Tag Archives: red

High School Graduation Cookies

A young lad in a family that we are very close to graduated high school (from my high school!) last week. He is the youngest son of my old swim coach. I offered to make cookies for his graduation party, and his mom gladly accepted.

I was discussing designs with my mom, and I knew I wanted to do something swimming related because the entire family was very immersed in the swimming world. My mom told me that he was “not that into swimming” and that it was mostly the older brother who had been interested in it. She said the younger only did it because his dad was the coach. I thought she was crazy, but I had kind of put off the idea anyway…

Then came the high school swim team’s awards night. My swim coach was retiring after 18 years of coaching high school, so a sort-of surprise party was arranged to bring in as many old swimmers as possible and flood the audience at the awards night. (I made and brought 6 batches of kettle corn for the event!) It was there that his youngest son, who’s “not that into swimming” won award after award, and it was obvious that he was one of (if not the) fastest/best guy on the team. I concluded that my mom was undoubtably wrong and that I was doing some sort of swimming cookies after all.

(When I told the graduate this story, he laughed and said he was more into swimming than his older brother!)

I ended up just doing one swimming themed cookie, because too many designs would have made me crazy. These are my high school colors, with a “splash” of “pool” blue.


I made graduation caps, stars, circles with our high school initials on them, and fancy plaques with the graduate’s name.


At my high school, the girls wear red robes and the boys wear black.



Here are the swimming cookies. For those not immersed in the swimming world, the red and black dots are lane lines that are strung the length of the pool to separate the lanes. At my high school, our swim team had a tight budget, so our school colors lane lines only came out for special occasions like a swim meet.


Here are all the cookies on the platter. I love how the blue gives it a pop!


Oh yeah and I did one 2012 cookie. I wanted to do more but I thought it would be too fragile.


Go Lancers!

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Red Velvet Donuts {Guest Post}

I am very happy to introduce my first guest post! Mallory is my coworker’s daughter and she is away at school in Chicago. (Which is too bad because we are like baking soulmates!) Mallory agreed to do a little guest post for me, and what a perfect time because my hubby and I are on vacation!! Thanks again chica!

My name is Mallory and I am a college student with a very large sweet tooth. I’ve always loved baking and filling people’s bellies with delicious treats. Very recently have I started venturing outside of boxed cake and brownie mixes (though they are delicious). Now that I am out of the dorms and in an apartment, I am eager to use my kitchen as much as I can. I’ve actually had to cut back on the baking so I didn’t overload my roommates and myself too much, not that they ever complained! Anyway, a lot of what I bake comes from Pinterest and from this blog.


A few months ago, I had my very first red velvet cupcake at a wonderful place called Flacos Tacos. I recently found out that these are actually made by Au Bon Pain and distributed, but I still like to pretend that they are from Flacos because it gives me an excuse to go back weekly. 🙂 The cupcake was absolutely magical, and I have yet to find anything like it. Essentially, I’ve been obsessed with red velvet ever since and have been eager to find a recipe. I’ve realized that I have never baked red velvet anything. While searching for the perfect, but somewhat simple recipe to try, I came across a website called velveteenbaker.com through Pinterest. Since I hadn’t yet used this Babycakes Donut Maker my grandma bought me for Christmas, these cute little red velvet donuts definitely caught my eye.

Because I have absolutely no experience baking red velvet or donuts, I figured I would follow this recipe exactly before trying to make it my own.

Ingredients for Donut batter:

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

3/4 cups buttermilk

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp red food coloring

1 tbsp natural cocoa powder, not dutch-processed

2 eggs, lightly beaten

2 tbsp butter, melted

Preheat oven to 425°F. Spray donut pan with nonstick cooking spray. In large mixing bowl, sift together all purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.

