Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Back to School: Geek Chic Cookies

by Darla

Back to School Geek Chic Cookies | ©BakingdomToday, lots of kids around the world are headed back to school. Some may have started a little earlier, and some are probably still enjoying the last days of summer, but back to school is definitely in the air.

The kids here in southern Nederland, where we’re currently staying, started back on Monday. There’s a Montesorri across the street from our hotel, and I’ve been watching the parents bringing the wee little kiddies in. During my observations, I’ve determined that…

A. These kids are dressed so cute it kills me.

B. These are the best dressed moms dropping their kids off for school ON BIKES I’ve ever seen.

These observations have inspired me to share some things with you guys.

These things are Lies the Internet Told Me About Europe.

These lies are mostly about fashion, but there are some other lifestyle lies, too.

“Europeans don’t wear flip flops.”

LIES.

Europeans wear flip flops. They wear sandals. They wear flats, heels, boots, sneakers, and boat shoes.

“Europeans don’t wear shorts.”

LIES.

Europeans wear shorts. They wear shorts of all shapes and sizes, in every length imaginable. Both men and women, young and old, wear shorts.

“Europeans don’t wear t-shirts, particularly with writing or logos on them.”

LIES.

Europeans wear a huge variety of t-shirts, and while yes, I do see fewer of them, they wear them with writing and logos on them, as well.

“European homes are WAY smaller than American homes.”

LIES.

We’ve had the opportunity to see everything from sweet 1 bedroom lofts to charming 2 and 3 bedroom apartments spread over 2 to 3 floors, and even large family homes with up to 5 bedrooms and beautiful lawns…all in our price range. Admittedly, there are few homes with a large range stove/oven, which you find standard in American homes, and yes, the refrigerators are going to take some getting used to, but the idea that moving to Europe means massive downsizing to teeny apartment life is a myth.

“Europeans don’t like fast food.”

LIES.

There’s three McDonald’s near us, that I know of, and a Burger King…..they are always packed. Full. Every table filled. Inside and out (because they have terrace seating). And no, they’re not all Americans. In fact, I’ve yet to walk by and hear any English speakers. I’ve also observed huge bags of McDonald’s carry out being trotted around by people throughout the day.

Admittedly, there are some truths out there…

One that I find quite funny…”Europeans do NOT wear white sneakers.” This is mostly true. I read many, many times that Europeans know American tourists, because they go everywhere in these big honkin’ white athletic shoes that stand out for miles. The idea behind the many people who choose these is comfort. Nobody can be faulted for wanting to be comfortable when they know they’ll be walking for hours at a time, sightseeing some of the most beautiful cities in the world. But it’s true. The only white sneakers I’ve seen on Europeans are Converse.

“Europeans dress slightly nicer than Americans.”

This is admittedly true. Many, but not all, Europeans dress nicer than a lot, but definitely not all, Americans. See above lies…they do dress comfortably – shorts, tees, sneakers and flip flops, but you see many more collared shirts, slacks, skirts, dresses, and ties mixed in.

Basically, what I’m saying is, the Internet is prejudiced. It’s prejudiced against Europeans and Americans, and it’s stupid. If you’re preparing for a trip to Europe, be sure to take advice from the internet with a grain of salt.

No matter what you do, though, bring cookies. Cookies are common ground for everyone.

Mustache FondantNow, these cookies were one of the most fun, and cutest, things I’ve done in a while. I got these crazy cute Munchstache Cookie Cutters/Stamps by Fred and Friends a couple of months ago, and I’m downright smitten. Not only do they cut the cookies out, but they’re also stamps, so you can press the mustache design into the soft dough before you bake the cookies, or into fondant for decorating.

Before you buy these, know that they are slightly annoying, in that the cookie dough can get stuck in the, because the pressing creates suction. I solved this problem, by putting two small holes in each cutter, to allow air to escape, and be drawn in, while cutting the dough.

Fondant MustacheA perfect, pastel mustache.

Polka Dot Cookie PressI also got a very fun set of cutters from ebay that contained these stamps in them. There is a polka dot stamp, stripes, and a sort of butterfly shape.

Polka Dot Fondant TieThe polka dots are probably my favorite. For obvious reasons.

Pastel Geek Chic CookiesGeeky cookies, stamped and pretty…

I used a simple faux royal icing to attach the fondant to the cookies. Just smear a small amount evenly onto the cookies, then lay the fondant on top. The icing acts as a glue.

Painting FondantHow about some more color, though?

I used gel food coloring mixed with a little water to create edible water colors. Then, I just painted each cookie with various colors and designs, and allowed them to dry.

I Mustache You a Question Cookies | ©BakingdomThe plaid glasses are my particular favorite.

I Really Mustache Cookies | ©BakingdomWe had so much fun mixing and matching these to make funny faces. I’m not even joking.

Geek Chic Cookies | ©BakingdomThese would be seriously fun included in kids’ lunches…lunch time is fun again!

Mr. Bakingdom Mustache Man | ©BakingdomWhatever you do, play with your food. It’s one time when nobody is gonna yell at you for it! :)

Enjoy!

