decorated cookies with golden retriever puppies and blue balloons on them
Hey, Kat Bakes! A Cookie Designer Makes Everything Sweet!

You may have noticed that decorated cookies are one of my favorite details to add to a party. I share them so often that I am often mistaken for a cookie artist. I recently took a class in Birmingham, AL offered by Kat of Hey Kat Bakes~ and I can affirm that I am definitely not a cookie artist! Lol! But, Kat is most definitely an artist…

decorated cookies in aqua blue and white with monograms and storks

Kat’s steady hand and a huge amount of patience are keys to her gorgeous cookies, along with an eye and talent for color and design. Her ability to precisely outline her cookies with the finest piping tip lost me right off the bat. Ha! She’s really good, and I need lots of practice! Take a look at some of Kat’s cookies…

decorated cookies in pale blue with golf bags trophies shirts and carts

The golf cookies above are so perfect. I love the golf cart design and the clubs. The trophy and golf shirt are simple elegance and so pretty on a cookie! And, Kat shows us her playful side below in these super cute and creative pizza slice cookies. The clean lines of Kat’s designs always draw me to her work.

scalloped cookies with a slice of pepperoni pizza illustrated on it with name

With graduation not too far away, how perfect would these cookies be to celebrate a graduate? I especially love the green graduation gown as that is the color of my kids’ school. These work for everyone because Kat will work with you on your color requests and make each one customized to you.

graduation gown cookies and graduates monogram

The golden doodle or retriever cookies shown below definitely warm my heart. These are the sweetest puppy cookies. What a cute and fun set for a third birthday party. The perfect lettering on the name and the number wows me. How about you?

decorated cookies with golden retriever puppies and blue balloons on them

And, if you would like a more adult theme, look at the cocktail cookies below. The illustrations are simply beautiful and the texture on the herbs is so perfect to me. I would be so proud of myself if I could decorate cookies like this! Kat amazes me.

cookies with cocktail illustrations on each

Now you can see why taking a cookie decorating class from Kat would be so fun. I always have high hopes for myself when I am trying to decorate cookies. Sometimes I am proud of what I end up, with and other times I know I need more practice! One thing for sure is that I always have more respect for the art of cookie decorating each time I give it a try. I met up with Kat in Birmingham to take her class and was so impressed with her skill and organization. She was ready for each of us!

piping bags full of frosting to decorate cookies

Cantley and Company hosted the class in their gorgeous custom kitchen showroom (if you need a kitchen designer along with amazing cabinetry, call Cantley and Co.!). This was a perfect match as it gave everyone room to work around the kitchen showroom islands.

two stacks of business cards with cantley and company and hey kat bakes

Kat had us get right to work and she had a decorating kit ready for each of us. She gave us lessons on how to outline and then flood the cookies- and then she let us get creative.

hey kat bakes cookie decorating class

There were so many varying levels of skill- some were trying cookies for the first time and some were there to perfect their already-impressive cookie skills. It was fun to watch and to learn from each other while Kat worked with each of us!

cookie artist using piping bag to decorate valentine cookies

It was also fun to see the different personalities emerge around the table as we decorated. I use “we” loosely as I was having more fun seeing what everyone was doing rather than decorating my own cookies. Fortunately for me, Kat used a couple of my cookies as the sample cookies and she decorated them for me while I chatted.

students in cookie decorating class around kitchen island

We also had sprinkles ready for us to use in any way we wanted. Kat thought of all of the details- from the consistency of each type of frosting to the tiny container of sprinkles for each person.

champagne glass cookie and heart cookie on white paper with clear fork

As you can see, it was a really productive class. As we finished, Kat had a bakery box ready for us to safely transport our little creations home. I loved taking mine back with me and enjoying every bite!

x shaped cookie frosted in lavender icing with a bite out of left side top

Look at all of the great designs…

valentine cookies on a tray being decorated in a cookie class

Hopefully, Kat will continue to offer cookie decorating classes in Birmingham- and maybe beyond? It was so fun to be able to join in the fun and get to meet Kat in person. I typically only get to see her on Instagram, and so it was fun to be together in real life.