Make a paste with the cocoa and red food coloring. This part worried me. Mine was powdery rather than pasty and red, but don’t worry because when you add it with the rest of the mixture it will turn out the way it should. Here’s what my “paste” looked like:


Next, add buttermilk, eggs, vanilla extract, butter and red paste mixture and beat until just combined. The batter should be thicker than normal cake batter. This picture doesn’t help much considering that it’s red on red.


Fill each donut cup approximately 3/4 of the way full. Bake 5-8 minutes or until the top of the donuts spring back when touched. Mine baked in about 3-4 minutes, but if you’re baking in donut pans in the actual oven 5-8 will be necessary. This was actually the trickiest part and I made an absolute MESS. As you can see below, the holes in the donut maker are tiny, but I wanted to be precise as possible so that they turned out round and fluffy.


I thought that using a piping bag would do the trick, but the mixture was way too thick for it. I ended up with red batter all over my cabinets and my arms somehow. I don’t even know how that happened. But I also don’t have much experience with piping bags, so if you have the skill and are feeling gutsy go for it. 🙂 Anyway, I ended up just using a good old-fashioned silverware spoon and hoped for the best. The spoon worked better for me. In the picture below, the piping bag ones are on the left and the better-looking spoon ones are on the right.


Also, I baked the donuts before I even made the vanilla glaze. That way, I could glaze them all at once and didn’t have to worry about the mixture hardening and becoming chunky.

Ingredients for Vanilla glaze:

2 tbsp hot water

2 cups confectioner’ s sugar

1 tbsp milk (I substituted buttermilk since it was all I had)

½ tsp vanilla extract

In small bowl, stir together all ingredients until sugar is completely dissolved. Use immediately to glaze donuts. You can either toss them in or dip just the tops. If the glaze starts to harden you can add more hot water, though I didn’t need to.

I basically took the donuts by hand (some cooled, some not) and dipped them in the glaze. I let them dry for a minute or so and dipped them again to make the coating a little bit thicker. Here’s the final product. They were yummy and a lot better when fresh. Though I think that next time a cream cheese glaze would be amazing!



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Popcorn Cookies

Here are some more popcorn cookies I did.


These were for a 15 year old girl’s Movie Birthday Party.



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Circus Birthday {Girl}

A couple days ago I posted another circus birthday, but for a boy. This time, the circus party was for a little girl.

I definitely wanted to do circus tents again, because I loved the way my last ones turned out.


I recently bought a big assorted set of Wilton cutters. (Actually didn’t get too many duplicates, which was awesome! What does everyone do with all those duplicates anyway? I have a bag started..) Anyway, in it was a balloon cutter, and after seeing the balloon cupcakes for my last circus party, I thought the balloon would be a good addition to this cookie party.


(If I weren’t doing these for 2 year olds, I would have stuck a sting to the back of each balloon with a dab of frosting. I figured 2 year olds wouldn’t know to pull it off so I just left it out.)


I came across these adorable circus cookies by Nicole of Life’s A Batch a while back, and the mama for these cookies just loved them when I sent her the link. From these cookies I drew inspiration for the pink elephants.


We also liked the idea for popcorn buckets. I had seen these by Bridget of Bake at 350 a while back, and I also loved the ones from Life’s a Batch, so I combined the ideas into something I could create with my style of frosting/icing.

For the actual popcorn kernels, I was having a hard time deciding what I wanted to do. First I tried using only icing, and planned on layering blobs to create “popcorn.” But because my icing is similar to glaze, it wasn’t holding it’s popcorn shape the way I wanted.

I scraped that idea (literally) and kind of “gave up” and turned to my trusty buttercream… just started creating my blobs. They were kind of bumping into each other and not really looking like kernels anymore.. They needed butter. Problem was, I didn’t have anymore buttercream to dye yellow for the butter. I definitely didn’t want to make a whole new batch just for a couple tablespoons needed. So I winged it and started using icing. Not something I’ve ever done before. I outline in buttercream, fill in icing, and use buttercream for details. Icing on top of blobs of buttercream? What the hell is that?

