Sunday, November 24, 2013

Recipe: Swedish Toffee Cookies

This recipe is adapted from a great cookbook my brother got for me at IKEA, called Fika.  It's a wonderful cookbook, with pictures of all the ingredients, and then of the finished product.  I want to make everything in it.

These cookies were a hit at Kiss the Cook, and many customers (and co-workers) were asking me for the recipe.  I am happy to oblige.

Swedish Toffee Cookies
(Recipe adapted from the IKEA Fika Cookbook)

3 1/2 oz butter
1/2 c sugar
1 Tbsp light corn syrup
1 c all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 F. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or a mixer and mix until a solid dough forms.  Split into three equal parts, and roll into three finger-thick lengths, roughly as long as a baking sheet.  Place them on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and flatten slightly.
Bake in the middle of the oven for about 12 minutes.  Cut the lengths into diagonal cookies while they are still warm. Separate the cookies once they are cooled.

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Saturday, November 23, 2013

Day of the Doctor: An Edible Geekery Blog Hop - 50 Years of Doctor Who

It's the Day of the Doctor - 50 Years of Doctor Who!  How could we not celebrate with an Edible Geekery Blog Hop?

Since it's a Saturday, and there are no lunches to be made for school, and my kids don't watch Doctor Who (yet) anyway, I decided to make us a lovely lunch to enjoy before watching the anniversary episode this afternoon.

I made mini cheese souffles, and a larger one (in honor of Clara, our favorite souffle girl), and fish fingers (homemade, no recipe really, just breaded in panko and shallow fried), with custard of course.

And yes, we tried the fish fingers WITH custard.  I can't say I'd eat it again, but it wasn't horrible.  The custard was much better by itself.

Most of my souffles turned out lovely, but I made a big one, which fell, and that felt more like a real homage to Clara.

Now... to wait for the new episode of Doctor Who and check out what my Edible Geekery Friends have in store for the occasion - start out with Organized Bites and then click on through!

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Friday, November 22, 2013

Lunches: 11.22.13 (Partially) Kid Made!

The Boy wanted a Thanksgiving themed lunch today, since it is their last day of school before they have break next week.  He was kind enough to let me help make his lunch, but did a lot of it on his own.
Mini croissants: 20g, carrots: 1g, melon: 5g, apple: 8g, cheese: 1g
He has a turkey made of mini croissants with hummus, carrots, and watermelon, along with cheese, and apple (that he balled out with a melon baller). His snack is a yogurt (not pictured, 12g)

The Girl also has a turkey with mini croissants and hummus, carrots, and apple, with corn chips and mandarin oranges.Her snack is yogurt (not pictured)

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Thursday, November 21, 2013

Lunches: 11.21.13

I made the lunches for today, with consent from The Boy, who was busy playing with our friends who were over for dinner.
Croissant: 12g, apple slices: 4g, oranges: 15g, dinosaur cheese puffs: 4g, Dick & Jane snacks: 18g, yogurt raisins: 6g

The Boy has a mini croissant with hummus, apple slices, mandarin oranges, Dick & Jane Educational Snacks, a few dinosaur cheese puffs, and yogurt covered raisins, in his Yumbox.  His snack is a yogurt (not pictured, 12g)

The Girl has apple slices, yogurt covered raisins, Dick & Jane Educational Snacks, mandarin oranges, dinosaur cheese puffs, and a couple mini croissants with hummus, in her Easylunchbox.  Her snack is a yogurt (not pictured)

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Lunches: 11.20.13 (Partially) Kid Made!

