Cherishing Cherish Sweets!

cherish sweets cupcake

Hey there – if you’re looking for my recent treat obsessions, please find me at my new website and baker/blog identity:  Cherish Sweets.

My new blog can be found on the link below – just click and you’ll be back in a little slice of baking utopia:

www.cherishsweets.com

It’s the same format as paddle attachment always was….  I’m still hopelessly devoted to baking and the paddle attachment on my Kitchen Aid standing mixer(s).  I have two – a big and a little – and they’re still red.  But Cherish Sweets is all PINK and bit of chocolate brown.

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I am looking to expand my baking hobby into something more.  I’m not quite ready to license my home kitchen for commercial baking sales under Washington State law, but I’m getting close.  So I decided to first choose a company name and build a brand that evoked the happy anticipation of those beautiful, yummy treats reserved for cherished occasions.  Like weddings and birthday parties and babies (and weeknight wine nights, if you have at least one sweet tooth that resembles my whole set).

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The name, “Cherish Sweets” came from the deep brainstorming wells of three girlfriends road tripping their way across the state to attend a Madonna concert.  Talk of my baking dreams was on the agenda, as was surface analysis of Madonna’s classics, including – you guessed it – Cherish (sing along with me now, “cherish the love”).  Right then and there on I-90, I landed on the perfect name for the butter dough and confection sugar dusted place where my heart happily wanders and experiments.

A few weeks later, but long before I found a fabulous local graphic artist and web designer, Karli Ingersoll, who makes everything pretty and perfect, I found this cupcake ornament, a discounted leftover from a vintage sweets Christmas display in an antiques shop.  It’s single message spoke to me.

Please continue with me on this cherished (get it?) baking journey.  There’s a lot more sugar to obsess about!

Take care,

Kristina

 

 

 

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Woodland baby shower cookies

woodland cookies

The cookies in this trending baby shower theme were for a little boy, due to arrive this coming Monday, March 17th.  He’s one of the lucky few that actually has a shot at red hair and a St. Patty’s Day birthday.  But I digress.

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This set is all whimsical woodland wonder and the pretty ways we can present shy forest animals in sophisticated orange-reds and navy blue.

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The shower itself was a classic affair, held in a well-appointed wainscoted room, complete with pewter candlesticks and a crackling fire for cozy winter ambiance.  These cookies, individually wrapped and tied with red gingham ribbon, were scattered about the food table, assisting with decor and serving as that extra bit of sweet for guests to retrieve when errands pulled them from the party near the end of a Saturday afternoon.

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The subjects were copied from a new beloved baby blanket, a gift from a young and childless auntie with good taste.  Who knows what item or animal will be the “it” baby theme when she’s ready to dive into parent-dom.  Puffy Toasters?  Clumsy-but-cute Daddy Long Legs?  Huggable Moray Eels?  Who knows.  But for now, auntie was right on the money.  (;

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Big steps for baby elephant

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This little peanut muncher marches forward with big elephant strides to celebrate the coming arrival of a baby girl!  For this set, I was asked to make plated cookies, using pinks and grays for an evening baby shower.

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I went with a modern theme, starting with the elephant and a collection of abstract flowers and leaves, including a dark gray polka dot accent leaf.

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IMG_4657All in all, a fun set.  It feels fresh and modern and full of spring.  Something my little corner of the world needs right now, as the snow falls all day in a persistent flurry.  Can’t wait to lighten the load and step out into spring!!!

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Black and white Valentine hugs

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Par for the course this year, I’m a couple days late and at least ten bucks short.  While there’s been some baking projects in 2014, I just can’t get them posted timely.

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But I just couldn’t pass on these little guys, a tiny prints knockoff, piped onto simple egg shaped cookies.  They’ve got their heart in their hands and they are ready for love.

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Now that’s a message worth passing on, even if it’s a little postage delayed.

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For these cookies, I drew the design on paper within the shape of the egg cutter.  Then, using a Kopy Kake to project the lines on the cookie, I piped the white middles first and added the hearts and noses using the “wet on wet” technique.  When dry (or mostly dry), I outlined in the black (overlapping the white with the wings to create dimension).  Later, I came back to pipe in the eyes and the feet.  All in all, a pretty simple cookie, because I only had to mix three colors!

