Monday, October 30, 2017

Cookie Projects:Colorful Fall Cookies - P002

Colorful Fall cookies by Tunde Dugantsi

My second Cookie Project on Vimeo is Colorful Fall Cookies, available now.

This is a party project and easier and faster than the previous project, Elegant Halloween Cookies was.

Be aware, to complete this project you will need an airbrush.

Go to my website to see more of my work.
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Friday, October 27, 2017

Royal icing

Royal icing
You can use royal icing to decorate your cookies. It’s easy to prepare, dries fast and you can color it using gel food coloring. You can always adjust the consistency of the icing by adding more water for thinner or more confectioner’s sugar for thicker consistency. I share two recipes, they both work great, but for big projects that may take several days you will definitely need to use the meringue powder royal icing.

Egg white royal icing:
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 lb confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

You have to use it within 1 day or refrigerate in an airtight glass container for up to 3 days.

Meringue powder royal icing:
  • 3 tbsp meringue powder
  • 4 oz cold water
  • 1 lb confectioner’s sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

You don’t need to refrigerate, keep in a cool dry place for up to 2 weeks and rebeat before using.

UPDATE: Online classes about royal icing and icing consistencies are available now:

First prepare the bags. I use resealable sandwich bags with couplers and decorating tips. Tip #1 for the regular icing and tip #3 for the flood icing. You can choose to use just the bags and cut a tiny hole in the corner. You can also use professional decorating bags if you wish. I usually mark the bags containing the flood icing, to know which bag to reach for when decorating.

It’s helpful to put the bag in a cup, folding the opening around the rim. This makes filling the bag much easier.

Decide which recipe to use and prepare the ingredients.

Add meringue powder to the water in a bowl (for egg white icing use the egg whites) and beat until it forms soft peaks.

 Lower the speed and gradually add the confectioner’s sugar. Add the lemon juice and beat for an additional 5 minutes. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Coloring: Gel paste food coloring will not dilute your icing and gives bright color. I usually mix the icing color I want in a tiny bowl, take out one third of this regular icing in a bag and dilute the rest to make the flood icing of the exact same color.

Flood icing: Add a few drops of water until you get the right consistency. If you draw a knife through the icing it has to completely come back together in 10 seconds. If it does not, it needs a few more drops of water.

Go to my website to see more of my work.
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Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Cookie Projects: Elegant Halloween Cookies - P001

Elegant Halloween Cookies by Tunde Dugantsi

Halloween is around the corner and my first Cookie Projects Online Class, Elegant Halloween Cookies is available now on Vimeo.

This is a party project. I designed it with a group activity in mind. Party projects have a limited color palette and they can be done by a group in 3-4 hours.

If you purchase this class don't forget to join our Facebook group, where students can ask questions and post their work.

Have fun with your Halloween cookies!

Go to my website to see more of my work.
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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Online class: Cookie Academy Basics

Whenever I post about my upcoming classes I get some comments from people who live far away telling me how much they would love to participate. I can not go everywhere, but the internet can. So this year, I have been working on the online version of my classes.

I will have two series:
  • Cookie Academy classes are teaching different techniques in detail and complement the Cookie Academy book series.
  • Cookie Projects episodes will show different cookie projects with step by step instructions. Every project will use different techniques. These are great for creating a cool project at home or hosting a cookie decorating party for friends and family. The projects that are designed for parties are marked with a "party" banner.
And I am happy to announce, that the first few lessons of Cookie Academy Classes are ready and available on Vimeo. Of course we will have to start with the basics. So this is what I do. But I am working hard on filming all your favorite classes.

You don't have to purchase the whole class, you can pick the lessons you need.

Cookie Academy Basics will have 7 lessons, the first 5 are available now.

Cookie Academy Basics
001 Basic Gingerbread
002 Yummy Gingerbread
003 Egg Wash
004 Making Royal Icing
005 Royal Icing Consistencies
006 Coloring Royal Icing
007 Flooding a Cookie

If you purchase this class don't forget to join our Facebook group, where students can ask questions and post their work.

Go to my website to see more of my work.
Join me on Facebook.
Follow my youtube channel.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Saveur Blog Awards

As I told you earlierI was chosen as one of the six finalists for the "Best Special Interest Blog Award" at Saveur Blog Awards 2017.

I was invited to the Award Ceremony in Charleston, which was more like two days of fun, pampering and celebration.

The Charleston Area Convention & Visitors Bureau planned amazing programs for us in this charming city. Of course, our itinerary revolved around food and drink.

The best part of this experience was to be abound people who all had a passion that they were generously sharing with the world. And I am not only talking about us bloggers, but every single person we met during our visit.

Our tour guide at Bulldog Tours who had an amazing story about every little corner of this charming city.

The staff of The Dewberry Hotel gave us the warmest welcome and during our events the servers were offering us the amazing food like you would offer it to your guests at home.

The first night, right after the Cocktail Reception we were invited to the Charleston Pub Crawl. Those of you who know me already guessed, this evening I consumed more alcohol, than in the past 10 years combined. And I loved it! The three bars we visited were so welcoming. Darling Oyster Bar has an amazing sea food bar and the drinks were so good that it was really hard to chose from.

Darling Oyster Bar

On our way to the Cocktail Club we smelled freshly baked ice cream cones. Of course, we had to stop at Jeni's to try their ice cream. It's fabulous!

Our last stop, The Ordinary is rather extraordinary and their fried oyster sliders are to die for.

Carrie preparing our biscuits
Monday, we started our day at Le Creuset Test Kitchen where we could witness how our fabulous breakfast was made from scratch by hand. To be honest, I was never a big fan of biscuits - until now. Callie's Charleston Biscuits changed my world with their cinnamon biscuit. They also ship their products and Carrie, the owner published a cookbook too (on my wishlist).

We had 4 amazing panel discussions to make our trip just as educational as fun. I enjoyed every minute of the discussions and I appreciate everything these wonderful people shared with us.

Rodney Scott's BBQ in the making
We spent Monday afternoon at High Wire Distilling Co. where we experienced first hand how a heirloom grain can yield a very special drink. Again, as a non-drinker, I believed that all whisky was created equal. Oh boy, I was mistaken! Our heavenly lunch was prepared by Rodney Scott's BBQ at the distillery and we even enjoyed live music!

High Wire Distilling Co

Monday evening was the Award Ceremony. It was so elegant and professional, that I still could not believe I was part of it. In the same time, by that time the room was full of friends. I hope that the bloggers in my category will become my friends for life. We really had a great start. Although I didn't win the award, I consider all finalists a winner. Especially those who had the chance to join this event.

Rice harvest
And it was not even over yet! Tuesday morning those of us who had later flights could visit the ACE basin, harvest some rice by hand and learn about the area while enjoying food made from the farm's crops. Check Food For The Southern Soul if you would like to taste them too.

I have to thank you all for this fairy-tale like mini vacation. Special thanks to those who nominated me for this award (I still don't know who you are, but I truly appreciate it). If you ever have a chance to visit Charleston, don't forget to visit some of these places, you will enjoy them.