The Boy is on a roll.  He decided to make a "round things" themed lunch for himself.  I helped him with some of the cutting, but overall, it was all him.
Dick & Jane snacks: 12g, apple slices: 6g, oranges: 15g, yogurt raisins: 15g, steamed bun: 15g, bagel sandwich: 30g
He packed himself Dick & Jane Educational snacks (and he was so happy - the Presidential cookie he got was The White House!  Hadn't seen that one before), apple rings, a steamed custard bun from Chinese take-out, a container full of yogurt covered raisins, madarin oranges, and a bagel with liverwurst and muenster (cut down to fit - we were out of mini bagels).  His snack is a granola bar (not shown - 29g)

The Girl has steamed lotus seed paste buns (these are amazing - they taste like a sesame seed/peanut butter mix) and dumplings from Chinese take-out, along with apple slices and yogurt raisins.  Her snack is a granola bar (not pictured)

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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Family Lunches: 11.19.13 - (Partially) Kid Made!

The Boy is really into making his own lunches lately, and he is doing such a good job, I don't want to discourage him - so his lunch is self made, but I made lunch for The Girl, and for myself.

Sandwich: 40g, yogurt raisins: 12g, dinosaur cheese puffs: 8g, apple slices: 8g, Dick & Jane snacks: 12g
The Boy packed himself a sandwich on spent grain bread, with liverwurst and muenster cheese, yogurt raisins, apple slices, Dick & Jane Educational snacks, and dinosaur cheese puffs I found at the store.  His snack is a granola bar (pictured here with the lunch, his decision, 29g).

The Girl has a sandwich on spent grain bread with ham and Cabot cheddar, yogurt raisins, dinosaur cheese puffs, apple slices, and brussells sprouts.  She has a granola bar for snack (pictured here with the lunch).

I have a sandwich on spent grain bread with liverwurst and Muenster cheese, yogurt raisins, apple slices, a rice krispies treat, and buffalo ranch pretzel bites.

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Monday, November 18, 2013

Lunches: 11.18.13 - Kid made!

I was out on Sunday night, so again the kids made their own lunches.  When I came home, the lunches were stuffed to the gills with pistachios (which I bought to use in a recipe later in the week), so I had to remove them and do a little "fixing," but otherwise, they did a good job packing.

Cheez-its: 10g, apple slices: 4g, banana: 28g, sandwich: 10g, yogurt: 12g
The Boy even packed a theme!  He said it was his Yellow Submarine lunch - The Boy loves The Beatles.  He even drew on his banana to make it look like a submarine!  He has Scrabble Cheez-its, apple slices, a banana, a Gogurt, and a mini croissant sandwich with cheese.  His snack is mandarin oranges (not pictured, 15g).

The Girl has apple slices, Scrabble Cheez-its, a sandwich with ham and Cabot cheddar, a gogurt, and a granola bar.  Her snack is mandarin oranges (not pictured).

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Friday, November 15, 2013

Lunches: 11.15.13 - Kid Made!

The kids made their own lunches for Friday.  It's been a fun week for them, making their own lunches.

Sandwich: 25g, raisins: 16g, sunflower seeds: 8g, apple slices: 8g, Dick & Jane snacks: 18g
The Boy packed himself a liverwurst and cheese sandwich, honey sunflower seeds, raisins, apple slices, and Dick & Jane Educational snacks.  His snack is a banana (not pictured, 28g).

The Girl packed herself a ham, spinach, and Miracle whip sandwich, with half a pear, Dick & Jane Educational snacks, and raisins.  Her snack is a banana (not pictured)

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Thursday, November 14, 2013

Family Lunches: 11.14.13 - (Partially) Kid Made!

The Boy made his own lunch today, but I made lunches for The Hubby and for The Girl.
Sandwich: 26g, raisins: 16g, carrots: 1g, apple slices: 8g, Dick & Jane snacks: 18g
The Boy's lunch is a liverwurst and cheese sandwich, apple slices, rainbow carrots, raisins, and Dick & Jane Educational snacks, in an Easylunchbox.  His snack is an apple (not pictured, 8g).

The Girl has a gingerbread bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, raisins, Dick & Jane Educational snacks, pear slices, and Brussells Sprouts in an Easylunchbox.  Her snack is a banana (not pictured, 28g)

The Hubby has some Caesar salad, a ham and cheese sandwich, apple slices, potato chips, and a banana, in a Go Green Lunchbox.

