Remember the good ole days of blogging when we wrote stuff because we wanted to share something?
I’m talking about sharing a real project or experience. Not the current version where we write things to incorporate SEO and popular searches and all the stuff that we are forced to do now in order that someone actually sees what we write about. Because the reality of this whole thing is that if we aren’t getting our views, then we have a hobby site and not something that will be a sustainable project. It’s a sad truth that while sharing for the joy of sharing is fun, it’s not necessarily going to cover the costs associated with having a web presence. And that is becoming pretty darn expensive.
So while all of that is true, it’s also the holiday season, and I wanted to do something a little different. You know me. Such a non conformist! Today’s story is going to be a photo album of some adorable Christmas cookies I made over the weekend. It’s not a recipe post, it’s not optimized for search, it’s simply a show and tell about my first experience creating decorated sugar cookies.
To get you started….
Aren’t they the prettiest? Oh my goodness! I love them, and I’m so proud of this project! These came about because I wanted to participate in a baking challenge hosted by Sally of Sally’s Baking Addiction. She does something different each month, and the point is to learn new techniques and try new things. I decided I had been sitting on the sidelines long enough, and this was my month to jump in and tackle something new. I’m so glad I did!
I went with some non traditional shapes and colors, to be sure! I picked the dog bones, because they were purchased for Willie’s doggy treats. I wanted something to honor his precious memory. The hearts are there because I love hearts. Also, these are easy shapes to frost, and I wanted to do something easy for my first go.
I had trouble figuring out the frosting bag and tips so I wound up using the ziplock bag piping method. Which doesn’t give the most accurate control, but it was fine for flooding large shapes like these. I used toothpicks to smooth the frosting out instead of the tool everybody uses, and that seemed to work fine as well. You can absolutely use what you already have and still have success with these.
I found adorable cookie cutters at Michael’s to add to my small collection. This kitty was something I found there. I also picked up the premade flowers to use as an easy way to make my basic decorating look a touch more fancy. The leaves are leaves I’ve collected this fall on my walks in the neighborhood and pressed in a book. They are remarkably well preserved, and that makes me very happy! I share them in this video podcast, so if you haven’t watched it yet, please have a look!
I guess this whole thing was about doing things from my child hood that I associated with holidays. I wanted to get back to some basics, and collecting pretty leaves and making decorated sugar cookies seemed like the perfect way to get there.
The sad thing is I never made cookies like this as a child. We didn’t cook or bake special things together when I was growing up. We just weren’t that kind of family. Mom was never a fancy cook and she wasn’t one for trying new things or doing anything decorative. So I wanted to do these NOW. Right now. Because I’ve looked at pretty cookies my whole life and always wanted to make them, but never got to do it.
Sometimes you have to drop everything to make those projects you’ve always wanted to try. Maybe it’s a paint night party, or maybe it’s a floral design class or cake decorating. Or knitting a shawl or sweater for the first time. Do you know what I’m talking about? For me, it was finally dropping every thing and working my way through the process of making these cookies.
And here’s what I accomplished!
Here’s what I learned while making these gorgeous Christmas cookies:
- They take a really long time, so plan a couple of days. I baked the cookies one day, and decorated the next. It’s important to allow the time so you can totally enjoy the experience. If you’re rushed or trying to finish this in the middle of the night, it becomes stressful. I think that defeats the purpose. This should be about slowing down and connecting.
- Having a good recipe makes a huge difference, so definitely use Sally’s! I heard so many horror stories about royal icing, and this worked really well for me.
- You do need some tools and gadgets to make these, but you can still work with what you already have on hand and produce beautiful results.
- This was incredibly rewarding and even though they took me an entire weekend and completely wore me out, I can’t wait to make them again.
- Doing things that take you back to childhood is a wonderful way to connect with a holiday like Christmas.
- Finding pleasure in simple things like collecting beautiful fallen leaves and decorating cookies is far more satisfying than any Black Friday sale could ever be.
- Homemade is worthwhile and something to make time for doing.
- Don’t be afraid of unusual shapes or colors. By far, I’ve gotten the most comments on the pink fawn. I know I love her!
I hope this inspires you to try something different this season, and I hope you can find the time to slow down and enjoy it. I think we get far too caught up in hustle and bustle and buying and wrapping and total insanity when the most satisfying things involve slowing down. Take time to bake pretty things and to drive around looking at the lights. Watch silly Christmas movies and make homemade cocoa. It’s so worthwhile, and I believe those are the things that connect us as family and to the season far more than some new video game (or whatever) could ever do.
If you would like a simpler recipe, I have something for you! Click here to see my super simple, but fancy and delicious chocolate dipped chocolate chip cookies. Check out how you can dress up with your child as adorable reindeer. This story will give you a complete makeup tutorial and links to find the pattern I used for the hat.
Merry Christmas and Happiest of Holidays to you my dear readers. I hope you enjoyed this old fashioned blog post designed to celebrate an old fashioned holiday season. I appreciate you reading my stories and crafting my projects week after week. So thank you so very much for being here!
If you are new to my site, please take a moment and sign up for my fun mailing list. You’ll never miss a project or a fun video. Like this one which kicked off the whole cookie making and baking adventure! I think you will definitely relate, so have a look. It’s guaranteed to make you laugh!