Sometimes I dream in cookies. You guys, this is not a joke. I can not tell you how many times I walk past something or take a screenshot on my phone while thinking, “That would look so good on a cookie.” I had been dreaming (literally) about making some form of cactus cookies for SO long. The problem is, I can’t just make cookies for fun. I have to be able to bring them to some kind of event or I will eat them all (literally). Have I mentioned how these cookies don’t just LOOK good, but also TASTE good? They are hard-core addictive. People call them crack cookies (literally).
So when my friend Sara casually asked if I might want to put together some cactus cookies for a “Prickly Party” she was putting together for her blog, I decided to neglect all of my other responsibilities in life and make some. One of the best things about having creative friends is having a reason to get some of the ideas out of my head and put them on paper. Or cookies, in this case.
She sent me a photo of these adorable bright-colored pots she had made, I drew up some sketches, and these darling cactus cookies were born. Once again, I was feeling pretty pleased with my handiwork and then when I saw the rest of the party I couldn’t handle it! Every detail of this party was beyond perfect. Someone needs to throw a real cactus party and invite me ASAP. K? K. I’ll bring the cookies!
Photos by: Sara of Tell Love and Party
Party decor: Sara of Tell Love and Party
Prickly Party Sign: Rad and Happy
Confession: I am a TERRIBLE gift giver. I honestly don’t even know when the last time I got my husband a physical gift on his birthday. Don’t get me wrong, I love getting gifts. And I love giving gifts to people when I think of something I know they would really love and appreciate. But gift-giving just isn’t my thing. I wish it was! Maybe in my next life?
Lately, when one of my friends is having a baby or a birthday party, I will bring cookies in lieu of a gift. Because who needs a gift that will last longer than a few minutes when they can have something edible, right?
My friend Sara recently had her THIRD baby boy, so a group of friends wanted to put together a casual shower for her. She didn’t want or need a big event, but I think moms should get some kind of celebration every time they have a baby, because having a baby is HARD WORK and you deserve a party. Sara went to high school in the 90s and has a soft spot in her heart for the decade, so our friends decided to throw her the first ever 90s themed baby shower. We all came decked out in 90s clothes, hair, and make-up, and the venue was decorated like a teenage girl’s 90s bedroom!
Instead of making traditional baby shower cookies, I decided to keep my designs on-theme with the 90s party. I was 11-years-old when the 90s ended, so I maybe had to google “90s graphic designs” and then I chose my favorite designs to replicate on the cookies. Bold colors on cookies aren’t usually my favorite–I tend to go a little more subtle–BUT I was beyond thrilled with how these turned out. And considering these cookies received the most likes EVER of anything I’ve posted on Instagram, I would say they were pretty well received. Also, the guy working the Taco Bell drive-thru window saw these on my front seat on my way to the party and was REAL impressed. So there you go.
If you don’t live under a rock, chances are you follow the amazing Brittany Jepsen of the House That Lars Built blog. I absolutely LOVED following her flower-drawing-tutorial-series she did recently. She filmed tutorials on how to (simply) draw 30 different types of flowers, and posted a video each day during the month of May.
Most often, when I make cookies for a party or event, I end up with extra cookies and/or extra icing. Better to be safe than sorry! A lot of time my extras end up going to waste! Either I get caught up wrestling my two babies and can’t find the time to finish them, or I toss them in the garbage before I eat a dozen all by myself. Not that I’m speaking from experience or anything…
Anyway! I had some extra circle cookies and plain white icing laying around, and I decided that they would be the perfect canvas to try out some of Brittany’s drawing tutorials.
These may be some of my favorite cookies I’ve EVER made. I say that often. Like, every time I make cookies. But I really mean it!
First, I decorated each cookie with white royal icing. Once the icing was completely dry, I “painted” a little color onto each cookie with a fine paint brush using gel food coloring diluted with almond extract. Once the color was completely dry, I drew the outline of the different types of flowers onto each cookie with a edible food coloring marker.
Brittany’s tutorials and my cookies are MFEO. Obviously.
Sometimes, I feel like my cookies are kind of like my babies. Alright, so I get that’s a little bit of a stretch, but stick with me for a second. These sugar cookies can be kind of a process and definitely a labor of love. After putting so much thought and energy into each batch of cookies I make, I just want to send them to a good home where they will be loved and appreciated as much as they should be! Ok, that is definitely ridiculous now that I write it out, but it is true nonetheless!
Any time I make cookies for a collaboration with my friend Sara, I feel like my cookie babies are going to the very best home. Not only because they are totally loved and appreciated, but because it usually they means they are going to be a part of some kind of mind-blowingly beautiful party or event before they are happily devoured.
Sara asked me if I would be able to make some cookies for a bridal shower she was throwing for a close high-school friend. She told me she was using a lot of gem + geometric shapes and showed me this beautiful Minted invitation that embodied the party’s color-scheme.
I decided to make these (semi) simple gem-shaped cookies, thinking they would go well with the geometric theme and obviously be a perfect choice for a bridal shower. I thought the ombré coloring of the Minted invitation was so beautiful that I knew I had to carry that through the cookies. [Fun fact: I used to work at a jewelry store that specialized in engagement rings. When I was looking for cookie cutters for this project, it was driving me CRAZY that so many of the options were nowhere close to what the actual dimensions of real gemstones are. I ended up making my own template for two of the designs and hand-cutting them with a pizza cutter. I also looked up actual drawings of real gems to make sure my decorative piping was as realistic as a cookie could possibly be. Ridiculous? Probably.]
I thought I was in love with how they turned out, and I was so happy to deliver them to my friend to take to the bridal shower. BUT THEN, I saw these photos of how the whole shower came together and I was literally blown away! I could say it a million times–Sara is a party genius! Can I just get married again (to Spencer, obviously) so she can throw me a bridal shower too?! I felt so honored to have my cookies be a part of such a beautiful tablescape. I mean, can you even deal with how gorgeous this all is?
Photos by: Sara of Tell Love and Party
One thing I LOVE about having fancy blogger friends is that every once in a while they give me a good excuse to get a little creative and whip up a batch of fabulous sugar cookies. My friends Sara and Merrick have made a little tradition of throwing a fun, ladies only, Halloween Dinner party. The dinner is a potluck, and inside each invitation is an assignment on which dish to contribute. Last year, I opened up my invitation to find that my dinner assignment was “sugar cookies”. Naturally.
Whenever I am asked (or offer) to make cookies, I try to stick to the general color scheme and party vibe when I’m designing how I’m going to decorate them. These graphic and modern invitations from Minted totally inspired me and gave me the perfect jumping off point!
I loved the colors and geometric elements of the invitation and wanted to carry those over to the cookies. But I knew that I needed to add a little something, like a spider, to bring in some element of Halloween. And I absolutely LOVE how they turned out! I felt like they were perfectly spooky and on trend for the party, without getting too traditional (or even tacky).
But enough chit-chat. Here are some more snaps of the cookies, as well as the rest of the darling dessert table that Sara put together. Isn’t she a party genius?!
Party decor: Sara of Tell Love and Party
Photos:Tell Love and Party and Rad and Happy