Sweet Baking Sea Life Cookies for Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

candlelight cookies_small

Merry Christmas

Tis the sea son_small

and

Happy Beachy Holidays

Tis The Sea Son….

stirrers_small

Welcome to Sweet Baking Sea Life Cookies for Christmas

4 Julie Christmas Cookies Kitchen_small

My name is Julie and I will be your host as I guide you through this very fun, domestic,  and delicious time of year.  We are going to be making some Sea Life sugar cookies to give away as edible gifts for the beachy holiday season.

It’s going to be a lot of fun, and I love fun!

Julie Barefoot cookie_small

It’s also going to be a bit festive, as I do love to set the mood, create the atmosphere, and just enjoy the activity.

All the royal icing_small

(The frosting that fell through the cooling rack.  Isn’t it beautiful?)

dragees are beautiful_small

I brought out my special sea shells and placed them onto a cutting board.  They will hold all of my beautiful dragees that will decorate all the delicious cookies..

Ariel cookie baking_small

Ariel, The Little Mermaid is an inspiration for all of this. 

Ariel was my daughter’s very first movie she ever saw at the theater, she was 2 at the time.  Ariel is also our niece Deanna’s favorite Disney princess.  I love mermaids and I wanted to include Ariel in this.

I like to surround myself with lovely theme related items that make me happy.

Christmas sealife cookies_small

Cookies of dolphins, mermaids, sea horses, sailboats, whales, geckos, palm trees, oh, and a barefoot.

my Christmas nook for baking cookies_small

This is my kitchen nook where I spend a lot of time.  Usually working on some sort of project.  I love my little nook as I have created an environment that suits me and my lifestyle.  We live here in Florida so beach life is a big part of our lives and we love everything there is to do with the beach and the ocean and everything that lives in it and around it, including us.

tableclothes and placemats for curtains_small

Luckily we have a private fenced in backyard so I don’t have to worry about curtains in my nook to give us privacy, so I rigged up some of my nice vintage tablecloths to add an accent to our windows.

my seahorses_small

My little Christmas in the Nook

Sea Horses Swimming By

my shell chandelier_small

My Sea Shell Chandelier I Made Myself

For How-To’s check out my Julie’s Beachy Crafts Post:

Julie’s Beachy Crafts

——————————————

an old scone that I found_small

An old sconce that I found at a thrift store. 

I added the candle.

my two favorite wine glasses_small

My Two Favorite Wine Glasses

placemats_small lights up top_small

I also added some sea shell placemats to my curtain rods as well.

I also wanted some “fairy lights” as Nigella Lawson calls them.  I got the idea from her many years ago.

Christmas tree in the nook_small baubles and beads_small

The walls in my nook are blue and white, we just painted them this past May, we wanted a change from the previous ‘olive green.’  So I have enjoyed adding lovely pastel colors as well as sandy colors, the colors of the beach itself.

a tablecloth for a curtain_smallVeronica pelican_small

I love my mermaids, sea horses, tiaras, faux tinsel tree, and my daughter’s pelican that she created in art class in college and gave to me.  She even made two fish to go along with it.

 Christmas cactus_small

The lovely Christmas cactus, vintage dish, my old Avon bottles of sea life, the glass float Gordon found in Hawaii bobbling around among some very sharp coral, miracle that it didn’t break.  It was from a Japanese ship. 

I have some old vintage molds adorning the tree, along with some cookie cutters that fit our theme.

my seahorse Avon bottles_small my mermaid AVON bottles_small

Underneath my Tinsel Tree

Some things old, some things new, some things blue……

on my shell phone_small

A lovely mermaid on her “Shell Phone”.

 

In the cookie nook_small

So, Welcome to my Nook

This is the sunniest place in the house.  Always bright and inviting and a place that I love to be.

I do especially enjoy decorating it for the holidays.

I try to add as many trees in here that I can.  Here is another one.

hat box Christmas tree_small

It sits atop my beachy hat box, a ribbon running from top to bottom, with some of my sea shells and baubles underneath.

seashells underneath the tree_small

I also like to add the sparkly things as well.

on the hat box Christmas tree_small

Oh, I do have one more thing to show you.  Just look right outside my window.  Behind me.  See it? 

Julie in the nook fountain in back_small

It’s my fountain.  My pride and joy.  Makes me so happy to look at it every day.  Some days I like to place flowers in it.  They can last for days looking beautiful and fresh.

fountain flowers 3_small

I love seeing the water trickle over the sides of the top basin.

fountain flowers_small

They say that being around water is very therapeutic, I agree.  It’s very tranquil and peaceful as well.

my fountain this morning_small

Doesn’t this just look inviting?  Like a swimming pool in the summer on a hot day?

my fountain this morning 2_small

I wouldn’t trade my peaceful little fountain for anything.

fountain flowers 2_small

————————————-

With the tour out of the way, it’s time to make and bake some cookies.