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Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Family Lunches: 11.13.13 - Kid Made!

The kids have been loving making their lunches (and lunches for Daddy and me also!) this week.  Completely on their own volition, they decided to make them again for Wednesday.  My pick collection is getting a workout.

The Boy has a sandwich with liverwurst, Dick & Jane Educational Snacks, rainbow carrots, sliced apple, and sliced strawberries.  And a ton of picks.  For snack, he has some applesauce (not pictured, 15g)

The Girl has a bagel on skewers with a container of honey to dip it in, with some lettuce with some dressing, rainbow carrots, and strawberries.  And a ton of picks.  She has applesauce for snack (not pictured)

The Boy packed a peanut butter and honey bagel, with rainbow carrots, Cool Ranch Doritos, and strawberries for Daddy - with a ton of pics.  I'm sure Daddy's co-workers will love the flowers and festivity.

The Boy packed a bagel with peanut butter and honey, rainbow carrots, some Cool Ranch Doritos, and strawberries for me.  With a ton of picks.

And he told me I could wear one of the rings whilst eating my lunch.  I wonder what my coworkers will say.  I bet they'll be jealous.

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Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Family Lunches: 11.12.13 - Kid Made!

The kids enjoyed making their lunches so much for Monday that they decided to make lunches for Tuesday as well - and The Boy made one for me, too!
Bagel: 27g, Dick & Jane Snacks: 18g, yogurt: 12g, strawberries: 4g, apple slices: 5g
The Boy has apple slices, strawberries, half a bagel with hummus, a Gogurt, and some Dick & Jane Educational Snacks (he was so happy to have found a Vermont state capital snack!).  I love how many picks he put in his lunch. He has a banana for snack (not pictured).

The Girl has pear slices, Dick & Jane Snacks, a gingerbread bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, carrots in the orange container.

I have half a bagel with hummus, pear slices, apple slices, rainbow carrots, and strawberry yogurt raisins.

It's fun when the kids make lunches!  And I think they have done a good job yet again.  I'm looking forward to my lunch for sure!

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Monday, November 11, 2013

Lunches: 11.11.13 - Kid Made!

The kids decided to make their own lunches last night, and they both did a really great job!

Ham & cheese: 1g, strawberries: 4g, carrot & dip: 1g, bagel: 14g, Dick & Jane Snacks: 18g, yogurt raisins: 10g
The Boy wanted to use his Yumbox (and it actually makes packing a balanced lunch really easy for the younger set, as it outlines what to put in each compartment).  He has strawberries, slices of yellow carrot with dressing for dipping, Cabot cheddar cheese, a slices of honey ham, Dick & Jane Educational snacks, and a quarter of a gingerbread bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, as well as a couple strawberry yogurt raisins for a treat.  He has a yogurt for snack (not pictured, 12g).

The Girl has a little Caesar salad (she put the dressing on before I could stop her), pear slices, gingerbread bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, and some ham and cheese, in an Easylunchbox.  She also has a yogurt for snack (not pictured).  Do you think the kids are ready for snow, with the picks that they chose?

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Thursday, November 7, 2013

Lunches: 11.7.13

Don't miss my giveaways for the Weelicious Lunches cookbook, Dick & Jane Educational Snacks, and the Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes cookbook.  I will have more reviews and giveaways coming up next week - so stay tuned!
Salad: 2g, quiche: 10g, apple slices: 4g, strawberries: 3g
For Friday lunch, The Boy has Caesar salad, quiche that I made for dinner on Thursday, apple slices, and strawberries.  His snack is yogurt (not pictured, 12g).

The Girl also has quiche (hers has asparagus), Caesar salad, apple slices, and strawberries.  Her snack is also yogurt (not pictured).

