That’s a Wrap!

50 Motivational Disney Quotes About Dreams To Live By
Photo Credit: TheLawofAttraction.com

Welcome back to my blog for my wrap up post for my learning project. I hope that you all enjoyed following along week after week during my sugar cookie decorating process. From the first week of my learning project, to my very last I have felt so accomplished and pleased with what I have learned throughout the past ten weeks. I remember being introduced to the idea of our learning projects back in January and I never thought I would have come so far in such a short amount of time. The journey from week one where I created circular sugar cookies with polka dots and hearts that tasted absolutely awful, to creating buttery smooth unicorn sugar cookies showcases the skills and confidence I have gained. With the assistance of online resources, posting my own content on different platforms, and trial and error I have made it to the end with some pretty magical sugar cookie designs!

Reflecting on my Learning Project:

Week One: Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing

This week I outlined my plan for how I was going to complete my learning project week by week, as well as my inspiration for why I chose to learn royal icing cookie decorating in particular. Alongside with that information I broke down the steps and strategies I used to complete my first batch of cookies and my lack of proper tools. I also took my time to explore different online platforms for advice on how to make the best batch of dough. My first creation was a circle. The resources I used during week one were:

Week Two: Uncovering the Recipe for Success

During week two I ran on poll on Twitter to help me decide which cookie design I should dive into next, the winning results was a cacti shape. I reached out to one of my moms co-workers for her sugar cookie recipe as my recipe from week one was not edible. During this week I attempted to create texture with my royal icing. I also tried chilling my dough in the fridge before cutting it with the cookie cutter for the first time, which aided in the shape of the cookies staying firm while baking. The resources I used during week two were:

Week Three: Welcome to Cloud 9

On my third week of our learning project posts I continued along with the same royal icing and sugar cookie recipes that I used the week prior as it turned out the way I wanted and I was satisfied with the final project. However, I tried to make a thicker version of the icing recipe to create swirls on my cloud cookies but it did not turn out. It was also the only time within my learning journey that I used two tones of icing. My third creation was blue fluffy clouds. The resources I used during week three were:

Week Four: Mermaids and Meringue

Week number four was one of my least favourite weeks (alongside week eight) because of the final outcome. It did have a positive though as I got to try out a new creative online resource called Animoto. I outlined the steps and my personal thoughts on the editing application with support from screenshots during my time on the website. I uploaded my first video (of many) throughout this learning project onto YouTube, as well as another version of the video created with a different editing software, iMovie. It was also my first time ever using meringue powder, and my creations were mermaid tails! The resources I used during week four were:

Week Five: Sunshine, Springtime, and Ice-Cream, oh my!

Moving on to week number five, this was the first week I took my sugar cookies to work and was able to share them with others around me. My creation this week were ice-cream cones and I used four colours which is a much larger amount than my previous weeks. I was not staying at my own apartment during this time so I used ziplock bags instead of piping bags to flood the icing and tried a new royal icing recipe to broaden my horizon. I had a slight issue with the icing but I pulled through in the end using my own tricks to fix the situation. The resources I used during week five were:

Week Six: Make It Pink! Make It Blue!

On week six I went back to the royal icing recipe I had been using from weeks one to four. This was also the first week I began incorporating aspects of Disney into my learning projects which I think allowed me to be more creative and devoted to my decorating process, resulting in the creation of Sleeping Beauty’s crown. I added large pearl sprinkles for the first time as well as added links to other students blogs for the first time as recommended during my evaluation/check in! The resources I used during week six were:

Week Seven: Under the Sea

Week seven is where I carried through with the Disney theme, this time through seashells. I added more dimension to my posts through creating an Instagram reel which I learned how to create through both YouTube videos and articles on the subject. These creations ended up being my favourites up to this point and it was the first time I felt proud of my learning project as I knew I could continue pushing myself. The resources I used during week seven were:

Week Eight: Flower Power

On week number eight I was still feeling excited from my previous creation. I found an inspiration photo on Pinterest to help guide my way for this week, the goal to was make flower shaped sugar cookies. I ran my first poll using my blog itself by asking my readers what they thought my week nine sugar cookies were going to be. This week I made the most batches of icing throughout all ten weeks due to the fact that I needed different textures and thickness, I used a recipe off of TikTok to help me with the process. I also discovered a YouTube video to help guide my flooding and decorating technique. The resources I used on week eight were:

Week Nine: Somewhere Over the Rainbow

I went into week nine thinking this would be my final learning project post, however I had more tricks up my sleeve. This week I used five separate colours of icing and used my most difficult cookie cutter (so far), a rainbow. I created a video that included the whole process on my YouTube channel that I edited using iMovie. I also used Twitter once again to create a poll, and managed to create my own version of a royal icing recipe that flooded perfectly without any bleeding of my pastel colours. For inspiration I dived head first into the cookie decorating TikTok world. The resources I used on week nine were:

Week Ten: Something Magical

On my final week of my learning project I decided to create unicorn heads. For the first time I used pearl dust in my icing to add a pearlescent/glittery finish to my cookies, plus tried a layering technique while decorating. I found my inspiration off of Pinterest, purchased my first decorating pen, and made my first TikTok. My last post for my learning project was full of firsts. I also uploaded two vlogs with the full process (including buying ingredients at the store) on my YouTube channel that I edited with iMovie. The resources I used on week ten were:

My Online Learning Experience:

Like I have said before, what a perfect time to be taking a class that focuses on educational technology and how to use technology to the best of our advantage. At this time, in a global pandemic, we are being connected through technology now more than ever and are expected to be able to use it for all things education. We are taking EdTech 300 through zoom after all! From the comfort of my own apartment I am able to learn how to use the internet to the best of my ability whilst also learning how to educated my future students properly and safely.

Throughout my learning project I learned a lot about myself and what I expect from myself week after week, I hold my standards and personal goals very high. Every week I received amazing feedback from my fellow students that made me feel good about my creations, and I found that engagement helped me feel more connected to them. I also enjoyed the independence aspect of the learning project to keep me motivated. I could only rely on myself and I was in full control of where I wanted to take my project every week whether I needed to slow down or look for more resources. I was able to depend solely on myself for it all.

Before I began my learning project I was not sure if ten weeks would be enough time for me to catch on to where I wanted to be in terms of royal icing decorating. I definitely reached some peaks and valleys, and landed myself on a grand peak on week ten. I am very proud of the progress I made, and definitely feel confident in my achievements. Ten weeks was enough time for me to see a large change in my skills, and I would not have pushed myself to learn these techniques without this learning project being introduced.

What I Am Going to Do With My New Learned Skills:

Throughout my learning project I shared my blog posts to my Twitter account where I received great feedback from my peers. Some of my fellow students have asked me whether or not I was going to sell my sugar cookies after I conclude my learning project or not. At this time I do not think it is something I will be able to do often. Although I have been asked to create sugar cookies for a baby shower as well as a young boys birthday party in the upcoming months, which I could not say no to! I want to continue to implement my new found hobby into my life moving forward. Creating and decorating is a passion of mine and helps fuel my inner motivational source. If I create I am able to propel myself forward in other aspects of my life as well.

I also do not want to loose the skills I have worked on so hard over the past four months. They say after twenty one days of doing something it becomes a habit, and looking for new techniques and ideas for sugar cookies has defiantly become a habit of mine. This learning project has also taught me the benefits of having patience and working through unforeseen circumstances which will aid me in my teaching career. By being able to take a deep breath and brainstorm different ways to approach an issue is a great skill to have, especially when working with young students who will need you to support them and aid in their problems.

When scrolling through my learning project from week one to week ten I cannot help but be proud of the progress I see, as well as know that I dedicated time to bettering myself both within and outside of my learning project.

Something Magical

Hello everyone and welcome back to my learning project! I did not think I would be blogging about my sugar cookies again anytime soon but I made a mistake thinking we only needed nine weeks of learning project posts when, in fact, we actually needed ten! So surprise! I am back again with my week ten which is my last attempt at making sugar cookies before I wrap everything up in my next post. If anything, this week has been a roller coaster surrounding these sugar cookies and I got it on all camera. I decided this week to vlog a couple of days in my life with the main objective in the first vlog to be making the sugar cookies (mixing, rolling, chilling, baking) and then the second vlog about decorating the cookies. Within the vlogs I also added bits and pieces of my everyday live, struggles, thoughts, and opinions which you are free to watch, but do not have to. I just thought that I would let you all know that I vlogged these two days and posted them on YouTube. They are long videos, so I understand if you did not want to stick around for the whole thing, I just enjoy creating vlogs as well as the editing process and figured I would share.

I just want to make it clear that I am not trying to promote my YouTube channel, just that I have the process on camera and it is a little more personal than just reading the blog or going to class together through zoom. So skip if you would like.