I’ll tell you. It’s butter. MELTED butter.


Perfection. Accidental perfection.





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Circus Birthday {Boy}

What are the chances? Two back-to-back circus birthdays for 2 year olds? One is for a boy and one is for a girl. You will see the girl’s circus birthday later this week.

I want to start by saying I LOVE the circus. I went every year as a kid. Even when I got older and didn’t yet have kids to take with me, I still loved to go. Oddly though, I don’t like clown stuff much. I don’t mind the actual clowns at the circus, but I don’t like clown dolls, pictures, figurines, etc. And I’ve never even seen It or Chuckie or anything scary. I don’t know, they just weird me out. Sometimes when I do to Chevy’s, there’s this clown there who makes balloons for the kids. She kinda creeps me out too. Maybe I just prefer a safe clown distance when they’re real.

Anyway, I didn’t make clown cookies. I didn’t have a good cutter… and what I was envisioning was not translating to paper well and not really “findable” through a google search. For some reason people think clowns in cookie form need to be wearing pointy party hats, although I’ve never seen a real-life clown wearing a party hat. Ever.

So I made circus tents. I found a few images through google search that I liked, but they were made with royal icing, so I had to adapt to my own style. Here is what I came up with:



I am SO in love with how they turned out!

We also did some #2’s for the 2-year old birthday boy.


I bagged them up to be favors, and attached these cute little tags the mama found. It’s hard to read in this pic but it says “Thank you for coming to my party.”



I also made cupcakes for this circus party. There were red yellow and blue striped cupcakes with cute little toppers…


…as well as a few balloon decorated cupcakes for a special display.


and here is a picture of the whole treat table!



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Rio (Parrot) Birthday

For a little guy’s 2nd birthday, the theme was Rio the movie. I’ve never seen it, but it’s about a blue parrot. Looks pretty cute, I need to add it to my Netflix queue.


I made Rio cookies, along with 2’s on little circles, and packaged them up similar to the bridges I did recently.


I also made parrot colored cupcakes… I used the same technique for these as the rainbow cupcakes I made here and here.



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Valentines Sugar Cookies

For valentine’s cookies, I always do the traditional colors, then throw in purple. This year, inspired by this beautiful set by iambaker, I decided to go light blue instead. Enjoy!


Love these sweet pink and white ones…


This one is my favorite!


Love the little bow on this one…



Can never go wrong with sprinkles, especially festive non-pareils!



My husband said the blue one below looks the yummiest… the big heart sprinkles on the pink one I found at the 99 cent store!





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Cookie Truffle Balls

I found the inspiration for these here. Brilliant! Why did I not think of this sooner when I heard about cake pops? These are basically the same idea as cake pops/cake balls, except instead of using cake, you use cookies!

I baked my normal sugar cookie recipe, making sure to cook them a little longer than normal so they were extra crispy. Then I turned them to dust in my food processor. I guess you could put them in a bag and smash them if you wanted, but I didn’t want to end up with chunks. I used almost a full batch of cookies. (I baked a few for a friend with the same batch, pics of those soon.)

I mixed in cream cheese. I used my KitchenAid for this because it would have taken me forever to mix it in by hand. I just kept adding more until it all started to stick together in a huge clump. it came out to about 1 1/2 bricks. (Oh and I used the kind that’s 1/3 less fat.)

Then I formed balls (just like cake pops) and set them on wax paper. I did a few with sticks, but I left the rest just as balls so they could be cute little truffles.

They sat in the fridge/freezer for a few minutes, then they were dipped in candy melts. These I was making for a friend’s birthday, so I did her favorite colors.

The purple candy melts you buy were kind of a weird color so I added some purple food coloring (Gel kind only, you don’t want to add liquid to candy melts!)