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Lunches: 11.7.13

Don't miss my giveaways for the Weelicious Lunches cookbook, Dick & Jane Educational Snacks, and the Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes cookbook.
Liverwurst Puff Pastry Waffles: 18g, apple slices: 4g, strawberries: 5g, carrots and hummus: 2g
For Thursday lunches, The Boy has leftover puff pastry waffles from our Australian Meat Pie Waffles, with some liverwurst, along with apple slices, strawberries, and carrots with hummus.  His snack is a yogurt (not pictured, 12g).

The Girl has a gingerbread bagel with pumpkin cream cheese, rainbow carrots with hummus, strawberries, and some Brussels Sprouts.  Her snack is a yogurt (not pictured, 12g).

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Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Review & Giveaway: Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes Cookbook

This is part of what I hope to make into a week or so of giveaways. Stay tuned - I have a lot of great things to share with you. Don't miss my Weelicious Lunches and Dick & Jane Educational Snacks Giveaways! 

I am going to post lunches separate from this review & giveaway, because I wasn't making cupcakes to send in the kids' lunches, no matter how much they would have appreciated them.  When I was asked if I wanted to review the Robicelli's Cupcake cookbook, I of course jumped at the chance, but I didn't know that it would be anything more than your standard, run of the mill cupcake cookbook.
Image courtesy Robicelli's
I can't remember the last time I read a cookbook front to back.  Robicelli's: A Love Story, with Cupcakes is a great read.  It is laugh out loud funny, often irreverent, never shying away from coarse language, I found myself stopping and reading sections aloud to The Hubby.  And, to top it all off, there are recipes - recipes I want to make right now.  French Buttercream in many variations, American "Buttercream," if you must, but really... try the French.

On the top of my list to try are the Dom Deluise (a cannoli inspired cupcake), the Butterbrew cupcake (inspired by a certain boy wizard - The Girl is begging me to make these), and the Carrot Cake Cupcake.  These need to happen.  I already promised a friend I would make the Dom Deluise for her upcoming birthday.

I would count this as a memoir with recipes.  Chronicling the lives and relationship of the Allison and Matt Robicelli, this book makes me want to go back to New York City, and maybe check out Brooklyn instead of just eating my way through Manhattan like last time.

They eschew fondant, food coloring, and cutesy decorations, instead sticking with serious culinary feats, like their famous Chicken & Waffle Cupcake, and making a Buffalo Chicken Cupcake something you actually want to try.  They don't simply make wacky flavors, but delve into the many cultures surrounding them in Brooklyn to find inspiration.  And also, the Golden Girls are represented.

In addition, there is a very funny and informative introduction about ingredients, equipment, and more.  The butter section in particular had me guffawing.

Let it be said that this is NOT a cookbook to hand to the kids and tell them to go to town.  The language is sometimes such that a sailor would blush, and the recipes are complicated (though they do have a one, two, or three whisk difficulty rating).  However, for a good, curl up on the couch and maybe drool a little kind of read, and for some truly crave-worthy looking recipes (I cannot wait to try them!), this cookbook is a masterpiece.  I can't wait to make some real French Buttercream.

Now for the fun part - one lucky ready will win a copy of Robicelli's: A Love Story, With Cupcakes.  Simply enter on the rafflecopter below and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check back on the blog for the rest of the week for more reviews and giveaways!

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Wacky Worldly Waffle Wednesday: Australian Waffles

When I went in search of Australian recipes to inspire our Australian waffles, the first thing that stood out was Australian Meat Pie.

Because I wasn't about to slather vegemite on waffles and call it a day.

I decided to make my Australian Meat Pie Inspired Waffles by making a savory waffle, topping it with the meat pie filling, and topping with some puff pastry, also cooked in a waffle iron.  The result was a hit.