First vlog including making the sugar cookies, Disney trivia, going to Starbucks, and my daily life.
Second vlog including decorating sugar cookies, enjoying the sunshine, talking about Instagram, and Disney apartment decor.

Moving on! Since I only thought we needed nine weeks of the learning project I had run out of cookie cutters, so I headed back to Bulk Barn (I am sure they are sick of seeing me) and bought three more cookie cutters so that I could have options, but wanted to choose one that would be difficult to complete in order to showcase how far I have come from week one to week number ten. The three cookie cutters that I decided to purchase were a butterfly, a unicorn head, and a pineapple. I overall decided on the unicorn head as it would take many different elements to complete such as the base coat for the head, the slim unicorn horn, as well as a colourful mane. For the first time I also incorporated edible pearl dust into my royal icing which I found to be quite fun and love the pearlescent touch it added to my unicorn horn. In my first vlog I have the whole process of actually making and baking the dough, so if you are interested the time stamp link is 5:27. In the second vlog I made the royal icing and decorating a couple of the unicorn heads with the white base coat at the time stamp 4:35, and then I show the final product at 9:00 (so if you do not want to watch both of the videos in full please click on the time stamp links)!

Unicorns final product! Do you think they are better than the rainbows?

I began with the base coat for the icing which is the white icing that you can see layered beneath the mane to create the nose, head, and neck of the unicorn. Then I began making the mane where I started with the pink and moved on to the blue and finished off with purple. After all four colours were hardened enough to not create dents in the icing if I accidentally hit it with my hand, I went in with yellow icing which is the portion where I added edible pearl dust to the mixture and piped it onto the cookie. If you look at the cookie on the very bottom of the photo to your left you will be able to see a slight difference in the pink portion of the mane. This is because I took the pearl dust and sprinkled it onto the pink icing after I piped it and rather than making it sparkle it turned into thick flecks of white. That is not what I wanted. So I finished piping the remaining colours of the mane, and finally when I got to mixing the yellow royal icing for the horn I came to the conclusion of mixing the pearl dust straight in to the mixture and it worked! It came out smooth and sparkly, adding a touch of something magical to my final cookie!

Close up!

After sitting for about half an hour I went in with an icing pen (which is a pen used for writing on cookies that is edible) and drew on the eyes and eyelashes to add another aspect to the finished product. This step is also new to me! Cheers to trying two new decorating techniques on my OFFICIAL final week of cookie decorating! The next blog post you will see in this collection of posts will be my overall learning experience throughout the total ten weeks.

I would also like to acknowledge the post on Pinterest that inspired the decorating process of my finished sugar cookie which was created by Angelica Made Me. I also made my first ever TikTok for something extra to add to this post. It is very simple as I had never used the app for anything other than searching for decorating inspiration so I hope that you check that out as well!

Photo and inspiration credit: Angelica Made Me on Pinterest.

A few more of my classmates are also working on cooking/baking-related projects that you should all take some time and check out as well! Branden Smith focuses on making a new meal from scratch every week for his family members, and then each member rates the meal on a scale from one to ten! Also, Shana Blenkin focuses her blog around baking beautiful confections from bagels, buns, and everything in between. I highly recommend checking out both of their blogs as I have enjoyed them each and every week.

My first ever TikTok (and most likely my last).

Somewhere Over the Rainbow

Hello everyone and welcome back or welcome to my learning project where we have officially reached week number nine which in my case is the finale to my learning project! Last week on my blog post, Flower Power, I posted a poll where readers were able to vote on what they thought my final learning project shape would be. The three options I gave where a bunny and an easter egg, a rainbow, and Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Not one person voted for a rainbow but here we are! Spoiler alert: I LOVE THEM! Lately I have been super into everything pastel, the colours bring me so much joy and I hope they do for you too. Whether I am able to decorate my house with pastel blankets and vases, buy a pastel top, or even eat pastel cookies, I am there for it all! So, that is exactly what I did this week and without anything in particular being my inspiration I just simply went for it!

For the finale of my learning project I wanted to add something special to my blog post. Here is a YouTube video that I made about the process of my final project! Enjoy!

