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Brushed Embroidery Cookies

For the past few months, my husband and I have been attempting to buy our first home.

Maybe it’s just me or maybe it’s just the current market…but house hunting so far feels like some form of cruel punishment for crimes I swear  I didn’t commit.

It’s been the same thing every time.  We look at a house and I completely fall in love with it.  I spend most of my spare time on Pinterest and dreaming up ways to make my new house absolutely perfect.  I have every room planned and paint colors picked out…

And then we don’t get the house.

Because investors keep using their piles of cash to steal my house.

It’s frustrating and super depressing.

And then my husband is all patient and logical and says things like “it wasn’t supposed to be our house” and “our house is still out there” that make me want to kick him but domestic violence is frowned upon so I don’t.

Instead I just pout about it and he cuddles on me until I love him all over again.  And then we watch Doctor Who and have a wonderful evening where I’m not thinking about evil investors with piles of cash who keep steeling my house.

Since I can’t decorate my house yet, I have to settle for decorating cookies.

Recently I’ve discovered brushed embroidery.  This is basically a fancy shmancy method to creating delicious little works of art.

 

My very first attempt at brushed embroidery

The basic technique involves piping icing and then using a damp paint brush to brush the icing.  The resulting effect is pretty stunning.  I will admit this is a time consuming project since each cookie has to be decorated one at a time (each cookie took me an average of 2-5 minutes once I got the hang of the technique).

 

For these, I added additional piping to create a more ornate look

I used two tutorials in order to learn this technique:

I used the recipes for the cookies and icing from The Decorated Cookie.

For the base icing, you must let it dry completely before doing the brushed embroidery (I let them set overnight – about 12 hours total)

Here a couple excellent examples of extraordinary brushed embroidery on other blogs:

from Sprinkle Bakes

From Sweetambs

Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread Cookies

Lately, I feel a bit like I have multiple personalities.  These personalities have very conflicting ideas about how my body should be treated.

My dominant personality is Beth.  She is short and cute (just like the name).  She enjoys baking and spending countless hours planning and creating one of a kind parties that include ice cubes with strawberries frozen inside and at least three kinds of dessert.  Beth sees nothing wrong with eating five key-lime shortbread cookies with lime icing for breakfast and is unapologetic about owning six frilly pink aprons.  She is basically Martha Stewart without the jail time.

The desserts from a Christmas party – cranberry pies, mocha chocolate trifle, chocolate pot de creme, eggnog cheesecake, and muddie buddies.  There were only 9 people at this party – too much?

However, there is a second personality that has been taking over little by little.  This is Elizabeth.  Elizabeth doesn’t get shortened to silly names like “Beth” or “Liz” or any of that nonsense.  It is only Elizabeth, like the mother f*cking queen!  She accepts no excuses.  She eats Greek yogurt for breakfast and runs a 5K like a champion!  She thinks that bucket of Easter candy should be thrown away because she doesn’t eat garbage like refined sugar.

So it’s a constant battle between these two (and my waistline).  I really do enjoy both of them.  Beth obviously provides my life with some deliciousness and fun while Elizabeth keeps me practical and healthy.  But living with both of them is no easy task.

Right now Elizabeth is forcing me to work out (Husband and I are doing P90X because we are crazy people who like to torture our bodies into being fit) and is keeping me running my 5K’s (one every month for 2012 is my goal).  Beth, however, is busy in the kitchen making delicious treats like this:

*the tags were handmade for me by my friend, Angela

These are not just any chocolate chip cookie – these are Espresso Chocolate Chip Shortbread cookies and they are little squares of pure delight.  I got the recipe from Use Real Butter (who got it from Smitten Kitchen).  You can follow one of these links to get the recipe!

I suggest making a double batch of these little treats, you will thank me later.  Husband was very displeased when the cookies ran out after I made only one batch (most of which got sent to an out-of-state friend).  So I made two batches the following weekend, which made him one happy camper.