As the year closes, Tracey Rapisardi of Tracey Rapisardi Style and I fit in one last collaboration for you. We hope you enjoy it!
It was a sweet treat to work with such a talent in styling and photography (not to mention Interior Design). The real gift was to sit and spend time with Tracey, warm up with a steaming cup of sweetened green tea, and to create this fanciful gathering which we would then come to share with you.
Another special gift this season came to me in my very own kitchen. I have actually, finally, figured out how to mix Royal Icing – the kind that hardens – from scratch. You know…the kind you see on snowmen cookies at Starbucks or at the cash wrap in Whole Foods around holiday time. If you know me, you probably know I have been experimenting with this tasty confection for some time (remember my Failure Happens post?)
Once I figured out the recipe, I admittedly went a little overboard. I bought a junk drawer load of pastry bag tips, used for decorating and writing with icing, and a few extra sets of couplers, which are used to secure the tip of choice to a pastry bag. Using all the tools I picked up, I created white, pink, green and blue shades in both outlining and flooding consistencies. Then I set up a Decor Station, which included icing, sugars, sprinkles, nonpareils, pearls, candy snowflakes and more, each in their own ramekin.
Lots of fun work and experimentation led to a strong sense of accomplishment. (My newfound success was inspired by a video tutorial, Royal Icing Wet on Wet Technique, by Simply Sweets by Honeybee. Her steady hand and the quick, easy strokes she takes with the icing is a true art.)
While the icing was still wet, sanding sugars in different colors and sizes are sprinkled over top. Immediately shake off any excess and place your decorated cookie on a flat surface to dry.
Trick: Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper before using sanding sugars or embellishments. Place a cooling rack on top and sprinkle away. You can then funnel that special fallen sugar back into the jar for later use. Happy baker, padded wallet for more ingredients.
I had a blast creating different patterns and textures on tag cookies, letters, stars and snowflakes. The possibilities are endless!
This snowflake is my favorite because of the warm and fuzzy, wintery feelings it evokes.
Don’t you just love Tracey’s use of colors and patterns? I bet those lollipops are as much of a delight to taste as they are to look at.
It is snowing in sunny Florida! Is it snowing where you live, too? 🙂
The holiday tunes on the radio turned my afternoon with Tracey into a real party. Wait until you see what she did with the decorated cookies, and don’t forget to sign up for email updates on her blog!
Whether they arrive via visits with close friends, within personal achievements of any size, or under your tree, I hope you receive the gifts you have been wishing for this Christmas.