I was a little beat down from last weeks creation not turning out the way I wanted them to. It almost felt like I was back tracking since I thought my cacti sugar cookies from week two were even better than the flower cookies I created all the way in week number eight. This week I knew I had to bring it with everything I had and keep my confidence level up through every step. However, my cookies this week were not going to let me off easy as the dough did not want to roll out smoothly, rather it wanted to crack at the edges and rip apart when the rolling pin was flattening it. I rolled out the dough as lightly as I could and even though the edges of the dough cracked I knew I would be able to re-roll the dough and smooth it out once the first set of cookies were cut from the middle portion. Once the cookies were all cut, baked, and cooled it was time for decorating. The difference between this week and the past eight weeks is I was going to use five different colours of icing, but this time I was going to put all five on one cookie. The largest amount of different coloured icing I had used so far on one cookies was two colours. That’s it.

Ending off on best creation? I think so!

While I was mixing together a very large batch of royal icing, my hand mixer decided to give out and one of the beaters stopped spinning, the motor began smoking, and the beaters became stuck inside of the machine. So I drove to Walmart, bought a new mixer, came home and opened the box and the beaters that were in the box did not go with the mixer that I bought. With that being said I went back to Walmart, returned the mixer, bought a new one AGAIN, came home and by this time the icing I made was hard so I made a new batch. The new batch of icing was a little thick at the start and was not flooding evenly, so I added more egg whites to each colour and began creating my rainbow. I started with the top section which was pink and then moved to purple, blue, yellow, and then the white clouds. Rather than working on one cookie at a time I added pink to every cookie and then went in with purple after each cookie had a pink layer in order to ensure the icing was dry enough to add a different colour of icing without them bleeding into one another. This method worked out so well for me! When it got to the white icing for the clouds it seemed to vary in consistency at the beginning from sitting a little bit too long. This was due to it taking so long to add all the other colours to the rainbow, but after the first four or so cookies it became perfect for flooding and definitely added the finishing touches to the cookies!

The final product!

Thank you all for joining me on my nine week long learning project journey! I hope that you had as much fun as I did these past few months as I was able to learn and grow each and every time I was able to create a new design. If you want to see more content from me please follow me on Twitter! I hope that you all have a great week and try something new! Thank you for sticking around.

A few more of my classmates are also working on cooking/baking-related projects that you should all take some time and check out as well! Branden Smith focuses on making a new meal from scratch every week for his family members, and then each member rates the meal on a scale from one to ten! Also, Shana Blenkin focuses her blog around baking beautiful confections from bagels, buns, and even sugar cookies (and hopefully this week she will try out churros as per my recommendation hehe)! I highly recommend checking out both of their blogs as I have enjoyed them each and every week.

Until next time,

Sydney

Flower Power

Hello everyone! Welcome to or welcome back to my weekly learning project blog where I am able to document both the highs and the lows of decorating sugar cookies. To start off, lets recap on what cookie designs we have created so far just to remember how far we have come! From week number one to week eight I have created a circle, cacti, clouds, mermaid tails, ice-cream cones, crowns, seashells, and this week our shape is flowers! Next week will be my final week of the learning project meaning that I only have one more design to prove how far I have come when it comes to decorating and creating the perfect consistency when it comes to royal icing.

So this week did not go as I had originally hoped it would, I was so proud of my seashells from last week and was ready to get back in the kitchen to decorate my floral shaped cookies. However, that was not the case. The cookies baked perfectly as the dough was nice and soft and easy to cut and shape. They baked without any cracks on the surface and cooled overnight in my cookie tray. I knew that I wanted to take a bold approach to the cookies and create four different colours of icing so that there would be more variety. I found it especially important to change up the tone of the colours I chose so that each batch of cookies would be able to stand out from week to week rather than having a pink shade or pastel blue every single week. I made two batches of royal icing and split each batch in half to make four different bowls of icing. For the colour palette I ended up deciding on a deeper blue, orange, green, and a darker purple tone then I would usually opt for.

My week eight blank canvas!
Base coat is on, and dried.

I started out with my base coat for each cookie where I applied a basic flooding method, and allowed them to dry for about an hour before I decided to continue the decorating process by adding some extra details and fun elements to my flowers. I found an image on Pinterest a week prior to baking my sugar cookies so that I could have an outline of what I wanted to do and what I had hoped my final project would be. I knew that I wanted to do centres that did not match the base colour as well as create a ribbon/lifted effect on the edges. I put all four colours of icing into the piping bag, turned on some YouTube videos to play in the background, and began to pipe the ribbons and centres onto my flowers.

