Friday, July 23, 2010

Wedding Cookies

I spent the bulk of the past two days working on an order of royal icing decorated sugar cookies for a wedding this Saturday. These might look familiar since I made similar cookies a while back for a bridal shower.

I basically made a smaller, slightly modified version of the original sugar cookies I made for the bridal shower. In addition I also made some heart shaped cookies with the couple's monogram.

I went simple and clean on both designs, using mostly white with just a hint of clover green accents to play off the wedding colors.

The wedding cake cookies got a bit of color in the form of tiny handmade gum paste flowers, while I chose to pipe the monogram on the heart cookies in the same clover green. Both designs got a bit of sparkle with some white sanding sugar.

I used my current go-to rolled sugar cookie recipe, an adapted version of The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies from All Recipes, and Bake at 350's Royal Icing recipe. This was my third time decorating sugar cookies with royal icing. I could still use A LOT of practice, but I've decided that I don't really enjoy baking and decorating sugar cookies as the process is so time consuming and exhausting. I don't think I'll have the desire to bake/decorate any more sugar cookies for a long time, despite how cute they can be.

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies
adapted from All Recipes

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3 cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
5 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir until just combined. Divide dough into two disks and wrap tightly in plastic wrap; chill for at least 1 hour, or overnight.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Roll dough out on a floured surface to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes. Place cookies at least 1 inch apart on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Place cookies on sheet in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before baking, until hard.*

Bake in preheated oven for 10-14 minutes, until edges just begin to turn light brown. Do not over bake. Let cookies cool for 1-3 minutes on baking sheet before removing to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Once completely cool, decorate as desired.

*I find that working with 3 baking sheets at a time is very helpful. Once you get into a groove, there will always be one sheet baking, one sheet in the freezer getting firm, and one sheet available for the cookies you are currently cutting out.

Royal Icing
from Bake at 350

4 tablespoons meringue powder
scant 1/2 cup water
1 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon corn syrup
few drops of any clear extract (I left this out)

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the meringue powder and water. Beat until combined and foamy.

Sift in powdered sugar and beat on low to combine. Add the corn syrup and clear extract, if using. Increase speed to medium-high/high and beat for about 5 minutes, just until the icing is glossy and stiff peaks form. Do not over beat.

Use immediately, color to preference, or cover tightly with plastic wrap until ready to use.

This stiff consistency is ideal for outlining or piping detail onto cookies. To adjust the icing to flooding consistency, add a teaspoon of water at a time, stirring with a rubber spatula, until the icing is the consistency of syrup.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Pleasant Changes

I have some pretty exciting news to share. I've been waiting to share the news for several weeks as I wanted to hold off until everything was confirmed. There are still some final steps we have to take before everything is completely official, but I am overjoyed to share that...

The hubby and I are buying our first home!

We feel incredibly blessed to have the opportunity to even entertain the thought of home ownership so early in our lives. I just turned 23 and my husband just graduated college and started his first "real" job. I feel so blessed to be able to take such a huge step two and a half years into our marriage. Purchasing our first home makes me feel all grown up. Long story short, what started out as a hunt for us to find a single-family home to rent turned into our first house hunt! We found a 3 bedroom/2 bath, 1,521 square feet new construction home that we love. The layout is ideal for us and the home feels so spacious and is perfect for entertaining. Currently we're on schedule to close around August 6th!

What will become my studio/office is at the very front of the house, which will be perfect for having clients stop by. You enter the large, open living room/eat-in kitchen after a short entryway/hallway. The hallway to the rest of the bedrooms is off the living room. The master bedroom (complete with master bath and a walk-in-closet), the guest bathroom, a linen closet, the third bedroom and the laundry room/mudroom are all in this area. I really like that there is a separation from the main living area. I'm extremely excited about the space and have been pondering ideas for decorating. I'm looking forward to adding DIY and decorating posts to the blog. We'll be purchasing a few furniture pieces right away, but, for the most part, our home will be a work in progress for some time. I'll be sharing some of my inspirations and my ideas for the different rooms of our home on the blog over the coming weeks.

First I thought I'd share a few ideas I have in mind for our entryway. While I love the look of adorable coat racks and umbrella stands, our entry is somewhat narrow and does have a coat closet, so they aren't quite as practical or necessary for the space. I knew I wanted to include some simple wall art and a place to drop keys, mail, etc.

After seeing John and Sherry at Young House Love add these adorable wallflowers by Umbra to their guest bedroom, I was completely smitten and knew I wanted to find a place to add them to my home one day. I'd love to add these white flowers to the right wall of my entry, sprinkled in sort of a random horizontal pattern, leading into the living room. I love the clean, graphic look of the flowers and their playful, whimsical feel. I think they would be the perfect thing to add a "wow" factor to our narrow entry.

Originally I was hoping to find a place for a cute console table to use as a drop for keys, mail, etc. Since there isn't an ideal space for one in our future home, I was sort of lost for ideas. That is until I saw this cute and functional letter organizer, also from Umbra. I love the simple, sleek look of the brushed aluminum organizer. There is plenty of room to hold mail, a flap to hold notes, shopping lists, etc., and even a few hooks for keys. How perfect! I think there should be just enough room on the left wall of our entry, before the door to my studio/office and the coat closet, for this darling organizer.

I think these two additions would be just enough to add some function and interest to our entry without overwhelming the space. I'll be back soon with some ideas for my studio/office!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Office and Studio Inspiration

I love the clean and simple display of art above this desk.

Design*Sponge has posted some of their favorite offices recently and I thought I'd share my favorites out of the bunch as well as some other inspiring studios I've seen around the net. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

This wall-mounted organizer is fantastic.

I really love the soft, neutral colors of this space.

I love inspiration boards!

The "Hand Made Love" sign in this space is so unique and creative.

I have posted about this space more than once before, but I can't help being smitten with everything about it!

This space looks so loved and productive.

I am really drawn to the look of colorful fabrics stacked neatly in open or glass front shelves.

No list of inspiring studios would be complete with mention of this space from Alicia Paulson of Posie Gets Cozy. This was the first studio space that made my heart skip a beat and I think it will always be one of my absolute favorites!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Share Buttons