Recipes and Resources

Rolled Sugar Cookies (Scroll down for recipe)
Marshmallow Fondant
Faux Royal Icing (Scroll down for recipe)
Munchstache Cookie Cutters/Stamps by Fred and Friends
Band of Outsiders Cookie Cutter & Stamper Set Neiman Marcus + Target

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{ 20 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Maureen | Orgasmic Chef August 14, 2013 at 2:46 pm

These are so cute! I strive to be clever and fail most of the time.

I agree on the lies. I’m an American living in Australia and it works the other way around. I’ve heard lots of things about Americans that are lies too. :)

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2 Belinda @themoonblushbaker August 14, 2013 at 3:46 pm

AWWW! Love these
In Australia, we also have myths about other countries but I think that what what other place so exotic (until we go there of course).

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3 Becca from CookieJar Treats August 14, 2013 at 4:36 pm

These cookies are so awesome! Like seriously I would hate to eat them because they are so cool… but they look delicious so I would probably eat an entire batch :P

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4 Luzie August 14, 2013 at 5:28 pm

Cute… I haven´t knew about these myths :D I live in Europe, and everyone wears shirts with logos and shorts and flip flops… it´s funny to read that many people think that this isn´t true!

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5 April August 15, 2013 at 12:52 am

Awww, those are adorable! How do you eat cookies that look so perfect?? They must be awfully yummy :)

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6 sara August 15, 2013 at 3:33 am

So cute! These are ADORABLE!

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7 buttercream bakehouse August 15, 2013 at 3:54 am

These are so cute. You must be already settled and baking again..glad to have you back.

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8 Bernadette August 15, 2013 at 3:55 am

Glad you cleared that up Darla! How is it going with the language “barrier”? Cookies look so cute in the pastel colors and prints. . .and I see hubby has helped out with your post!

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9 Christina @ Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe August 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Eeeeep! How cute or those??

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10 Christina @ Sweet Lavender Bake Shoppe August 15, 2013 at 7:34 pm

Errrr, “ARE” those!

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11 Shelly (Cookies and Cups) August 16, 2013 at 1:12 am

So cute!!
Love the mustache one!

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12 Renee @ Awesome on $20 August 17, 2013 at 9:02 pm

I think a lot of the styles have become more Americanized in the past generation. The internet tells plenty of lies, but it also makes the world much much smaller so that you don’t have to be on the same continent to influence people’s taste. I can confirm that most British people make horrible fashion choices.

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13 Luzie August 18, 2013 at 10:03 pm

Not really… Here in germany the people just wear what they want, not what the americans wear. And we like the look of those cute printed shirts or the simplicity of flip flops. I think every country wears what it wants and some have just the same taste. Did you mean this? Then I´m sorry. But this issue is really hard for me, because it feels for me like a big insult for europeans! I mean, what should we wear else? leather pants? Sorry, I don´t wanna seem rude, but I read this myths and all what I can think is: who else believes this stuff? How many people think that we europeans are wearing no printed shirts or flip flops? It bums me out… Oh, look at that what I´m writing here! I feel so rude… I´m so sorry, but I had to say that!

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14 Faith August 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Wow Renee, that’s a very rude and sweeping generalisation :-/ Speaking as a Brit, I won’t stoop to your level and make reciprocal sweeping judgements about your nations’ dress sense (whatever nation that is)…but I would say that perhaps you should save your unnecessary and catty comments. British people probably do make horrible fashion choices. And good ones. Depending on what day it is, what sort of mood they are in, what’s available and what they feel like wearing that day. The same as any other nation, including whatever yours is.

Sorry Darla, this isn’t the sort of thing that normally appears on your blog…but I didn’t feel that I could leave that nasty comment unchallenged :( Your cookies (as always) look AWESOME :)

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15 Quinn August 18, 2013 at 9:56 pm

Darla, a quick question on the hole you put into the mustache cutters- how did you do it and what tool did you use? I have these but don’t want to break them attempting to make a hole. Thank you!

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16 Darla August 23, 2013 at 2:40 pm

Hi Quinn, I used an electric drill on a low, slow setting with a smallish drill bit. I just but 2 or 3 small holes around the edges. You could even put them high up on the sides of the cutters. Just take your time, and don’t press too hard. The drill will do all the work. If you’re still worried, you could even try doing it by hand with the same drill bit, or a screw.

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17 Tina @ Sugar Bean Bakers August 19, 2013 at 2:37 pm

This is my favorite post, in like, ever. I laughed so much. Hahahaha.

Also, I love the pic of Mr. Bakingdom! And the geek faced cookies ;)

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18 Andrea R August 20, 2013 at 3:21 am

Love these! So cute!

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19 Lior September 6, 2013 at 5:45 pm

love it!!

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20 CaryAnn Hess September 22, 2013 at 3:02 am

These are so stinking cute. I am going to try your sugar cookie recipe (I ususally use store bought) and make some cute cookies for my grandkids. They will love them.

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