Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Dirty's Secret Edible Christmas Ornaments!

Here they are, the finished product I was looking for! 

Instead of the usual Christmas suspects: Snowmen, Christmas Trees, Santas, Bells, etc. I wanted to make cookies that maintained the festive holiday spirit but added a little updated style! I had to go all the way to Troy, NY to get the cookie cutters needed... a little shop called Confectionary House. It was SO worth it, they have almost every cookie cutting shape you could ever want! I found my Flippy Floppie shape up there and also my large and small mittens and winter hat featured in this post! 

These I made to be sold at the Arkville Bread and Breakfast. The owner Jack was the one who decided to call them Edible Ornaments because they looked so cute and yummy! I rolled out my sugar cookie recipes par usual and I went back to my old faithful royal icing recipe using egg whites. I picked up a lighter kelly green in place of a brighter traditional Christmas green and I also mixed up my own attempted version of a darker burgundy color which came out to be more on the purple/ chocolatley brown side. Dirty's Little Secret:  sometimes mistakes work even better than what you had originally planned!   

Here's a freshy few chilling pre photo shoot.

Showing the details on some of the mini-mittens!

Perfect pairs, mittens and hats! 

I couldn't repeat the same decorations twice so every mitten and hat was 100% unique.

From left to right: Minamlist glitz, winter bling bling, beauty without the bling!

These are a little more funky and experimental!

To dot? Or not to dot? That is my question! 

A little mix and match of the snowflakes, hats, and mittens!

I know I bragged earlier about the uniqueness of the cookie designs, but with the snowflakes I just had to do them all the same because it looked so beautiful!

Who says every snowflake is not that same?

And the final product....

Boxes and the individually wrapped cookies!

Larger mittens individually wrapped selling for $3.00

Look closely, my second goodie bags are a mitten and hat set, front side mitten, backside hat! Selling for $3.00

The snowflakes and hats without mitten pairs got wrapped and sold as individuals $2.50 a piece because of their smaller size

Cookie boxes, 4 cookies total: a pair of mittens, a hat, and one snowflake for $10.00

A tray of all the wrapped cookies ready to go to the Arkville Bread and Breakfast! So stop by Jack's and pick some of Dirty's Little Secrets

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dirty's Little Secret Flippy Floppies!

I know it's December 7th and my last post was about Christmas cookies BUT I was just asked to make 50 Flip Flop cookies for A Gracious Event to promote Sandals Destination Weddings. Let me just say these were SOOO much fun to make! Dirty's First Personal Secret: I LOVE COLOR...the more the better! 

These Flippy Floppies were made from (as usual) my guru Martha Stewart's Classic Sugar Cookie Recipe.  Dirty's Secret is getting familiar with a recipe until you have it down to a science, after all practice makes perfect! 

This time around I decided to try an alternate recipe for Royal Icing. It used Meringue Powder instead of egg whites making it friendly for all you knocked up ladies out there! Let me get down to business....

Meringue Powder VERSUS Egg Whites  

Meringue Powder Positives: 
  • Smells great
  • Makes icing taste marshmellowy
  • When mixed proportionately it will set rock hard so designs will not go Twilight Werewolf on you and imprint on something
  • Good for making stiff royal icing for piping flowers or designs to be placed later on cookies.
Meringue Powder Negatives:
  • Not easy to blend 
  • Sometimes rock hard is TOO hard for an enjoyable cookie
  • It's a lot more expensive than egg whites and you have to use A LOT to get a LITTLE icing! 
Egg White Positives:
  • Easy to mix and very forgiving
  • Eggs are always on hand incase you don't have meringue powder
  • Great for "flooding" cookies
Egg White Negatives:
  • Chance of food borne illness
  • Messier than meringue powder (I'm talking about the separating of the white and yolk)
  • Harder to achieve stiff piping 
So how did my meringue powder icing effect the Flip Flops? 

It may be hard to see from just a picture but this turquoise icing held a much thicker shape. After my first 4 cookies I had thin out the entire batch with water till it achieve a flooding consistency. 

NOW looking at the orange icing you can see it has a much glossier/wet sheen. I ended up adding TOO much water to the orange icing. The first three ended up running over...flooding in a bad way. 

Now to the fun part! The Flip Flops! 

These Flops are resting on a bed of faux sand aka brown sugar!

Don't you wish they made Flip Flops this cute that you could wear AND eat?

I hope these colors inspire warm thoughts of the Caribbean.

I'm not a fan of most 3-D movies, 60% of the time I think they are just doing it to make you have to pay more per ticket! However, I am a HUGE fan of this 3-D cookie :)

Sometimes they call me Dirty Pop...can you say Color Pop?!

Some of the luckier Flip Flops got decorative French Dragees they are oh-so-fancy and oh-so-fun! On the label it says for "Decoration Only" but if you research you will find if you eat them nothing will happen unless you're ingesting large quantities of them, therefore I do not suggest adding these to your daily diet! 

Little yellow fluffy goodness :) 

Once again 3-D cookies = awesome.

Note on the French Dragees...they look pretty but be careful they are hard like rock candy!

The final product wrapped and ready to go!

Dirty's Secret Confession: I'm stubborn and prefer to use egg whites, BUT I understand in order to sell large amounts to masses of people (cross my fingers) I need to perfect my meringue powder recipes! So in the world of egg whites vs. meringue powder I'll leave it to personal preference and if you are going to have a pregnant woman eating your icing :) 

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Dirty's Little Secret...Christmas Is Coming, and It's Not Just the Goose Getting Fat !

Ok so, I  apologize in advance to all of you who will consume my cookies this Holiday Season. Is it really my fault that they taste and look so yummy? Well...maybe it kind of is :) but let me say, I am not placing the cookie in your mouth...you do that all by your onesies ( as Jack Sparrow would say).

That being said let me show you Dirty's Secret Christmas Trees, mine are already decorated!

Bet you haven't even put one up yet.

As Maria aka Julie Andrews from The Sound of Music would say "These are a few of my favorite things!" Cookies, icing, cuteness and... Christmas M&M's! I swear the Christmas edition taste better than the regular colored ones, just like how the Halloween Oreos taste better than the regular Oreo. I'm telling you, regular Oreos don't have enough filling...Double Stuffed Oreos have TOO much filling, but Halloween Orange Oreos have JUST the right amount!

These little guys got in a fight with a Candy Cane and won. They decided to turn them into hip outer wear, kudos because I bet it's tastier than bear skin.

Well it's not a silver bell.... but a blue bell looks just as good.

I'd like to point out that not every snowflake or Christmas tree is alike.

This one I apologize for because prior to my cookie photo sesh some ELF snuck into my kitchen and piped a line of pink icing. Dirty's Little Secret: this ELF happened to be of the male persuasion. Personally I had no intention of adding PINK to my Christmas cookies however, it happened and thankfully didn't ruin the integrity of this particular cookie. By the time this cookie was eaten the snowman was turned into a PINK Snowman... sigh... might be popular with little girls? 

Those were my trial Holiday Cookies, I'm still waiting on my silver and gold decorative balls to create the version I have pictured in my head. Within the next week I will have Christmas Cookie Packages featuring these yummy, decorative little guys AND my own fusion Scandinavian Holiday Cookie Platter! Did I mention I'm part Danish? Well I'll leave the full story for another post! Until then Dirty's Final Secret: up your workout routine so you can get in shape for when you have to burn off the excess calories from my cookies! Trust me, it'll be worth it!