Archive for December, 2011

Merry Christkindlmarkt

Christmas in Germany has inspired me. In bakes. In design. And in photography. Merry Christmas!

L

Favorite Shots: The Holly And The Ivy

I’m taking a little break over Christmas. I’ll be back for real January 9th, and I might throw in a post here and there while I’m gone (like my Christmas shots of Rothenburg?!), but as it stands, this is my last official post before we break.

Which is why I am a little sad about this shot. I know it isn’t very great. I mean, the focus is bad. But look what it is! Holly and ivy! As in “The Holly and The Ivy” English Christmas carol! It is so dang appropriate.

And now, in order to make up for that photo which isn’t technically great but involves a lot of life points for me, I wish to present you with a gift of the sort I am able to give you for our first Christmas together. You and I. Reader and writer. Hi.

This is Christmas in the form of a sheep. I named it Kringle. You’re welcome.

L

“But you, O Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are too little to be among the clans of Judah, from you shall come forth for me one who is to be ruler in Israel, whose coming forth is from of old, from ancient days. Therefore he shall give them up until the time when she who is in labor has given birth; then the rest of his brothers shall return to the people of Israel. And he shall stand and shepherd his flock in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God. And they shall dwell secure, for now he shall be great, to the ends of the earth. And he shall be their peace.”

Micah 5: 2 ff

How To Manipulate Royal Icing

So I have been dying to show you how easy these are to decorate. I am actually delighted that I get to tell you. Imagine how much fun this could add to your life! Minus the somewhat finicky prep work, the actual cookie decorating process is so great. And easy. And aesthetically rewarding. I saw the technique here. It was love.

First, pipe your outline of undiluted royal frosting. You can find the recipe and tutorial for royal icing and flood icing here. Remember not to overbeat your frosting, or you will end up with pit marks and weirdness.

Fill in your outline with flood icing and spread into the corners (or arc segments, in this case) with a toothpick or fondue stick or whatever you happen to have on hand.

Next, dot a different color of flood icing onto the fill. You can use a piping bag or a squeeze bottle for less mess. I used the end of a metal kabob and a toothpick. Hey…

Now comes the fun part. Using a toothpick (or the tines of a plastic fork—can I do nothing correctly?), swirl around the dots however you would like. You can make all sorts of pretty patterns. To make a heart, draw a single line straight through the middle of a dot.

Be careful not to press too far into the icing. You could get divets like the above, or the frosting colors might mix too much.

It’s a little work, but a lot of impressiveness. Winner.

Luck,

L


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