Monday, September 24, 2012


Jill loved for school to start - not so much because she loved school but because she got to pick out new pencils and paper and notebooks and all the odds and ends kids used to need for school. This was before the advent of computers so I don't know what they need now!

When Jill was in 4th grade she set up a little store at her desk - "Jot it Down". She made a sign out of bond paper and sold bookmarks in the shape of a pencil made out of construction paper. I still have one and amazingly I knew where to find it! How fun to make it into a cookie I thought . . .

Cutting strips of dough was the easy part. I used a 1-inch wide c-thru ruler I keep in the kitchen just for baking and a board scraper. I love my board scraper! A knife will drag when cutting through dough but a downward motion with a board scraper is a much cleaner cut. It's perfect for cutting brownies and fudge. I wanted to use a cookie cutter to make the point on the pencil so I had my entire collection of cutters out. It had to be an inward angle to fit on the end of the strip of dough. I didn't want to just cut it with the board scraper because I wanted them all to be exactly the same! Yes - I'm obsessed!

My original gingerbread man cutter came to the rescue when I used his legs for the angle I needed for the end of the pencil.

Jill iced the pencil cookies and here they are - classic yellow pencils for school. I think those pink erasers look good enough to chew on!

Which came first the yellow school bus or the yellow #2 pencil?

But back to Jill's 4th grade class. The other kids decided to have stores at their desks too - and pretty soon it got out of control and their teacher had to shut them down so they could get back to school work.

Today Jill makes and paints colorful beads to sell at juried shows here in California. She also paints a variety of wooden objects and has a new store on Etsy featuring two of her wooden boxes. Soon she will sell beads there as well. I think maybe the designs on her beads would make good decorated cookies! -Momsu

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


School has been in session for weeks in many parts of the country but here in California (Southern California anyhow) a lot of schools don't begin until after Labor Day.

Where did the traditional apple for the teacher originate? School starts about the time apple season does and so it makes sense but . . .

When I made my apple cookies I had a little trouble getting the stem and leaf out of the cookie cutter - as usual! I have used various things to poke them out in the past without much success. Today after cutting out at least a dozen apple-shaped cookies and struggling with the stem and leaf I tried flouring the whole inside of the cookie cutter not just the cutting edge. It worked perfectly - I tried it again and the next cookie stuck! I could cover the poke marks with icing but I like the look of some bare spots on cookies.

The cookies fit (tight squeeze) in a 4" cellophane bag. I like to put wrapped decorated cookies in a basket and put them out on the kitchen counter instead of on a plate or in a cookie jar.

When I discovered the cookie blogs I discovered Americolor! And thanks to their great product I was able to finally make a RED apple! I've made this apple many times but it has always been frosted as a pale green apple - Granny Smith. I LOVE Americolor! It tastes good (that is - it doesn't taste bad like some colors do) and it doesn't make a mess. I don't know how Royal Icing can have so much sugar in it and not be sticky? And aren't we all happy about that! 

I made ABCs too. My old set of red plastic Wilton cutters make such cute fat little shapes I decided not to decorate them. Our ginger cookie recipe is very good without icing. Looks like the tide is going out! -Momsu


Sunday, September 2, 2012


. . . and then I panicked and took it off the blog. But not before the email went out so our loyal subscribers have the unfinished version and now they will be confused when another version appears. I am new at this and have a lot to learn! The finished version will be up soon. -Momsu