Jelly Bean Jar Cookies

How can Easter be less than two weeks away and I’ve only made ONE new-to-me cookie design for it?! Yikes. Life has been busy.

Jelly Bean Jar Cookie by Melissa Joy

I made these for my monthly blog stint on the website Bake It Up a Notch. I am assuming you have a few jelly beans in your cupboard right now and perhaps dough in the fridge, in which case you should be able to squeeze in time to make these jelly bean jar cookies. It’s a simple design without a lot of steps. This is always a bonus when it’s a race against the calendar. The hardest part will be not eating all the jelly beans before they get on to the cookie.

jelly bean cookies by melissa joy

And speaking of jelly beans, here is a tiny tutorial on how I made them in cookie form:

Tiny Tutorial Jelly Bean Mini Cookies by Melissa Joy

Like I mention on the blog, minis are a great accent cookie to the big guys. For the complete tutorial, check out my post on Bake It Up a Notch by clicking here: Jelly Bean Jar Cookies.

Jelly Bean Jar Cookies by Melissa Joy

I’m hoping to get in at least a few egg and bunny cookies yet, but if not, I will be more than satisfied just sharing these. Happy Spring!

Easy Bird Nest Cookies for Spring

Spring Nest Cookies by Melissa Joy

It feels like an eternity since I’ve posted something new on the blog. The last few weeks have been a flurry of school obligations, home life, and Cookie Con. The latter being the most fun and most exhausting. I think I have finally recovered from talking cookies for 3 days straight, yet the loot I amassed from the trip still lies in a pile on my table. I’ll get to organizing it. Eventually.

Bird Nest Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

For now, I bring you the easiest bird nest cookies ever. Want to see how easy? I’ll show you…let’s begin! First we need a round cookie. One of my favorite cookie cutter shapes to use is this scalloped one, but a simple circle would work too. Bake and frost like so.

Bird Nest Cookies How To by Melissa Joy

After about 20 minutes, you’re ready for the next two steps.

Spring Bird Nest Cookie How To by Melissa Joy.jpg

I made my frosting a bit on the thicker side, so it would hold its shape once the sprinkles were added.

Now we can’t leave the nest empty! I go to my personal favorite this time of year…the Cadbury Mini Egg.

Spring bird nest cookie how to with Cadbury Mini Eggs by Melissa Joy

They are THE perfect colors, with those sweet little speckles, not to mention being super delicious and very addicting. Make sure to buy the big bag. Unless you have more self control than me. So finally…

Bird Nest Cookie with Cadbury Eggs by Melissa Joy.jpg

While the center frosting is still soft, squish a few chocolate eggs in the middle of the nest. That’s it. You’re done!

bird nest cookie place setting by melissa joy

Once the bird nest cookies were complete, I couldn’t help but think how charming they would be as place setting for an Easter or Mother’s Day table. A personal detail to make yearly occasions a little more special.

Nest Cookies with Cadbury Eggs by Melissa Joy Cookies.jpg

Spring is taking its sweet time arriving in my neck of the woods. By creating these easy nest cookies, it makes it seem like the grass is getting greener, my garden is on the verge of coming to life and I will soon be able to shed my down coat…someday soon. I hope.

 

This post linked to: Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

 

Embroidery Cookies and Photo Tips

Once a month I get to contribute to the website Bake It Up a Notch. It is a great source for bakers of all levels, filled with creative ideas to try, tips on how to improve sales, and ways make your business more efficient.

embroidery cookies for mom by melissa joy cookies.jpg

My latest post there gives a brief introduction to cookie photography, with simple tips for those who have never really thought about it. We’re not going for award winning pictures or anything, but some easy ways for your product look its best. It can be more than a quick snapshot before you head out the door!

embroidery cookies by melissa joy cookies.jpg

Want to see more? Check out my post here: Photography Tips for Beginner Cookie Decorators. If you have some tricks of your own, I’d love to hear about them and others may too. Add your advice in the comment section. Now get baking and start showing it off!

St. Patrick’s Day Cookie Pops

shamrock cookies by melissa joy.jpg

March is here! Finally! The winter may actually end now!!! I feel like time is a wastin’ for St. Patrick’s Day treats, so let’s get right to it.