Julie pressing dough_small

Making the Sugar Cookies

in the cookie baking mood_small

This is lots of fun because I don’t do a lot of baking throughout the year.  I don’t eat a lot of sweets as I am a borderline diabetic.  But I do love to cook for others.  Cooking is very enjoyable to me, giving food as a gift is very enjoyable to me. 

cookies 3_small

I also consider baking as being artistic.  It gets the creative juices flowing when making something from scratch with your own hands.

It’s also enjoyable to assemble your gift.  Choosing various trays or tins that also go with the theme that you choose. 

cookies on a mermaid tray_small

Mermaid and Sea Life Cookies on a Mermaid Tray

cookies to give as gifts_small cookies with shells_small

Even giving the gift on a tray with a baking rack and some flowers and sea shells is nice.

Who wouldn’t want it?

dolphin cookies and Winter_small

Some Dolphin Cookies

I tried to make the middle dolphin kind of look like Earth.

And the dolphin without a tail is our Winter The Dolphin.

Winter with her prosthetic tail_small Winter with a hat_small

Winter is the first dolphin to have a prosthetic tail.  He is something of a celebrity here in Florida at The Clearwater Marine Aquarium.

Winter Painting_small Winter the Dolphin painting_small_small

We’re also giving the gift of Winter cookies with a Winter print.

painting by Winter_small

——————————–

making cookies on Sunday_small

Julie in the Nook Baking Cookies

1 sugar cookie ingredients_small

The Sugar Cookie Ingredients

2 ingredients_small6 sugar cookie recipe_small

The Sugar Cookie Ingredients:

(We used Martha Stewart’s)

We have heard from so many people that these sugar cookies are the best they have ever eaten, so why use another recipe?

  • 2 Cups All-Purpose Flour, plus more for rolling.
  • 1/2 teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 Cup (1 stick) Unsalted Butter or Margarine, room temperature.
  • 1 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 1 Large Egg (we found this to be very important, otherwise the dough is too dry)
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract

3 Julie kitchen cookies_small

This is me, ready to take on this wonderful task.

We did double/triple the recipe as the cookies are gifts to send abroad.

 

7 adding sugar_small

Here I am measuring out the sugar.

In a large bowl whisk in your flour, baking powder and salt.

With an electric mixer you want to cream your butter/margarine and your sugar until it is light and fluffy.  Then add your egg and vanilla, mix together with the butter and sugar. 

8_small 9_small

This is an old vintage mixer that my grandmother gave me.  She found it at a yard sale for $20.00.  It has the pretty milk glass bowls.

Here I am creaming the butter and sugar together.

flowers and ornaments_small

Some of my flowers and baubles nearby.

20 breaking an egg_small

Me, in my festive Christmas kitchen adding my egg and vanilla to the mixture.

10 adding the eggs_small 11 adding the vanilla_small

Next Comes The Flour

(This step of combining the dry ingredients and then setting aside, as it states in the recipe, is fine.  I however, just added the dry ingredients separately, to the wet.)

12 adding the flour_small 13 adding more flour_small

Continuing with the dry mixture a little bit at a time, to your butter, sugar, egg and vanilla, mixing thoroughly as you go.

14 adding the baking powder_small

Baking Powder, Salt, Wiping Down the Beaters

15 adding salt_small 16 getting it out of the blender blades_small

Once all the mixture is combined then form into a big ball and wrap in saran wrap, then place into the freezer for at least 20 minutes. 

(You can leave in the freezer for a few days if you like.  Sometimes when we do large batches we spend one day making the dough, another day rolling out the cookies and baking them, and then a third day doing all the decorating, and a fourth day assembling the cookies to give as gifts.)

17 wrapping the dough_small 18 wrapping the dough_small

When you have the dough mixed together, place into saran wrap and put into the freezer for about 20 minutes or so.  You want the dough to be cold.

19 into the freezer_small

Dough Ready for the Freezer

You want to pre-heat your oven to 325F.  Line your cookie sheet with parchment paper.

 Because all ovens are different we watched the cookies to determine how long cooking time would be in our oven.  It turned out to be about 12 minutes.

TIPS:  Martha recommends that you dip your cookie cutters into flour before using.  We found this very helpful.

