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.
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.
If you’re someone who bakes a lot, or are the recipient of home baked goods, you’ll know what I mean when I say store-bought cookies just don’t cut it any more. No matter how nice the brand is, nothing compares to fresh cookies right out of the oven. Which is always a problem when cookie-craving-hour unexpectedly strikes. You know buying cookies for the moment is just going to lead to disappointment, but baking an entire batch of cookies seems like so much effort. If you manage to conjure up the energy, then you have to work out what to do with the rest once the craving is satiated. If you live in a full household baking an entire batch of cookies mightn’t be an issue. But if, like me, your household is tiny, you’re left with more cookies than anyone has the stomach for. It’s often not long before I decide the effort is just too much and wallow in cookie-craving-self-pity instead.
Lately I’ve spent so much time making fancy stuff that it had been months since having anything simple, like cookies. Increasingly so, a little voice kept popping into my head going, “Ooh, cookies. Must have cookies.” It was always defeated by the effort involved when I just wanted one or two. Eventually I decided I needed a solution to the dilemma and dedicated an afternoon to what I call Emergency Cookies at home.
“What are emergency cookies?” you might ask. They’re pre-prepared packages of cookie dough that can be stored long-term and baked on an as-needed basis. Any time someone in the household gets hit by the cookie cravings, I can throw as many cookies as required in the oven with minimal effort required. The best part is the amount of variety you can get out of one or two batches of dough: definitely everyone’s favourite part of emergency cookies.
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.
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.