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Once I found these adorable paper straws in the dollar bin at Target, I knew what I had to do…

St. Patrick's Day Cookie Pops by Melissa Joy Cookies

That whole photo booth prop thing we all can’t get enough of, and don’t even get me started on mustaches. They are everywhere and on every thing. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em, eh? I’m all about fun, easy cookies for kids (both big and small) so these seem to fit the bill.

st. patrick's day cookie how to

The hat and beard were made using these cookie cutters and a little creative trimming to get them just right. The mustache and bow tie shaped cutters I already owned, so no fuss there!

st. patrick's day hat how to

This is the base of the festive St. Patty’s Day hat. Leave each step of frosting to dry a bit before moving on to the next. Add the details of a buckle and clover when ready.

bow tie cookie how to

I did a similar step by step for the bow ties, to give the knot some definition.

St. Patrick's Day Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

I added a beard to the mix, and kept it simple by using only orange royal icing and sanding sugar. These would all be fine as they are, but who doesn’t love a cookie on a stick?

Cookie Pop How To by Melissa Joy Cookies

I had never worked with paper straws, so I took the method of “glueing” the stick to the cookie with royal icing from those decorators that have done it before. I did give the straws on the hats a bit of an angle, so it would have the proper placement when later used as a prop. Once fully dried, they were much sturdier than I thought they would be.

Bow Tie and Mustache Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies.jpgSt. Patrick's Day Hat and Beard cookies by Melissa Joy.jpg

The kiddies are sure to have a blast with these, when everybody’s Irish on March 17th….

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Truffula Tree Cookies

Anyone who decorates cookies knows the difficulties in making a character cookie. You get those eyes or ears just the slightest bit off and it can look like some deranged mutant, as opposed to the sweet creature it was supposed to resemble. Some people are super good at characters and way more brave than I to tackle it. I choose to take the less stressful route. There can always be something in a theme that can get the point across, and I am pretty eager to find it!

Dr. Seuss Cat in the Hat cookie by melissa joy

When I was first asked to bring cookies for our niece’s baby shower that was Dr. Seuss themed, my first thought was to make The Cat in the Hat. Or Thing 1 and Thing 2. They all have eyeballs. That was out. The invite had images from The Lorax, so I brainstormed. Maybe the Lorax himself? More eyeballs…but the trees. The Truffula Trees! No facial features. Fun colors. Still Seussical. That I could handle.

Dr. Seuss The Lorax Truffula Trees Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

Armed with our copy of The Lorax and the invite by my side, I started by freehand piping the black lines of the tops of the trees on a round cookie.

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Next I flooded them with the distinctive Truffula Tree colors. The trunks were made by shaping rectangles with a little curve before baking. Again, I lined them with black icing and filled in with yellow frosting. After they had dried overnight, I added the details with a FooDoodler marker. These food markers are the best and couldn’t be easier or more perfect for Dr. Seuss Truffula Tree cookies!

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Then taking a slightly different route, I made some royal icing transfers. Basically, you pipe the icing design on wax paper, let it dry overnight, peel off, and place on your cookie. This is a great method if you are worried about screw-ups when piping directly on a cookie. You can make bunches of transfers, use the best ones, and move them around your blank canvas until you get a design you like. Simply “glue” the transfers in place with a dab of icing.

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I forgot to make tree trunk transfers, so piped them on, let them dry, and added the details with the food writer. That little dot of icing at the top will give height to the tree tuft transfer. Wow, more tongue twisters. Must be all this Seuss talk…

truffula tree cookies

truffula tree cookies

Transfers give the cookies fun dimension too!

The Lorax Truffula Tree Cookies by Melissa Joy

I wanted to make these a little more personal for the baby shower, so I added the baby’s name. Lucky for me, the parents-to-be have her name picked out and aren’t afraid to share it with the world before she arrives! Here are a few options I have for displaying the cookies for the party.