———————————-

Here we used a ‘Clean Sheet’ laid out on the table to roll out the dough on.   You can however, just use a clean table surface.  Just make sure you sprinkle some flour on the table first so the dough won’t stick to it. 

clean sheet rolling pin and dough_small clean sheet rolling pin and flattened dough_small

The rolling pin belonged to my grandmother and I love using it.  She rolled out dough with the same roller.

You just want to roll the dough out as flat as you can on the surface.  You can rub some flour onto your rolling pin to help make sure the dough doesn’t stick to it. 

barefeet_small cookie cutters prints in the dough_small

Next, dip your cookie cutters into some flour and press onto the dough creating the shapes that you want.

making the sugar cookies_small

This is me rolling out the cookie dough with the rolling pin, the pressing the cookie cutters onto the flattened dough.

the cookie cutters cutting_small

When you’ve made the shapes, place onto a cookie sheet that’s lined with parchment, then place into the 325F oven for about 12 minutes or so.

 baking our cookies for gifts this xmas_smallJulies cooikes for baking_small

Gordon and I Taking Turns Baking the Cookies

Gordon baking the cookies_small

Gordon Keeping an Eye on the Cookies

cookie shapes_small

When the cookies are ready, leave on the cookie sheet for just a few minutes before removing.  Then place them onto a cooling rack.

Julie cookies_small Julie cookies 2_small

store cookies in container 1_small store cookies in container 2_small

If you won’t be decorating the cookies immediately you can store them in air tight containers and save for a few days.  Just make sure the cookies are thoroughly cooled before you do this.

—————————————–

cookie decorating table_small

Time to Decorate!

cookies ready to frost_small

Now comes the fun part!

I like to place all my materials out in front of me, along with some pretty extras to put me in the mood to be creative.

dragees 2_small dragees 3_small

My Dragees are ready to adorn the cookies once I get the frostings on.

But I first wanted to introduce you to our niece Deanna……

—————————————

Meet Deanna

looking pretty at Salt Rock_small

She came to visit last August and we made her some of our sea life cookies.  She was especially interested in seeing Winter the Dolphin at The Clearwater Marine Aquarium while she was here.

We wanted to gift her,and the rest of her family with some of our cookies, and a few Winter the Dolphin things.

Ariel and dragees_small beautiful sealife cookies_smallcookie cutters and dragees_small

Deanna also loves Ariel, The Little Mermaid so we wanted to make this a mermaid theme as well.

a beautiful cookie mess_small

I got out all my pretty little Asian bowls to hold all the different color frostings.  I just used the basic ‘Royal Icing’ recipe and just added food color to each bowl.

food coloring_small royal icing_small

Frostings for Deanna’s Cookies

lovely dragees_small pretty dragees_small

The Beautiful Dragges for her Cookies

pretty sealife cookies_small

I’m pretty sure she liked everything.

sea cookies_small The gift recipient of all the hard work with the cookies_small

We gave her a mermaid serving tray that she can use at home to eat off of.  We also interspersed some sea shells among her cookies and even gave her a little shell change purse with a surprise Ariel bead and necklace in it, which Gordon is placing around her neck.

Gordon giving her the neclace that we got for her_small

Deanna

———————————-

Gordon also managed to secure some fin painted ornaments from dolphins at The Clearwater Marine Aquarium, one of which was WINTER!

beautiful Deanna with her ornaments_small

Merry Christmas, Deanna

—————————————–

selfie flash 2_smallJuile selfie flash_smallselfie flash 3_small

Julie Selfie Flashes in my Shell Mirror

Christmas in my nook_small

Now, Back to the Nook

In my kitchen Nook_small

As you can see I am very proud of my little nook because it’s all mine!

————————————–

Next Up:  Making the Sugar Cookie Frosting

Royal Icing Ingredients for cookies_small

Royal Icing Ingredients

(also a Martha Stewart recipe)

  • 1 pound of Confectioners’ Sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons of Meringue Powder (or you can use 2 large egg whites)
  • 1/2 Cup Water

 

into the mixer_small bowls and spoons_small

This was very simple to do.  I prefer using the meringue powder instead of egg whites as I mail a lot of these cookies overseas and if I were to use egg whites they need to be thrown away after 5 days, whereas meringue powder lasts much longer.

food colorings_small

A pretty sea shell houses my food coloring’s.

food colorings on table_small

More pretty bowls of frostings.

royal icing with food colorings_smallour frostings_small

My hat box full of dragees and cookie adornments.

Hat box of dragees_small

Now I’m all ready to decorate the cookies.

beautiful table of cookie adornments_small

I put parchment paper down on the table before I placed the cooling rack down so that any frostings can drip onto the parchment paper.

cookie table_small

Time to be Creative

mermaid on my tree_smallAriel cookie baking_small

Mermaids Rule!

