BACK TO BASICS: A FEW HINTS

One of the new features I wanted to include on the blog was basic DIYs. A few little how-tos to those simple little details for every party.  Cupcake toppers, garlands, bunting...the basics. So, I thought I'd start our Monday off with one of the ways I decorate cookies. I am not a pastry chef by any means, but I have a few tricks that were sweet enough to get a "have you ever thought about opening a bakery" comment on Saturday.  To which I mentioned, my heart was really in the decorations. This is decorating cookies, so it's kind of similar. 

For cookies: I make this cookie and icing recipe from THE DECORATED COOKIE because it's yummy. I know I use this ALL the time, but honestly it's the only cookie dough recipe that tastes incredible AND holds it's shape. Read: it does not move or make any sharp corners all fat and squishy, which is really good if you have say a deer head with antlers or a star.  Since it doesn't move or spread, you can pack 'em in on the cookie sheet, which saves a TON of time.  We all want more time, right?

I outline my cookie shape. 'That's your big hint?' you say?  Well, sort of.  I outline the cookie and add non-pareils usually in white. It looks pretty and it takes no talent at all. Zero. It also looks really good on a fancy cookie shape like the deer head. For Saturday, I used squares, and now, here's the hint...so you outline your cookie and sprinkle your sprinkles and 99% of them go everywhere else besides your cookie icing.  So, you sprinkle again.  And again. Then let's say you are mildly frustrated and you dump the whole jar on one cause your icing is starting to set and they are just not sticking. Now your icing is really getting firm and you have to gather up all your non-pareils to resprinkle. STOP. It doesn't have to be this hard. 

Outline all your cookies, yep all - unless you have like 40 plus then just do half. Your icing will even start to set a bit, but that's ok. Pour your sprinkles in a flat dish with a shallow rim. Make sure there is enough flat space to lay the whole cookie down flat and press your cookies in upside down onto the sprinkles. Repeat with remaining cookies and voila. See, no skill needed but you just decorated a whole bunch of cookies and regardless of how straight your icing lines were, ALL of your cookies look the same. Like a bakery.  Simple. Easy. Done in a matter of minutes. 

Another fun party hint, make a runner out of Chalkboard cloth, which is similar in texture to black vinyl, but you can write on it.  I had a yard of the stuff and just cut it with a yardstick and a rotary cutter to the width of the buffet.  Then, I did the ends so they were straight and finished it off with pinking shears. Super simple. It might want to roll on you, so just stick some removeable poster dots under the troubled parts. 

That birthday banner you saw in THIS post? There it is up there, a top the cake. She liked it so much she saved it.  Best feeling ever.