Amandolin Kitchen

Cookies, cakes, candies, and other kitchen escapades

Back to School Pot Luck

Last night was our annual back to school potluck at my kids elementary school.  Of course, I had to bring cookies.  I’d been dying to try out my new monkey, lion, and elephant cookie cutters, and this was the perfect opportunity.  I brought about three dozen (I didn’t have time to make more than that) and they were gone within minutes!  Next year I’ll start a little earlier and bring more.  There were several disappointed children who really wanted a cookie and they were gone by the time they got through the line.

Animal cookies for potluck

Not only did I get a lot of compliments on how cute they were, but a surprising number of people were astonished that they were really tasty too.  Maybe it shouldn’t surprise me, but it seems people expect them to either look good, or taste good, but not both.  Since I would never serve anything that I wouldn’t eat myself, I spent a lot of time developing my recipe so that it would be yummy, soft but not crumbly, and sturdy enough to hold up to the icing decorations.  It looks like I did a good job.

Monkeys

I had the most trouble with my monkey cookies.  The black icing was too thick, and that made it difficult to control, and you can see all the piping on their noses.  I’m getting better with every cookie though.

Lions

These lions were so much fun!  I loved giving them their furry manes.

Elephants

I am particularly happy with my elephants.  I loved doing the mendhi designs on their foreheads.  It was my first go at piping this type of design, and after a couple of learning cookies (which my children happily helped me dispose of) they turned out really well.  I have plans for a whole batch of cookies using this technique.

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Pink Daisy Cookies

These cookies were made as marketing gifts for some of the local coffee shops around town.  I had a very good reception, and developed several new leads.  I would love to get my cookies a permanent spot in some of the local establishments.

Daisy cookies

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Nana’s Favorite Flowers

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My Nana has always kept a windowsill full of African Violets.  They are always beautiful, and remind me of her when ever I see them.  These sweet violets in their terracotta pots were inspired by these by one of my favorite cookie bloggers, The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle.

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Cake!

I’m baking for my husbands work again.  What can I say, I love to bake, but I really shouldn’t be eating everything that comes out of my oven.  It’s nice to have such a willing and eager crowd to cater to.  This was for the birthday of one of the nurses that my husband works with.  Dark chocolate cake with raspberry filling and vanilla butter cream frosting.

Pink Roses Cake

Pink Roses Cake side view

And with just a little bit of left over batter, I made some cupcakes for the kids.  They love it when I bake, and are always so disappointed when it’s for someone else and they don’t get any.  This time they lucked out!

Rose cupcakes

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Smart Cookies

In honor of Brad’s first clinical rotation as a PA student, I made cookies for the office he was working with.  Neurology is the specialty that he want’s to pursue, and his first rotation was at a neurology clinic.  So I just had to make brain cookies.  I couldn’t help myself.  It was way too fun.  Also some myelinated neurons to round out the theme.

Brains and Neurons

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Kittens in a Basket

A coworker of my husbands has been going through a rough time.  Several health issues compounded by a particularly crappy week at work, and he thought she could use some cheering up.  Nothing says “I Care” like cookies.  She loves cats, so I thought that would be a welcome theme for these.  I hope these adorable kittens peeking out of their heart shaped flower baskets can brighten your day too.

Kitten in basket

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Picnic Tulips

Spring had sprung, and it was time for the PA Students annual picnic.  Brad wanted me to bake something for the potluck, and tulips seemed appropriate.  I used a bell shaped cookie cutter upside down, and had a lot of fun playing with marbling technique.

Tulips

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It starts.

Believe it or not, this was my first foray into the world of decorating cookies. These were for the Senior Tea at my first graders elementary school. I’ve baked cookies before, and I’ve done a little cake decorating, but I had never tried my hand at royal icing and fancy cookies. I wanted to send something pretty, and these were calling to me to be made. Needless to say, I was very pleased and surprise with how well they turned out. And with that, a new passion was born.

Fancy Heart Cookies

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