Australian Meat Pie Waffles

1 box thawed puff pastry

The filling:
1 Tbsp oil
1 onion, chopped finely
1 lb ground beef
1/2 c ketchup
1 1/2 Tbsp Worchestershire sauce
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 tsp ground oregano
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

The savory waffles
2 c "just-add-water" pancake & waffle mix
1 1/4 c vegetable broth
1/4 c milk
1 Tbsp oil

Heat your waffle iron.  Cut the thawed puff pastry into circles to fit the waffle iron and cook until lightly browned and puffy.  Place in oven on warm while preparing the rest of the waffles.

For the meat filling, heat oil over medium heat.  Cook the onions until transparent.  Add beef and brown. Stir in the remaining ingredients and cook until thickened.

Meanwhile, prepare the batter for the savory waffles.  Cook as directed by your waffle maker's instructions and keep warm in oven with the puff pastry waffles until everything is ready.

To serve, place a savory waffle on a plate, scoop the meat on top of it, and finally top with the puff pastry waffle.  Enjoy!

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lunches: 11.6.13 - PLUS Dick & Jane Educational Snacks Review & Giveaway!

This is part of what I hope to make into a week or so of giveaways. Stay tuned - I have a lot of great things to share with you.  Don't miss my Weelicious Lunches Giveaway!

Educational Snacks?  Count me in!  I was at the store and saw Dick & Jane Educational Snacks and knew they would be a great fit in our lunches.  The wonderful people at Dick & Jane agreed to send me some snacks to try out, and I have to say, they are a hit.

They have three varieties of snacks:
                    - US Presidents
                    - State & Capitals
                    - English & Spanish

The imprints are detailed and easy to read, and the kids love the lightly sweet vanilla flavor.  I also like that they are made with all natural ingredients, and to my readers who may have allergies in the family, they are nut free.
Presidential Snacks
Each box has a matching game on the back, and The Boy has taken off with the empty boxes to play the games.  He loves matching things.
States and Capitals

Living so close to Quebec, I wish that they had an English/French edition, though I realize Spanish is more prevalent throughout most of the country.  And how cool would math facts be?  Maybe someday... The Boy, my little list maker, particularly liked the state capitals, and The Girl's teacher asked me where we got them.  I'd say that's a positive.

When schools don't always teach things like presidents and states and their capitals, and when, at least in our area, the only second language kids generally get before junior high comes in the form of Dora the Explorer, having a delicious snack with some educational value can't be a bad thing.

Also super cool?  Dick & Jane Baking Company are supporting schools.  A portion of their proceeds go to Adopt-a-Classroom.  Literally putting their money where our mouths are.

I wish that they had more flavors - and maybe a savory line of crackers instead of just cookies.  These aren't super sweet, but it would be nice to change things up sometimes.

Kielbasa & apple skewers: 3g, remaining apple: 4g, fruit snacks: 15g, Educational snacks: 12g, yogurt: 12g
For Tuesday lunches, the kids both have some State Capital snacks.  The Boy also has some kielbasa skewered with apple slices, along with some fruit snacks he got for Halloween, the rest of his apple, and a yogurt. His snack is applesauce (not pictured, 15g).

The Girl has kielbasa skewered with roasted brussels sprouts, with some honey mustard for dipping, along with her State Capital snacks, yogurt covered raisins, yogurt, and apple slices.  Her snack is a banana (not pictured)

Now for the fun part.  Want to try Dick & Jane Educational snacks out for yourself?  Enter on the rafflecopter below!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure to check back on the blog for the rest of the week for more reviews and giveaways!

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Lunches: 11.4.13 - PLUS Weelicious Lunches Review and Giveaway!

This is the start of what I hope to make into a week or so of giveaways.  Stay tuned - I have a lot of great things to share with you.

I don't know if you have seen Weelicious, but I sure have.  She has some really great ideas on her blog, and wen I saw she was releasing a lunch cookbook, Weelicious Lunches, I jumped at the chance to review it.  Overall, I am very pleased and can recommend this book.

Her introduction is great and lines up with how I like to feed my kids - with plenty of choices and variety, including interesting fruits and veggies.  In the beginning of the cookbook, there are a couple of gorgeous full-color spreads of different fruits and vegetables, as well as protein and grain options.