two ladies in black pants with sweaters

I also want to show you some of the cookie collections that Kat has been commissioned to create. These are designs for parties in Birmingham, and they are beautiful! You can see how Kat can coordinate cookies to match your party colors and/or theme.

ballet party invitation cookie flower and shoes
Ballet Party by Party Pick Up/ Cookie by Hey Kat Bakes / Invitation Gina Langford / Photos by Mary Margaret Smith
silver tray with ballerina cookies and teacup cookies with names

The cookies below were made for a desert-themed occasion and Kat was asked to do longhorn cattle and cactus plants…

cookies with longhorn cattle skull and cactus plants
Photography Catherine Taylor/ Cookies by Hey Kat Bakes

You can find more of Kat’s cookies on Instagram at Hey Kat Bakes. She’s fun to watch! Thanks for letting me come decorate cookies with you, Kat! It was a treat for me!!

To see more of my visit to Birmingham, go here and meet another talented young creative lady~ Ivy Odom!

Cheers,

Lydia xo

supper club love you pho real galentines day cookies
Supper Club ~ I Love You Pho Real ~ Galentine’s Day

My daughter and I love Pho and have had some funny experiences on our mission to find the best. From being offered forks to use to eat our soup (we stuck with the chop sticks) to watching well-prepared mamas use tiny food scissors to cut the noodles for their toddlers, we have learned a lot about the art of eating Pho. We have endless ways of making ourselves laugh as we substitute the word “pho” for “for”. It felt only fitting to host a Galentine’s Day Supper Club with her friends with a pho theme…

supper club love you pho real galentines day cookies

“I love you pho real” was a fun way to tie in Valentine’s Day and Galentine’s Day- and introduce friends to pho who may not have tried it yet. If you are unfamiliar with pho, it is a Vietnamese soup with rice noodles, broth, herbs. You can add a choice of protein like chicken, beef, shrimp, tofu, etc.

supper club love you pho real blue and white ginger jars with tulips on table

To decorate for the dinner, I found the most perfect designs from Susan on Etsy…her shop is called When I Was Your Age. Susan was so kind to send placemats and cups as a gift to us to use for Supper Club.

supper club asian inspired love you pho real chinoiserie cups

The red and pink chinoiserie patterns in her shop were the inspiration for the table setting. I wanted it to be casual but really beautiful.

supper club love you pho real table setting

Adding blue and white to create the table centerpiece was an easy decision to pull in Asian accents. Tulips and orchids were the flowers that I chose for the colors and look. And, then I contacted Tara at Bambella Cookies and asked if she could make a set of cookies to match our theme… needless to say, Bambella Cookies made each one an edible work of art!

supper club love you pho real galentines day cookies

My daughter and I also hung icicle lights on the dining room walls so give the room a warm glow. It created a nice little ambiance- I think we kept them up long after the party! 🙂

supper club i love you pho real table set with red and pink chinoiserie and tulips

I set the tables with a plate and a napkin on top- just like the restaurants do when they serve pho. Instead of making the soup, I left it to the professionals and ordered from a Vietnamese restaurant in town called “Just Pho”. I had the tables ready so that we could serve it directly to the girls as soon as it arrived at the house. I had the girls choose chicken, beef, or veggie before the party, and my husband picked up the order from the restaurant.

supper club love you pho real table set with tulips and galentines day

I also ordered several dozen egg rolls- and should have ordered several dozen more. The girls loved the egg rolls! I wasn’t even able to get a photo of them before they were gone.

supper club i love you pho real cup with straw and orchids

The miniature orchids and the cut tulips came from Trader Joe’s. They were perfect for the party!

supper club love you pho real table centerpiece with ginger jars tulips and orchids

I took lots and lots of photos of the cookies…they were amazingly detailed and so pretty.