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A little late to the party…Christmas cookies!

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I know, it’s almost New Year’s Eve, but these Christmas cookies are about to land in cookie purgatory if I don’t get pictures posted before the 2013 holiday season is officially over.

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This set was made in a rush all while my sweet parents were visiting for Christmas.  Amongst baking all of our Swedish Christmas favorites, like pepparkakor (a ginger snap perfect for coffee dipping) and cardamom rolls for Christmas morning, I made these cookies for friends’ parties along with some eclairs.  Whew.  I’m tired just thinking about all the work and the flour dust!

Here’s my cute mom baking with my big girls:

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For this set, I was looking to do classic Christmas colors – deep red and green – on the hats, trees and Ruldophs.  I also wanted to throw in some glam ornaments and flocked snowflakes.  The ornaments were done by first flooding the bases with royal icing.  When dry, I sprayed Wilton gold and silver Color Mist over 6 inch square stencils and later added disco dust to the tops.

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Ruldolph was based on a little guy in the “That’s Not My Reindeer” Usborne Books board book (Christmas adorbs).  I used a Wilton snowman with hat cookie cutter for the cookies, drew the reindeer to fit within the shape on paper and outlined it in black marker.  Then, I used a Kopy Kake to outline the deer in black before flooding.

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The trees and hats were a bit free form, although I did add a star and scalloped circle cut out to the tops of each respective cookie before baking, to get the exaggerated  forms that cookies sometimes just need.  (;

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Have a wonderful New Year’s…and try to get to your party on time (unlike someone we know….)

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Finally! Some Christmas cookies!

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Although the snow has yet to really fly this Christmas season for us, I couldn’t wait to break out the snowflake and mitten cutters.

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The boundless options for snowflakes are always appealing.  So many designs – all unique!  Also, there’s a simplicity to making snowflake cookies.  Usually, I decorate with white on white, with a little snow shimmer to finish.  The cookies are flooded in white the night before and the next night, creativity can step right in without a stop at the icing color mixing station.

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The mittens didn’t take too much more thinking, just a bit of red and green, always on hand at Christmastime.

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I also threw in the smiling tree because we all need a little cute in Christmas.

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The Santa is a blissful take on a Meri Meri two cutter set I found in the Fancy Flours catalog in November.  When I saw it, I simply had to have it, ASAP.

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As you might know, my name is Kristina and I am a cookie cutter addict.  I make goat trails out of bins of cookie cutters.  I honk for cookie cutters.  I make friends think twice about leaving their best cutters out in plain view, for fear that I’ll get my floured mitts on them and never let go….  Christmas is an especially difficult time for these friends – what with all the vintage, well made cutters from Grandma – waiting for me to drool over.  They’re lucky I don’t have big puppy dog eyes….

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Still squirreling away nuts cookies

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I know, I know, I’m late for that very important date when nuts and leaves and a menagerie of fall colored sprinkles are still very much in vogue.  But then there was turkey to roast and gravy to not mess up, and all the other Thanksgiving fixins’ and accompanying fellowship that kept me from posting these little turkeys in time.

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We have happily hosted Thanksgiving for the past few years.  Last year, I decided that my guests needed a shot of gingerbread to kick off the holidays, so I made placards for each guest.  To encourage sweets before dinner, I guess.  Everyone came back this year, so the trick must have worked.  (;

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This year, I started with a squirrel cutter that I received from my sweet cousin Susie to create our Thanksgiving “greeters.”  Plain for boys and a little pink bow for girls.  Each squirrel had their own personal acorn treat, adorned with the aforementioned fall sprinkles.  Also a favorite of my almost two year old, who insisted on picking the acorns off like buttons….

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I also made some turkey drumsticks from a whale cutter.  I just pinched the tail together and voila, an animal was transformed (for a moment, I felt like a Wonder Twin).

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To create the “scale” texture on the chocolate-topped acorns and the footballs,  I pressed a mat onto the dough and rolled over it before cutting out the cookies.  This is the same technique I used on last year’s turkeys.

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All in all – a very shades of brown set – but I figured the color needed to go out with a bang, before the onslaught of green and red that this season brings.  Before I drown in it, let me extend you a belated – but certainly heartfelt – Happy Thanksgiving!!!

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