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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Thanksgiving Cookies 2014

We are having our Thanksgiving on the Saturday before Thanksgiving... because nurses rarely get time off around the holidays...and my husband is a nurse.  Hospitals are 24/7 and you are all glad they are when you need them.  Like other service providers - police, fire, EMS, hospital, military - and any others I left out, well, the families learn to be flexible.  We learn it isn't the specific day we celebrate, it's celebrating the season in whatever special way we make it.  I'm kind of used to it now...still don't like it, but I'm used to it.  We are driving to spend time with some of our Austin family and to make our presence known with the Indiana family, I sent cookies (what else).

I've been working on these for days - and they are bagged, sealed, bubble-wrapped, and boxed with a prayer that they make it through the US Mail system to the Indiana crew.  If there are broken cookies, well, look at the photos and enjoy the taste.  I'm always wanting my cookies to taste better than they look.  A cookie is to be enjoyed both visually and by taste...but really, primarily taste, right?

I got my leaf inspiration and my cute turkey inspiration from enrolling in the online version of McGoo U.  That Arty McGoo has put together a first class cookie instruction/entertainment/share fest and I'm so thrilled to be a subscriber.  I have watched all of the October and November videos and the dotted and painted (with food coloring) leaf project was part of the long class for November.  Then, the precious seated turkey, looking somewhat alarmed and bug eyed (with those cuteeee feet) was the project from visiting Professor Georganne Bell aka LilaLoa, in the segment "Expert Lab" in November's sessions.

I doubt I really did either cookie artist/instructor justice, because I had to adjust each for my "tastes"...but I admit to feeling somewhat proud of my watercolor leaves!  It gave me the courage to try it different ways, despite not having a good color palette of Wilton gel colors to use.  I stopped buying Wilton several years ago and have been a devotee to AmeriColor with a few sidesteps to ChefMaster from time to time.  I will absolutely admit though, Arty McGoo is right on.  I had left some AmeriColor gel colors on the palette from maybe 6 months ago, in a plastic baggie.  The darn things were still sticky to the touch!  I set up a palette with the Wilton and they are dry and not sticky at all.  I'm going to re-stock my Wilton colors, just for painting!  My leaves look a bit psychedelic because I really didn't have the recommended colors.  Nonetheless, I like them...I am embracing my inner kindergartner who enjoys playing with water colors.

Let me just say... CHECK OUT McGOO U ONLINE!!!  If you want to step up your cookie decorating game, this is a great way to do it.  Internationally renown cookie artist, Arty McGoo, shows you step by step how to make some really cool cookie sets.  You can try it out on a monthly basis or there is a reduced price for annual subscriptions.  I'm changing my monthly to annual as soon as I finish paying for Christmas!!!  My gift to myself. (Although I may sound like it, I am not a paid endorser, nor stalker of these people...LOL!!!)

I haven't stenciled in a while, so I tried a few different plaques and stencils and sprays and thick RI...I learned, once again, that my cookies are not flat - but I still liked the overall look of these cookies.  My favorite is the large leaf with a pearlized spray over a Designer Stencils paisley stencil I picked up at CookieCon.  It looks simple, yet elegant.

I also really like the Cookie Countess subway art and leaf stencils.  They turned out nothing like I expected, but absolutely love they way they look in the end (the gold tint is from an epic fail on my part by over-saturating spray which I quickly wiped off - to result in a gold overtone to the light green cookie - then I sprayed darker green on top of gold green...turned out kind of cool.

Simple leaf was stenciled with thick royal icing, just blobbed
on in layers, then scraped upwards to make the
color changing Autumn leaf!

The stencil for this plaque cookie is from Designer Stencils obtained last year.  The berries along the edge were also sort of learned in McGoo U - I had never thought about dropping another color inside a berry.  That was from the October tutorial with visiting professor, Maryann Rollins, aka The Cookie Artisan.  I also used foodcolor from my palette and a fine tip brush to paint some copper/brown leaf veins and acorn tops.  I need to get over being afraid of painting things - especially when icing just won't do.  I'm gonna be stretchin' my wings, y'all!

I got this tall pumpkin cutter earlier this Fall and I must say I am in love with it.  The ivory pumpkins turned out just the way I envisioned them in my head.  I got it, and a stencil genie, from Creative Cookier.  Unfortunately, my big plaques were too large for the genie...but the paisley stencil on the leaf worked beautiful...Literally hands-free stenciling!  So excited to use it on some of the Christmas cookies I am planning.  Wheeee!!!  I'm getting wound up just thinking about it :-)

Thanks for stopping by and checking out my playtime with cookies.  I baked and decorated 80 cookies (I ate two - one red velvet and one vanilla bean sugar - just to ensure quality control!).  I can't wait to share the goodies with my family members, both near and far.

Good thing we are empty nesters and don't eat at our
kitchen table...because where the heck would I spread out
my cookies while decorating?
I cropped out as much of the surrounding area as
 possible - you just cannot imagine the mess I make
when decorating.  It's an embarrassment!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!!

Bon Appetit, Y'all!!! 



  1. Wow! I think you used every decorating technique in these cookies. I LOVE that! You piped, stenciled, painted, drew, some dimensional flooding... and it all looks gorgeous!
    It makes me soooo happy to hear that you are enjoying McGoo U! Thank you, you've really made my night! <3

    1. Best comment EVER! Thank you for all you do for the cookie art world ;-)


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