supper club love you pho real set of cookies in pink and red

We added helium-filled balloons to the dining room and let them float randomly on the ceiling. It was an easy and really pretty way to add some color to the room.

supper club love you pho real dining room with red balloons on ceiling

For drinks, we served water and also offered sparkling Welch’s apple cider. I found it in pink and so was happy to have it match the party! I added it to my drink bucket with ice and hung a party garland behind the drink bucket.

supper club love you pho real sparkling cider and glasses

I really love the red, pink, green, and blue together. The patterns are so pretty together, too!

supper club love you pho real blue and white ginger jars and tulips overhead shot

Here is a quick picture of the pho that we served. If you would like to try making it yourself, I recommend this pho recipe from Homemade and Yummy.

supper club love you pho real soup

As usual, I loved taking photos of the cookies. I am always amazed at the precision of Bambella Cookies. That chinoiserie pattern is stunning. The pagodas are gorgeous, and the trees and figures are perfect!

supper club love you pho real chinoiserie cookies

I think an Asian-inspired Galentine’s Day is a really fun way to try something new and enjoy food and conversation. I could happily host this theme every month!

supper club centerpiece from above ginger jars and tulips

“I love you, pho real” is a fun sentiment and a fun party theme! I hope you are inspired to create a Galentine’s gathering. I am always happy to answer questions or offer tips! I turned my comments back on after having them off for a long time. You are welcome to leave me a message below in the comments! I would love to hear from you!

Have a great week!

supper club love you pho real three cookies

Cheers xo,

Lydia

supper club conversation heart balloons above pink sofa
Supper Club ~ Candy Hearts and Conversation

Supper Club ideas are always fun for Valentine’s Day- and Galentine’s Day! Host your girlfriends for a fun night of conversation- and what could be a better theme than candy conversation hearts? This is the fun we put together for my daughter and her friends…

supper club conversation heart balloons above pink sofa
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

My grandmother’s sofa, that I had recovered in hot pink fabric, served as the focal point- and the perfect place to attach conversation heart balloons. The girls love to have a place to take photos, and this turned out to be a comfy and creative photo booth.

supper club flowers on dinner table
Photo and Flowers by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

For the color scheme, I used the colors that you find in bags and boxes of Candy Conversation Hearts and added red like the lettering on the candy. I bought flowers in coordinating colors at the grocery store (Trader Joe’s, Publix, and Kroger are my go-to grocery store flowers). I used clear vases to arrange the flowers and lined them down the tables. I also used lots of candles on the tables in between the flowers. When I host parties with lots of young people, I typically only use battery-operated candles for safety reasons.

supper club conversation hearts candy on table centerpiece
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

I sprinkled candy hearts down the middle of each table to tie in the theme- and I also ordered cookies shaped like conversation heart candy. The cookies are from Bambella Cookies, and they always exceed my expectations. Tara is so talented and so dependable.

supper club conversation hearts candy decorated cookies
Cookies by Tara of Bambella Cookies/ Photo & Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

I loved having pastels and brights mixed at this party. They complemented each other well, and it was nice to brighten up a February day and night with pops of color.

supper club conversation hearts candy valentines day flowers
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

Because we were celebrating Galentine’s Day, I hung balloon letters that spelled out “Gal Pals” in the dining room. I used string lights to light the room and then attached the balloon letters to the cord of the lights.

supper club conversation hearts candy galentines day gal pal balloons
BTS photo and styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

My daughter has always liked gum ball machines, and so I asked Tara if she could design a gum ball machine cookie with candy hearts inside instead of gum balls. She added the cute “I Chews You” to top it off! I love how they turned out (as you will see because I couldn’t stop taking pictures of them) :).

supper club galentines day conversation candy hearts in gumball machine
Cookie by Bambella Cookies for The Party Wagon

I love it when the theme also makes a great part of the decorations!

supper club conversation hearts in pile on dinner table
Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

More cookie designs from Bambella Cookies- the candy conversation heart balloon bouquets are so cute!

