Gail Carriger is one of my new favorite authors, and for those of you who haven’t read Soulless (of The Parasol Protectorate series) or Etiquette and Espionage (of The Finishing School books), I suggest you go out right now and get them. They’re the perfect blend of light, frothy humor, pseudo-historical commentary, and plain old fun. Plus, Gail has a fashion blog that I thoroughly enjoy perusing, as it features many fun vintage and vintage-inspired looks. I even sent her one of my hats once, since her characters so clearly appreciate fine millinery.
So when I heard she was going to be in town for the launch of her latest book (Manners and Mutiny), I knew two things: First, that I was going to attend and meet her in person, and second, that I would bring cookies.
What kind of cookies, you ask? Pretty ones. Definitely pretty ones. Vaguely Victorian-ish, since that’s the era her stories are set in, and probably featuring items and/or characters from the books. When I was making the Spooky Mummy Cookies I deliberately set aside some of the dough to cut out some fancy plaque shapes, and froze the baked cookies in preparation for this project. When I was ready to get started, all I had to do was defrost and they were ready for decoration!
Not to imply that this wasn’t a complicated project– heaven forbid! It involved two different kinds of icings and several decorating techniques spread over two days, so let’s get started!
*** By the way, this is my 100th post! I can’t believe I’ve done this many in under a year– thanks to everyone for following my exploits, and I’m looking forward to some great new projects for the next 100 posts!***
In keeping with the ninja theme (it was a really cute baby shower), I finally broke out my ninjabread men cookie cutters and made ninja cookies. After the mini animal donuts I wasn’t exactly in the mood to make more icing, much less multiple colors of icing in small batches, so I decided to make these more traditional in color (black) and use my extra-dark cocoa to make chocolate cutout cookies. This way I only had to use a little melted white chocolate for the faces, and I could decorate the rest with melted dark chocolate.
This is my go-to recipe for chocolate cutout cookies. They don’t really spread at all during baking, so they’re ideal for detailed cookie cutters. Skipping the chilling of the unrolled dough makes the process go faster (soft dough rolls out more easily anyway), and freezing the cut cookies helps them keep their shape in the oven. Plus, they’re delicious– buttery, with good chocolate flavor and a hint of salt.
The other day I was hanging out with my daughter and she asked if she could paint something. Now, I could’ve gotten out the craft paint and the paper (and boy, do we have a lot of both), but for some reason that didn’t appeal. So I decided to bake cookies.
How do these two things relate, you ask? Why, we were going to paint on the cookies, of course! Continue reading →