I am a bit disappointed that my favorite, Easylunchboxes, are not included in the book, but you can't have everything.

When it comes to the recipes in the book, there are a lot of them that I have marked to try.  The Boy really wanted me to make the melon mint salad, but then said that he didn't like the lemon juice, and he didn't particularly like the mint.  He's more of a melon purist.  I thought it was yummy.  I think Weelicious' children (and yes, I know her name is Catherine) really must enjoy sour flavors, because she uses a lot of pickles, and includes pickle juice and lemon juice in many recipes.  My kiddos are sadly anti-pickle at this point, though I do keep offering.

Some other recipes that looked worth trying are her beet & carrot salad (wonder if I could get the kids to eat raw beets?), ooey gooey mozzarella pesto melt (what's not to like in this picture?), avocado honey dip (sounds interesting), caramelized onion dip (because... caramelized onions), whole grain fruit-filled bars (seriously need to make these!), and more.

For my Weelicious inspired lunches, I made her couscous-carrot-raisin salad, along with my own version of her cinnamon roll "sushi" = I used some cream cheese that I whipped a little pureed pumpkin and maple syrup into, because we were out of honey, and I wanted to use pumpkin, as I had opened a can for dinner yesterday.  I tried an extra roll, and they are delicious.  I think the lunches will go over well.

Couscous-carrot-raisin salad: 15g, apple slices: 4g, cinnamon roll "sushi" - 30g, yogurt raisins: 16g, Cheez-its: 10g
The Boy also has apple slices, Scrabble Cheez-its, and yogurt raisins in his lunch.  His snack is applesauce  (not pictured, 15g)

The Girl also has Beet crisps from the store, yogurt raisins, and apple slices.  Her snack is a banana (not pictured)

A really nice feature about the Weelicious Lunches book is that there is a whole section with ideas of things to put in various lunches - from non-themed lunches, to things like Valentine's Day, Spring Fling, Retro Lunch, and Halloween Happiness, as well as a great chart about which recipes are safe for allergies and sensitivities.

Weelicious has generously offered to send a copy of Weelicious Lunches to one lucky reader.  Enter on the Rafflecopter below, and good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Be sure to check back on the blog for the rest of the week for more reviews and giveaways!

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Lunches: 11.4.13

Happy Monday morning!

Yogurt covered raisins: 21g, apple slices: 8g, sandwich: 28g, yogurt: 12g
The Boy has applesauce for snack (not pictured, 15g), and his lunch is some yogurt covered raisins (mixture of strawberry and vanilla), apple slices, a twisted GoGurt, and a sandwich with hummus and ham, all packed in an Easylunchbox.

The Girl has the same lunch, but with music note picks, because she has flute lessons this morning.  She also has applesauce for snack (not pictured).

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Friday, November 1, 2013

Recipe: Day of the Dead Sugar Cookies

I've been having fun with wafer paper recently, and I decided to get some for The Day of the Dead.  The Girl's school is having a Halloween Dance Party today, and as it happens to be The Day of the Dead, I thought these cookies would be a perfect contribution for the snack bar.

I made sugar cookies using my Red Velvet Sugar Cookie recipe.

I cut them into small circles, and once they were cooled, I frosted them lightly with white cookie icing (I used store bought cookie icing, because I was in a hurry.  You could use homemade royal icing).  You need to make sure it is hardening icing.

Once the icing was set, I painted the backs of the sugar skull wafer paper with corn syrup and pressed them onto the cookies, then put the cookies upside down to press the wafer paper onto the cookies.

After they were all set, I piped a little more cookie icing (red!) around the edges to hide the transition between wafer paper and cookie.

That's it!  They were a good amount of work, but it is such a cool effect, I hope that they are appreciated!  I brought some in to work, and my co-workers really enjoyed them.

Wafer paper is fun and I want to play with it more.  I hope that I inspire you to try it out.

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