Dr. Suess Lorax Baby Shower Cookies by Melissa Joy

Dr. Seuss Baby Shower Cookies by Melissa Joy

Dr. Seuss Truffula Trees Baby Shower Cookies by Melissa Joy

Coincidentally, we celebrate the work of Theodor Seuss Geisel every March 2nd, his birthday, as Read Across America Day. These cookies couldn’t have come at a better time for a tribute to him as well.

Dr. Seuss Truffula Tree cookies by Melissa Joy

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss! I love your thick, black lined illustrations, your bright yet muted colors, and your crazy made up names that have become part of our everyday language. But mostly, I love your messages. Honest, simple, and true, for youngsters and for those adults who read to them. Thank you, Dr. Seuss!

Dr. Seuss Cookies by Melissa Joy Cookies

This post linked to: Kitchen Fun With My 3 Sons

A few more Valentine sweet hearts…

The thing with heart shaped cookies is that the decorating possibilities are endless. It’s almost daunting to me sometimes.

chocolate heart cookies

An abundance of piping patterns. Any number of colors. A sea of sprinkles. What to do?!

scribble heart cookies by melissa joy

A lot of the time, a single color with sanding sugar is the most satisfying to me.

simple heart cookies by melissa joy cookies

I had a hankering for frosted animal crackers one day and a few naked cookies left, so I easily created this chocolate Valentine cookie version.

valentine heart cookies-animal cracker style by melissa joy

I started with a simple royal icing of a rather loose consistency and a variety of sprinkles.

frosting and sprinkles

With cookies on a drying rack over a sheet of wax paper, I drizzled the frosting on with a spoon.

animal cracker style valentine heart cookies

Once the frosting covered the cookie, I immediately sprinkled it with a few toppings.

valentine heart cookies-animal cracker style

As the cookies dry on the rack, you might want to push them around a bit so they will be easier to remove later. If not, no worries. The organic look is part of their charm!

Valentine Heart Cookies-animal cracker style by Melissa Joy

Package them up for your Valentine, and you’re good to go…super easy, super sweet, super delicious!

Olympic Cookies

WInter Olympic Cookies by Melissa Joy

While I am not a big sporting event type of person, I am completely obsessed with the Olympics. I’ve been counting down the days for this year’s winter games to start. I hear the theme song and get goosebumps. Scour the web looking for event start times. Making plans for what to eat for the opening ceremonies. The next two weeks are like my Super Bowl.

Winter Olympics Cookies

For a few days during the games I will be hanging with my besties and catching some of the action on cable. Yeah, that’s right…we’re old school over here. We have an antenna and about 10 channels. We still have a land line too. *GASP! Anyway, I wanted to bring cookies and an Olympic theme seemed like the right thing to do. Lacking a great, creative break though, I made some rings.

How to Make Olympic Ring Cookies

Did you know that a donut cutter is the perfect tool for such a thing? I may have gotten carried away in the amount rings produced, but it was so easy, I couldn’t help myself.

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Keeping it simple, I busted out the paintbrushes and had a bit of fun. By watering down food coloring, you can paint on cookies that are frosted and dried over night. The splattering makes a mess, but it’s my favorite to do.

Olympic Ring Cookies

It doesn’t really matter to me who wins gold, but I will admit to always cheering the loudest for one country in particular; the country of Slovenia. My grandparents immigrated to the United States from this beautiful place after they were married. I was thrilled to visit their homeland several years ago, able to meet family still living there for the first time. It was an incredible experience and one I will never forget. So for Olympic events with Slovenians participating, I say, GO SLO!

Slovenia Flag by Melissa Joy Cookies

I have trained and run a half marathon. It was a ton of work, took a lot of dedication and I only did it once. So when the Olympics happen, I am in complete awe at the amount of effort, drive and perseverance it takes to be a competing athlete. Add that to the fact the entire world comes together to play, all focused on a common goal, and it makes it that much more incredible to witness. I can’t wait to watch it all unfold.

Olympic Rings by Melissa Joy Cookies

“The practice of sport is a human right. Every individual must have the possibility of practicing sport, without discrimination of any kind and in the Olympic spirit, which requires mutual understanding with a spirit of friendship, solidarity and fair play.” -Olympic Charter

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