Thursday, February 22, 2018

3D Alligator in the Swamp Cookies

So last September, we went alligator huntin' in the Louisiana bayou. 

Actually, we went on a swamp tour that nearly wasn't. I tell ya, over the years my hubby and I have had quite a few adventures. 

We have flipped our kayak in Kauai, nearly drowned when our whitewater raft hit a rock and tipped us out into the Nantahala, hubby's air tank sprang a bad leak on an underwater Bahamas get the idea.

So when we boarded our boat I should not have been surprised when a few minutes later as we were winding our way through the wetlands, our motor began smoking! And then when our--really he was a wonderful--guide couldn't get a signal out on his cell phone, I had visions of us going down in that swamp in flames! Whew!

But alas, we were saved. Another tour came by, helped us tie our boat to theirs, and towed us back to the dock where we boarded a new boat. And we live to see another day.πŸ˜…
These 3D alligator cookies were inspired by both the real alligators we saw as well as the adorable cookie cutters I found in one of the cute gift shops.

My oldest grandson--I love you, Jojo--is a huge fan of alligators. His goal is to wrestle and tame them! Be still my heart! Maybe I'll just give him these cookies and we can forget all about that craziness! Yes..that sounds good to me!

Cookie time!

I think I'll go ahead and take a bite out of mine before it takes a bite out of me!
Make your favorite cookie dough, or use this one as you scroll to the end of the post.

Separate the dough in two parts and tint half of it green.
 I used my rectangle 4 1/2 x 3 inch cookie cutter for the base. You can find it here.

You can also find the alligator cutter here.
Roll out your pretty green cookie dough on a lightly floured surface.
Cut cookies, and place on a parchment lined pan.
While cookies are already on the pan, use the rectangle cutter (or a knife) to cut off a bottom portion from gator. 

Be quick about it as gators don't like this much.😜
 Cut out, bake, and cool cookie bases.
We are using canned frosting, food color, candy eyes, and green and blue candy melts to decorate our cookies.
With a drop or two of blue, stir into canned frosting to tint. Spread a thin layer of frosting onto rectangle cookie bases.
I don't know what took me so long to start melting my candy melts in piping bags. So much easier, quicker and way less messy.

Just pop a few melts into bag, melt at 50% power in 30 second increments stopping to squeeze bag each time until melted smooth.

Snip off the tip of bag and you're ready to, pipe!
I piped these freehand. It's just swamp grass, so there is no wrong way to do it.
Ohhh! Let's put these together.

Use the green melts to attach the candy eyes to the alligator faces.

Melt blue candy melts as we did the green and pipe "water" onto the cookie base. You can smooth it with an offset spatula.
Place alligators and swamp grass on cookies.

Look how fun these turned out!
Here we have an aerial view of our swamp.
If you've never been to Louisiana, I say hightail it on down and take a tour. And if you find yourself near New Orleans, stop in at Cafe Du Monde and enjoy the most amazing beignets and coffee you've ever tasted!

Later, gator..KarenπŸ’—

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Strawberry Sweethearts

The closer we get to Valentine's Day, the more chocolate dipped strawberries we'll find.

Dipped, dunked and decorated strawberries.

These yummy Wilton Strawberry Candy Melts are the perfect choice for dipping these beautifully red strawberries.

I guess you could say, they were made for each other!
To get started, you will need:
fresh strawberries, candy melts, small candy eyes, large conversation hearts, ready-made chocolate frosting, jumbo heart sprinkles, confetti sprinkles.
You will also need a star tip (i used wilton #32) for piping hair, a small round tip (i used wilton tip #3) for piping arms and noses, a decorator bag or baggie to fill with the frosting, and parchment paper.
Melt candy melts at 30 second intervals at 50% power in microwave, stirring each time until melted and smooth.

Dip two strawberries into melted candy and place on parchment paper with sides touching. 
 Attach the candy heart and hold in place until set. Attach candy eyes.
With a frosting filled bag fitted with a small round tip, pipe noses and arms.
Time to pipe the hair. Just two quick squeezes for each strawberry, and you're done!

The "sweet nothings" on my conversation hearts were off center and just not pretty, so I chose to turn them backwards. Then I photoshopped my own words onto the hearts.
Hope you all have the sweetest of Valentine's Days!

Keeping life sweet, Karen 😊