cake I’ve done or something, but for cookies there’s always a recipe. And when it gets to actually cutting the dough it seemed a bit unfair to suddenly say “uh, now freehand cut out this thing I made myself a cookie cutter for”. So going forward I’m going to provide them for purchase from my Etsy store. You absolutely can freehand it if you prefer. But at least now if you want to replicate exactly how I did it, the option is there!
Of course I have to start with the pikachu cookies. Long time readers know my entire childhood was Nintendo. Not much has changed in my adulthood, including that Pokemon obsession. Only now with Pokemon Go I’ve finally been able to drag my fiance into it as well. He never really had the patience for the main games, but the mobile outdoorsey element of it has gotten him right on board. When Let’s Go Pikachu/Eevee came out I was absolutely thrilled for this merger of two worlds: the main series of games combined with the more casual element of Pokemon Go. In the weeks leading up to it I made a bunch of Pokemon-themed baked goods in celebration. So yeah. For anyone who remembers when that was released, this post is a long time coming.
When I was a kid one of the great joys of school was heading to the canteen at lunchtime to buy a packet of lollies. I don’t eat many, if any, lollies these days, but I have such an emotional attachment to those I had as a kid. There’s almost more nostalgia-factor attached to these than anything else. One of the most popular lollies were the sherbet-ty lollies called Love Hearts. There’s a few variations of this lolly. In some places they’re called Sweet Hearts, in others they’re called Conversation Hearts. But we all recognise these little heart-shaped lollies with their corny little lovey sayings emblazoned on them. What better time to recreate them in cookie form than for a Valentine’s Day treat?
Recently I’ve been experimenting a lot with making custom cookie cutters. I’ve gotten into 3D modelling and printing as part of my cosplay/prop building hobby. I started bringing these skills across into my baking hobby, but I never quite knew how to approach it as far as the blog went. How do I custom make a tool to use and then post it here without a way to replicate it?
So I’ve started a little Etsy Shop. It’s cosplay resource heavy at the moment, but as I post the cookies here I’ll also be providing the tools I made for sale there. Some ideas, such as these, will be a bit easier to replicate using standard cookie tools than others. But the option will be there should you desire it.
Cinnamon is a common theme among these Christmas cookies. And just as well as its probably our favourite spice. Hell, is there anyone who doesn’t like cinnamon? But these next cookies don’t just have cinnamon, they are all about the cinnamon.
Zimtsterne are a German cookie and very popular around Christmas time. Traditionally served by German Jews at the meal after Yom Kippur, the star shape of the cookies represent the nightfall that signifies the end of the fast. It can vary in ingredients but these are cinnamon stars at their most basic. 4 ingredients, minimal prep and did I mention you don’t even have to decorate them? Yeah, that icing goes on before the biscuits even bake.
Christmas is coming! And already my kitchen has been pumping out all the Christmas-themed desserts. My family had an early Christmas get together last weekend and obviously I volunteered to make desserts. My house smells mostly of cinnamon, the tree is covered in baubles, my house is covered in lights and my dogs are covered in reindeer hats. (Spoiler alert: one of dog is happier about this than the other one!)
One might say its beginning it look a lot like Christmas.
One thing I am doing a lot this year is cookie baking. So this week is going to be dedicated solely to Christmas cookies! Starting off super simple first off, this is a way to transform any of your favourite sugar cookie doughs.
I had a lot of sugar cookie dough to use up, but this would be great with chocolate, gingerbread or any other kind of cookie dough you’re looking to make a little Christmassy with the least amount of effort possible.
There’s a number of challenges I’ve fallen off the bandwagon with lately. My favourite of which is the Daring Bakers Challenge. Last month I was absolutely determined that I’d jump back in. Well, I did the challenge. But I didn’t get around to getting the blog done in time. ‘Better late than never’ has been my motto lately, so I figured I’d pop these recipes up belatedly. Cinnamon is certainly one of my favourite things on this planet, so skipping it felt like a crime.
The challenge was of course cinnamon rolls. Shelley from C Mom Cook dared us to create our own dough and fill it with any filling we wanted to craft tasty rolled treats, cinnamon not required! They are one of my favourite things on the planet. There are so many varieties it was so hard to choose any given one. So in the end I went with one very traditional, and the other not so traditional.
Rounding off the birthday box of treats I sent to my friend, these cookies were a little something to be shared. While I was sending her some noms I thought I'd send a few for her little furbabies, Rusty and Bella.
These cookies have to dairy, salt and cocoa removed to make them safe for puppy tummies. A treat you won't love, but your canid certainly will.
Early this week was one of my good friends’ birthday. We have the misfortune of living on opposite sides of the country, so catchups are non-existent. She spent a long time encouraging me to join deviantART and has always been such a huge supporter of my work there since. She’s always telling me how much she wants to eat the stuff I post and I keep promising her ‘one day’. So for her birthday, I decided it was time I made good on my promise and attempted something I haven’t before: shipping baked goods across the country.
I sent her a gift box of various baked goods, which I’ll show you in upcoming blog posts, but these cookies were the main feature. Domo has always been this thing between us. I don’t remember how it started. It might have been some dancing domo emoticon we always used on chat. We’re so random and hyper when conversing it could have come from anywhere. But it developed into one of those ‘our thing’ things you have with friends. In-jokes you will cry with laughter over while everyone else stares at you like you’re insane. We’ve sent each other various domo paraphernalia and merch over the years, and receiving it has always made me cackle wildly.
I don’t remember when the idea of domo cookies popped into my head, but once it did the idea was just so obvious and perfect it began to feel like it had always been my intention.
This week's challenge comes from one of my many Women's Weekly books simple titled 'Chocolate'. This is one of my books that has a lot of overlap with others, each of which people have gotten me as presents. They all offer something different, though, so I don't mind.
I bake from these books a lot, and some of my favourite cake recipes come from or have been adapted from these books. The part this book has that the others don't is a cookie section. It's all about the old and classic in these ones. I've been wanting to try Pinwheel Cookies, on Choc-Vanilla Spiral Cookies as they are called in this book, for a while. The challenge was the perfect excuse.
A few days ago I got back from my holiday in New Zealand. I still haven't settled back into a normal routine yet and haven't quite stopped buzzing from the experience. We have a phenomenal couple of weeks seeing the amazing scenery, magical wildlife encounters and even geeking out a little. Well, a lot of geeking out on my part. I got more than my fair share of The Lord of the Rings fixes as we travelled the whole country. As a lover of Tolkien and a lover of nature, NZ really covered all bases for me.
During that time, I had almost all my meals prepared for me. We had a few days where we bought salads and breads and avocado and had our own little picnic, but there wasn't much preparation needed on our part. After a while, I really started to miss it. Every time I saw an amazing cake or pastry I just wanted to bake. Before I left, I was getting really over the whole cooking thing, so the holiday came at a good time.
We arrived back home just in time to celebrate Valentine's Day and, quite soon, our anniversary. Celebrating it away from homw would have been loads of fun, but at home I get to bake. I have a huge To Bake list, but it was fitting to begin with some baked goods for the love of my life.