Monday, May 2, 2011

Smiley Faces - In the Form of Chocolate Chip Cookies!!

First, congratulations to the 2 winners of the book "A Fairy Godmom's Book of Reminder's"....

Amy Jean of Relentless Bride, and Pat of There's No Place Like Home. I hope you ladies enjoy this book! Please email me at with your mailing info!

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My closest friend Jennifer had a trajedy in her family recently. And then sadness struck a second time when her friend's mother passed away the following week. Jen has selflessly, and simultaneously, been there for her sister and her friend while also balancing the every day responsibilities that comes with being a wife and a mother of two. She's had little sleep, less than exciting days, and is giving of herself in more ways than one right now and is spread so thin. Aside from sending her a card a few weeks ago, I wanted to do a little something that would bring a smile to her face.

As noted in this post, I was going to attempt to make fancy cookies decorated with royal icing for Easter. And I did give it a go. But the sugar cookie recipe that I chose was a nightmare to work with. An absolute gooey nightmare. While although the actual cookies tasted good, the dough just didn't cooperate in the way that I needed it to as it soon became apparent that the recipe I had chosen just wasn't the best for rolled out cookies {despite the fact that the recipe said they were}. I did all I could to salvage the dough {because I made two big batches, adding fresh lemon zest to one batch}, but the process of getting the dough to be "manageable" so that the cookies wouldn't spread during baking was just proving to be soooo tedious - and no matter what I did {and I did a lot!}, it ultimately didn't matter because the cookie dough recipe was a big fat fail from the start {thus prevented me to even get to step 2 of actually applying royal icing to the cookies, which couldn't happen because the tops of the cookies need to be flat - not puffed up, which mine were}. I was peeved. Since decorating cookies with royal icing is usually a three day process, there was no way I could start all over again and have them ready to ship out to various friends and family in time for Easter. But there's always next year....and other upcoming holidays that are right around the corner. I see you 4th of July! ; )

But I wanted to give it a go a second time - sooner rather than later. And so last week I did just that. Except this time using a chocolate chip cookie dough recipe made for decorating the tops with royal icing. Could I do it?? Who knew. But I set out to! Because I wanted to send my dear friend Jennifer a batch of happy-face-chocolate-chip-cookies to brighten up her day!!

I'm so used to following the Nestle Tollhouse recipe that after I made this new chocolate chip recipe, the dough seemed "off" and I got nervous...but once the cookies were done baking, they were so gooood!!! After they cooled, it was onto decorating them!! I read on a cookie blog that when just starting out with decorating cookies with royal icing, it's best to just use one or two colors of royal icing so that the process doesn't overwhelm you from the start. That was a great piece of advice and these smiley face chocolate chip cookies were a great start for a first timer like me!

My circles weren't perfect and the icing on every cookie wasn't applied impeccably but I felt that they turned out pretty good being that it was my first time decorating cookies with royal icing.

I packaged each cookie individually, wrapping them first in wax paper and then placing them in a sealed cellophane bag to preserve their freshness. And then I placed them in a cute little circular box, ensured that none of the cookies shifted {to avoid any from breaking during transit}, and then placed them in a box wrapped in pink wrapping paper and off they went to California!....

I mailed my box out last Friday and Jen got the cookies on Monday! She said they were fresh and yummy and that they did indeed bring a smile to her face! Mission accomplished!!

Although my first attempt at doing royal icing cookies was a bust, I'm glad that I tried again. I have since found a delicious sugar cookie recipe that will be my "go-to" recipe for when I make cookies decorating with royal icing in the future. Because yes...more attempts will be made. And as the saying goes...practice makes perfect ; )


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