I made the sea shell tree many years ago, I never get tired of looking at it.

thrift store spoon_small

My favorite little beachy spoon holds some white pearl sweet beads.

beautiful messy job_small bowls and bowls of frosting_small

So Pretty, So Messy, So Tasty

decorating the cookies_small

cookies with dragees drying_small

You can see the frostings that have dripped through.  It was amazing just how much of the royal icing was wasted this way.  Gordon came up with a great idea to place a giant cookie underneath the cooling rack to catch all the extra.  Genius!

icing the cookies for gifts_small

Use your imagination and experiment with different color combinations,

messy lovely table_small

Once you have iced the cookies and added the adornments, let dry thoroughly on the rack before moving.

beautiful tacky cookies_small

To me this is the best ‘art class’ out there, and it’s in your kitchen.

bowls of cookies_small

————————————–

Mermaid Cookies on a Mermaid Tray

with a few sea shells and a string of pearly beads.

mermaid tray with cookies_small mermaid cookies 2_small

But before I deal with the cookie assembly……

In my Christmas Kitchen Nook_small

LOOK at the mess I have to clean up!

The Royal Icing mess_small

I do have to say that as far as messes go, this is the prettiest mess I’ve ever seen.

blue frosting_small all gone_small

To me it’s just as pretty as all the cookies and dragees.

painting with frosting_small

cookie frosting hangover_small cookie hangovers_small

The cookies turned out very well.  I was proud of them and I knew the recipients would be very appreciative.

cookies dripping_small cookies setting_small

dolphin cookies_small

———————————————-

The Cookie Assembly for Gifts

cookies for mailing_small

These cookies are being sent to New Zealand for my friend Trish and Bob’s granddaughters that will be spending Christmas with them.

shipping soon_small shipping cookies_small

When sending cookies through the mail you want to make sure they are wrapped up very well. 

Sturdy container, each row of cookies lined with wax paper, lid secured, sturdy tape wrapped all around the lid to make sure no air can get in.  A freshness seal.

Ready to wrap cookies_small

Trays for Local Deliveries

gift ribbons and shells for cookies_small

I got out some ribbons, baubles, and some silk flowers, along with some trays and cutting boards.

gift plates_small

Living in Florida and giving the gift of sea life cookies is quite appropriate.

mermaid cookies 2_small

Mermaid Tray

blue shell plate_small Happy Holidays sailboat cookies_small

Blue Scallop Shell Tray and Blue and White Cutting Board

whale cookies_small whale cookies 2_small

Giant Fish Cutting Board with Whale Shaped Cookies

dolphin cookies and Winter_smallWinter the Dolphin painting_small_small

Dolphin Cookies on a Cutting Board Delivered with a Dolphin Fin-Painted Print

cookies to give as gifts_small

A Sea Horse and Sea Shell Serving Tray with Sea Horse Cookies, Interspersed with Real Sea Shells and Silk Plumeria Flowers on a Kitchen Rack

Christmas sealife cookies_small

Pearlescent Ornaments also Make Great Accents

——————————

Now that the cookie baking is over with, I’m hearing the mermaid siren’s call for a cocktail.

Julie’s Mermaid Cocktail

julies-mermaid-drink_small

I like it fizzy, kind of like the mermaid foam that you see on the beach.

the-sirens-song_small

Cool, Light and Refreshing

my-mermaid-siren-song-ingredients_small

The Ingredients for the Drink

1 Bottle of Prosecco Wine

2 shots of Raspberry Liquor

3 shots of Grenadine

2 cans of Diet Cranberry Gingerale Soda

-Lots of cherry and blue berry adornments

julie-barefoot-prosecco_small julie-prosecco_small

First you take some Prosecco wine, I’ve got Barefoot here.

julie-uncorked-a-proscesso_small

You open it up carefully without the cork flying around the room.

(Has been known to happen.)

(I was so proud of Julie… I believe this was the first one she opened by herself.

The scream she let out when the cork gave way was great!)  By, Gordon

 

julie-adding-the-gingerale_small

Adding the Gingerale to the Prosecco Wine and all the rest of the ingredients!

julie-making-the-drink_small

I really liked the color of this drink and it tasted great!

julie-backyard-fountain-2016_small

May your holidays be sparkly and foamy.

Julie

——————————————–

Christmas tree and Cindrellas coach_small_small_small

Merry Christmas

my ride is here_small

To view our other sugar cookies just click on our Holiday Baking post below:

Holiday Baking

Advertisements