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It's all about whimsy, art and Halloween!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Holiday Cookies

Here is your virtual tray of cookies from me to you.  There are the perennial favorites as well as some newbies.  The box below tells what each cookie is.  My daughter usually helps me, but working 12 hour shifts at the U of U Hospital and nursing prerequisite classes kept her busy this year.  We create a theme for the cutout cookies because they are the stars of the show.  The baking take about 3 days.  We do them each year for our family and friends. Peace is the theme for this year.  Have some!

We use the old Wiltion recipe for the cutouts.  They added more flour a few years ago.  The old recipe uses 2 3/4 cups which can be tricky in the handling, but stays very buttery tasting even to the last roll out.   We decorate with royal icing which dries very hard.  The reindeer is everyone's favorite.  Janice helped me bring character to them with those awesome eyes.  She's a wonderful cartoonist!  Below are her designs for the tropical Christmas theme we did a few years ago.  
That was a turning point for our process.  Folks so loved the different designs that it uped our game AND our enjoyment of the process. 
It is not in the nature of artists to produce the same thing over and over.  It's so much fun to begin the design challenge!  Blue crabs for Christmas is a Maryland thing.
My favorite art professor told me that art begins with a problem and ends with a solution.  That's how we approach a theme - we ask "What if.."  Then the fun begins.
 Once we decide on a theme, Janice starts sketching.  She's learned the basic decorating from me, but she doesn't have my patience.  She'll do the first one, then I do the basics and she'll go behind me to do details. 
 We look for new recipes to try and edit our collections accordingly.
 The year we did these cookies, we were all about bling.  We wanted to use melted candy accents where ever we could.
 They were lovely, but found that the "work to looks to taste" factors was out of balance.
 The Christmas Margarita was inspired.  I was psyched to use this cookie cutter!

I can't resist buying a new cookie cutter!  I always check them at the craft and kitchen stores.  I have a separate set in my studio to use with clay media.
Sometimes you can use a generic shape, like the one above to make a cool new design!  
This year I made extra reindeer.  I was flying through them so fast that I had a whole pan that was underdone.  I lost half of them trying to move them off the tray.  Normally that's not a problem, I would set them aside for Hubby to eat.  But the carnage was so great that I just went with it. Sooo, Janice got a tray of roadkill cookies, from one warped soul to another.  She gets me.
We finally started keeping a cookie book last year.  We hope to hand it down to the next generation of cookie makers.

1 comment:

  1. I found your blog by doing a search for "clay zombies". You have some serious talent with clay! Your work is really fun to look at it! Although I'm assuming the cookies aren't made of clay... ;)