supper club cookies conversation hearts candy galentines day
Cookies by Bambella Cookies for The Party Wagon

I put the cookies on a layer of candy hearts to serve them…

supper club candy conversation heart cookies on top of candy
Cookies by Bambella Cookies/ Styling and Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

I also ordered candy kabobs with tiny hearts on them for the girls. They were cute lollipops that I grouped together in a clear candy jar…

supper club candy conversation hearts galentines day candy pops
Candy Kabobs by Sweets Indeed / Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

These were definitely a hit- and they make perfect take-home treats!

supper club lollipops with hearts
Candy Kabobs by Sweets Indeed / Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon
supper club galentines day candy conversation hearts
Flowers and Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

For other cookie designs, Bambella Cookies and I came up with cute sayings that would be fun for Galentine’s Day.

supper club galentines day candy conversation hearts decorated cookies
Cookies by Bambella Cookies/ Styling and Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

For dinner, my daughter wanted to have fried chicken…and so we served fried chicken, mashed potatoes, salad, and fruit. To make it really simple, I ordered the fried chicken from Publix and put it in our oven to keep it warm.

supper club candy heart conversation-flowers-kitchen
Flowers and Photo by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon
supper club galentines day gal pal balloon letters
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

The girls love sparkling apple cider, and so I bought disposable champagne flutes from Hobby Lobby to use for serving. Before the party, my daughter and a friend dipped the rims of each glass in vanilla frosting and then dipped them into sprinkles. This was definitely a fun little bonus and looked so pretty and colorful.

supper club galentines day candy conversation hearts glasses with sprinkles
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

My daughter also wanted to make and serve her Edible Cookie Dough. There was no shortage of sweets at the dessert table for this Galentine’s Day Supper Club!

supper club galentines day candy conversation hearts cookie dough
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

In order to make the cookie dough as pretty as possible when we served it, we scooped it into printed candy cups and added a gold mini spoon tied with a ribbon.

supper club galentines day gold spoons with ribbon
Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

You can find the recipe for Camille’s Edible Cookie Dough here.

Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

Here is another look at some of the cookies made by Bambella Cookies because I just loved each one! 🙂

supper club conversation candy hearts decorated cookies
Cookies by Bambella Cookies/ Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

For decorations, I re-used the white balloon garland that I made for the Winter Supper Club and added heart balloons…

supper club conversation hearts galentines day theme balloon garland
Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

And, for party favors, I couldn’t resist the cutest Conversation Candy Heart Soaps from Sun Basil Soap… I tied bows in colors to coordinate with the party and stacked them on a cupcake stand for a pretty presentation.

supper club conversation heart soap by sun basil
Soaps by Sun Basil Soap/ Photo and Styling by Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

It was such a fun night of watching these girls enjoy themselves. Supper Clubs for teens are a joy to me- I love seeing each girl and always look forward to the next time they are all together!

supper club galentines day group
Lydia Menzies of The Party Wagon

I hope you find ideas that encourage you to host a dinner or create a Supper Club! I am happy to help if you ever have questions!

Cheers xo,

Lydia

skull cookies with bright colors and flowers painted on them for day of the dead
Day of the Dead Cake and Cookies by “For Heaven Bakes”

Today, I am bringing back one of my favorite cake and cookie designers to help teach us all a little more about creating show-stopping desserts! I asked my friend, Julie, of For Heaven Bakes, to share tips that we regular folks could use to up our decorating game.

Skull cookie being painted with paint brush with bright colors and flowers
Cookie and Tutorial by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy Photos

Julie created a jaw dropping (LOL) dessert and she is going to tell you all about it! Read on to hear from Julie…and to see how she created the cookies to complement this cake (insert that jaw drop here)…

Lady in purple holding Day of the Dead Skull cake
Cake by Julie McAllister of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

Julie says…

For Halloween this year, I wanted to do a cake that was fun and colorful, and not just limiting the colors to the traditional orange and black. A Day of the Dead-themed party cake and cookies were perfect for this!