Oh and she has a twin, so I made some for him too. His “favorite” colors are all his sports teams’ colors. I had a choice between red-gold (49ers), purple-silver-black (Kings), or orange-black-white (Giants). I chose red-gold because the ones I was making for his sister were going to be purple and I wanted them to be different. I was trying to figure out how I was going to do gold when I saw these at Michael’s:

They look perfectly gold! So I made them and they looked awesome. Then I tried to move them and they got really messed up and I got SOO mad at myself for trying to move them… so I remade them. Don’t they look awesome!

THEN my friend finally texts me back… see when I bought the “gold” candy melts it occurred to me that some people  are allergic to peanuts. I have known these guys all my life and I figured he wasn’t, but it is still important to ask. Turns out, he IS allergic. Yeah, all his were completely done at this point. (Plus there’s the 3 that I had to redo because I tried to move them.) GRRRRR….

So then I had to redo all of his in red-white. They still turned out great but not as “wow” as the gold ones. Oh well. 🙂

…and then I needed a ride to dinner with them and the friend driving said she’d only pick me up if I made her some treats too. Anyone okay with getting paid in treats  is fine with me! It’s not hard to guess that these were my favorites!

Everyone at work is getting the rest, so I just made them fun colors with what I had left. The ones with sticks actually came out pretty cute too.

I bought these cute little treat boxes at Michaels for the ones that were gifts. I was just disappointed that I couldn’t fit more in each one. Next time I will get the “candy” sized papers and make the balls a little smaller…

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Beer Pong Cookies

It was a friend’s birthday today and her mom wanted me to make her some special cookies. We were trying to think of the cookie to make for her, and it hit me what would be perfect. Last time we went camping, she stomped all the boys at beer pong! How awesome would beer pong cookies be?!

Well obviously there is no “beer pong cup” cookie cutter. I went through everything I had and nothing would work.. I was planning on making a stencil and cutting them out by hand, until I visited a couple bakery stores in my area and found a flip-flop cookie cutter:

Same basic shape as a cup, I just had to bend the left side out a bit and square up the top and bottom and I was ready to go…

I decided to outline the ball in black so that it would stand out well against the white of the inside of the cup.

I outlined the ridges…

I filled the red sections separately so that they would each “heap” separately and really show off the ridges that make it the “red cup.”

I filled in the balls white. The inside of the cups I added the tiniest amount of black possible, just to make it a slightly different color from the white of the ball.

Cookies were bagged and tied with ribbon…

…after I arranged a red cup beer pong set-up!

So the birthday girl lives in Chicago. Yeah, I’m in California… first attempt at shipping. We used LOTS of bubble wrap, and chose overnight FedEx.

…and….. not a single cookie broke! Every single one made it safely. And the birthday girl loved them!

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Hot August Days Cookies

This year’s theme for my annual company picnic is “Hot August Days.” Whilst perusing cookie cutters online, my coworker came across this 57 Chevy Cookie Cutter.

I was “hired” to bake 300 cookie favors for the picnic. The biggest feat for me to date, and it was a huge success!

All cars were to be identical red chevys. I baked the week before, and froze them until it was time to decorate. I knew 300 cookies was a lot, but until they were taking over my freezer I didn’t really realize how crazy this was going to be.

Assembly-line was the way to go. I started with the tires…

Then added windows and the side panel…

Then outlined the cars…

Filled in the tires, then the cars, then the windows and side panels…

Then finished them off with the side-line and “hubcaps.” I had originally planned on leaving the tires black, but my husband INSISTED that it looked dumb without the white on them. I thought it was the white-walled tires, but my husband corrected me, they are the hubcaps. OKAY.

Then each cookie was bagged and tied with ribbon. Here is the finished product!

Did I mention I have a full-time 8-5 job? This was all done after work hours and on my weekend… thank GOODNESS I had the help of my husband, my mom, and my best friend. There is no way this would have been done without them!

Here is my friend Chelsea (who helped so much with the decorating!!) enjoying a cookie. Or as my mom says, the car is “zooming” into her mouth. Haha…


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