Day of the Dead Skull Cake with flowers
Cake by Julie McAllister of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

The skull was sculpted from 5 cake layers (yes, he’s entirely edible!) and vanilla buttercream, then covered in fondant and topped with gum paste flowers. The skull design was entirely hand-painted, which took more than 3 hours to paint the whole head.

side view of day of dead skull cake handpainted with bright colors
Cake by Julie McAllister of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

To make the party dessert setup complete, I wanted to add some fun cookies—these mini Day of the Dead skulls were the perfect complement to the cake!

hand painted skull cookies for day of the dead
Cookies by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

My goal was to show a couple of different ways to decorate Day of the Dead cookies that a baker of any skill level could use as inspiration. Both designs use a combination of royal icing and fondant, and the general steps are outlined below. 

skull cookies with bright colors and flowers painted on them for day of the dead
Cookies by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

How to Hand-Paint Skull Cookies

Day of the Dead Sugar Cookies Two Ways

Design 1: Hand-painted

Things You’ll Need

Skull-shaped sugar cookies, baked and cooled

–Skull-shaped cookie cutter (same that you used for the cookies)


–Small liner and wide paint brushes (I like Wilton’s cake brush sets)

–Corn syrup

–Assortment of gel food coloring (I used sky blue, mint green, rose pink, orange and black)

–1-2 tbsp vodka


Step 1. Roll out your homemade or pre-made fondant until it’s about 1/8″ thick.

baker pressing skull cookie cutter into white fondant
Photo by Abby Murphy

2. Using your skull-shaped cookie cutter, cut out as many skulls as you have cookies. (Optional: If your cutter is also a cookie stamp, stamp the design into the fondant after it’s cutout.)

day-of-the-dead-skull-cookie-fondant-corn-syrup
Photo by Abby Murphy

3. Using your wide paint brush, lightly brush a small amount of corn syrup onto the cookie, then place the cutout fondant skull onto the cookie. Using your fingers, smooth out any bumps.

baker smoothing white fondant on top of skull cookie
Photo by Abby Murphy

4. Place 1-2 drops of each gel food coloring you’re using into separate small ramekins (or a ceramic egg holder works great for this!), then add 1 drop of vodka to each color. Wait a few seconds, then mix together with a paint brush. Do this for every color (the vodka allows the food coloring to dry quickly). 

cookie artist painting day of the dead skull cookies with brush
Cookie by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

5. Time to start decorating! I find it’s easiest to paint your “anchors” first, which are the eyes, nose and mouth. The great thing about Day of the Dead designs are that they are very unique and personal, and there are no wrong options! Using your different colors, try painting different swirls, flowers and dots all around the face until you’re happy with your design. 

Cookie by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

6. Set cookies on a cooling rack to dry. Enjoy! 🙂

How to Decorate Skull Cookies Using Fondant

day-of-the-dead-skull-cookies-fondant-only
Cookies by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy


Design 2: Fondant Details Using a Royal Icing Base

Things You’ll Need

–Skull-shaped sugar cookies, baked and cooled

–Royal icing

 –Homemade or pre-made fondant

–Assortment of gel food coloring (I used sky blue, mint green, rose pink, orange and black)
–1-2 tbsp vodka
–Small liner paint brushes (I like Wilton’s cake brush sets)

–Any standard piping tip (you’ll be using the wide base and not the tip itself)

–Small heart cookie cutter

–Small rectangle cookie cutter

–Assortment of flower fondant stamps

–X-acto knife 


Step 1. Outline your skull cookies with royal icing and allow to dry. Once set, flood your royal icing and fill each outline. Allow at least 5 hours to fully dry, but I find it works best to let dry overnight. 

2. Using your various food coloring, color a small amount of fondant for each different color. 

3. Roll out your homemade or pre-made fondant until it’s about 1/8″ thick.

4. As with the first design, I find it’s easiest to start with your “anchors” first, which are the eyes, nose and mouth. And as I mentioned above, the great thing about Day of the Dead designs are that they are very unique and personal, and there are no wrong options!

For the eyes, use the base of your piping tip to cutout two circles (I used black for this).

day-of-the-dead-skull-cookies-with royal icing being decorated
Cookies by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

Using a different color, cutout two flowers, using one of your flower stamps. Using your paint brush, add a small dab of royal icing to the back of each flower and then adhere to the cutout circles. Set aside to dry and firm up. Do two of these for every skull cookie you have.

5. Using your small heart cookie cutter, cutout a “nose” for each cookie. Set aside to dry and firm up.

cookie decorator adding nost to skull cookie for day of the dead
Cookies by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

6. Using the rest of your colored fondant and flower stamps, continue to cutout various flowers in different sizes and colors. Set aside to dry and firm up.

7. Once all of your fondant toppers are firm, adhere to each cookie by placing a small dab of royal icing on your paint brush and then placing onto each cookie. 

cake stand with day of dead skull cookies in two different styles
Cookies by Julie of For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy

8. Set cookies aside on a cooling rack so royal icing can fully dry. Enjoy! 🙂

Julie! Thank you for teaching us your techniques for decorating skull cookies for Day of the Dead. These are incredible! Okay, Friends, it is time for us to have a go. Which ones would you try to make first? I think I would go with the fondant covered cookies while I learn how to make and flood royal icing. I am guessing all of it would be a huge hit. And, I am still amazed by that cake!! Julie- you have so much talent!! You can see more of Julie’s talent here (you really should go see what she makes!).

3 photos combined to show baker holding day of dead skull cake
Julie McAllister/For Heaven Bakes/ Photo by Abby Murphy


Flower Cookies for Mother’s Day or Any Day!

Hello Friends,

 I hope you are all doing well!  My blog has been on “pause” for  awhile mainly due to time contraints.  I am hoping to be back here a little more often and to bring you a few new things along the way.  My kids and I have been playing around with the idea of doing a video for you all.  I must admit, we can only improve from here!! We laugh at our first attempt, but you have to start somewhere…

 We make these marshmallow flowers every year in different versions.  I used to have my classes make these for their moms on Mother’s Day (we would invite the moms to a Mother’s Day Tea) when I taught school.  They have been a big hit for so many years, and so we thought we would start with something “tried and true” to bring you our first ever video.  Remember, we can only get better from here!! 🙂  It has been fun and funny to make the video- the kids love the bloopers at the end.  We hope you learn a little something that you can use- and we hope that your kids can learn from it, too!  We would love for it to be a video that they can follow along with and make something fun with minimal help from their parents.  Here goes…please watch our video below (and you can be our very first subscriber- we have 0!)…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_rGFz_ytJC8

PLEASE FEEL FREE TO GIVE US A “THUMBS UP” ON YOUTUBE BY CLICKING ON THE THUMBS UP ICON! 

 

Flower Cookies- Quick and Easy
You will need…
Sugar Cookies
Marshmallows
Skittles (or other round candy)
Sprinkles
White Icing
Food Coloring
1.  Combine the white icing with one or two drops of food coloring to make the colors that you want.  Make in small batches.
2.  Spread the icing on a sugar cookie.
3.  Use kitchen scissors (adults only) and cut a marshmallow into five “petals”.
4.  Put marshmallow petals on the icing on the cookie.
5.  Add a candy center.
6.  Sprinkle sprinkles on marshmallow petals
7.  Serve and enjoy!

 

Also happy to link up to href=”https://www.kitchenfunwithmy3sons.com” target=”_blank”>KitchenFun

COOKIE MONSTER MILK AND COOKIES PARTY

Nom, nom, nom…this party is a treat!  A Milk and Cookies First Birthday Party with a Cookie Monster Twist is full of sweet delights!  Mom Lauren styled this party for her son- a family affair with sweet touches…Lauren says the best ingredient to this party was lots of love from a family that adores him!  You can feel the love and see all of the adorable details…keep scrolling!

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