My final product hopes. Photo credit: Pinterest

Sadly, the final product did not turn out exactly how I wanted them to. I knew that the shapes of the flowers were different of course, but my finalized centres and some of my ribbons were not standing out the way I had hoped. If you look at the image of what I wanted them to look like you are able to see how to icing looks more puffed than flat. But my icing did not want to stay as puffed in the centre. This week I was also watching tons of compilations of cookie decorating on YouTube. I truly want cookie decorating to be something that I am able to take pride in with each and every batch I create. As well as being able to use an airbrush, stencils, brushes, stamps, etc.

Cookie decorating that I hope to one day perfect myself.

My final product is not my favourite, but not my worst creation. Having this week not go as well as I had planned for, makes me want to watch even more videos on both YouTube and TikTok and practice multiple times this week so that my final product is one to remember!

Final Product!

If you are interested in sneak peeks of my weekly learning project, educational articles, and picture of my small shop finds, then follow me on Twitter.

A few more of my classmates are also working on cooking/baking-related projects that you should all take some time and check out as well! Branden Smith focuses on making a new meal from scratch every week for his family members, and then each member rates the meal on a scale from one to ten! Also, Shana Blenkin focuses her blog around baking beautiful confections from bagels, buns, and even sugar cookies! I highly recommend checking out both of their blogs as I have enjoyed them each and every week. A word of caution though, they will both make you hungry!

See you all next week for the finale of sugar cookies and royal icing!

Under the Sea

Hello everyone! Welcome back or welcome to another blog post in my series of sugar cookies and royal icing. Last week I created crowns that were inspired by Walt Disney’s classic film Sleeping Beauty. This week is slightly similar in the sense of inspiration. If you read the title you may have already made an educated guess on this weeks theme, The Little Mermaid! If you are not familiar with the movie The Little Mermaid, the plot is based around a mermaid named Ariel making a deal with a wicked sea witch named Ursula. In the deal, Ursula makes Ariel human but takes away the power of Ariels voice so that she is no longer able to speak or sing. In the time that she is human (three days) Ariel must make Prince Eric fall in love with her. Now, I am not mermaid shaped cookies, or sea witches, but I am making something deeply inspired by the film and its setting: seashells!

Using the same sugar cookie recipe as my prior weeks, as well as using my trusted royal icing recipe, I felt as though I was set for success. Lately I have been feeling a little bit beat by my own learning project. Rather than my cookies and designs becoming progressively better, they were becoming all on the same level of satisfactory and I felt as though my improvements were becoming slim to none. This week I knew that I needed to step up my creations and have faith in each process. I worked slowly and thoroughly through each process, adding extra icing sugar to my royal icing batch to make it thicker and easier to lead, and then creating a new batch of icing and converting it to make it thick and non-flooding. If you read my learning project blog post from week three titled Welcome to Cloud 9 you may remember that I did a layer of flooded icing and then a thick layer of puffed icing. That is exactly what I wanted to do again this week with the slight change of using two colours instead of one, adding edible pearls, and using a more advanced design. The seashells have been my hardest design yet as they have more ridges, smaller crevices, and then a sharper shape at the bottom. I made sure that my icing would be extra thick for this batch and was ready to create my product.

First later of royal icing!

On Monday night I baked the cookies, let them sit in the refrigerator for an hour while I took my puppy Scarlett out for a walk, came back and cut the cookies, let them bake in the oven, went to another class as they cooled, and after class I added my base layer of icing. After my base layer was complete I left them it on a cookie case overnight to ensure they were completely hardened, and then added the ridges and the pearl to each individual cookie once I woke up in the morning. Once I completed the cookies and the ridges were hardened, I stood back and for the first week since week number three I was truly proud of my creation. This week I also created my first ever Instagram reel! I am proud with how it turned out and I hope all of you will give it a watch as well since I spent more time than I am willing to admit on it! I added music, different processes, and the final product in the reel, please let me know what you think of the reel in the comments below!

Instagram reel cover photo. If you want to watch the reel, I have it link where it is mentioned above and here as well: https://www.instagram.com/p/CMfQhlNBjIc/
Final product! Under The Sea sugar cookies!

Once again, I took the cookies to the staff at work and was greeted to some lovely comments written on the white board in the staff room about my cookies. I have found a new love for my learning project and I hope that that reflects in my final project for this week! For weekly updates on my learning projects, educational recommendations, and more follow my Twitter! I hope you all come back to read next weeks blog post, stay safe and healthy everyone!

Some comments left about my creations in the staff room at work!

Make It Pink! Make It Blue!

Hello everyone, welcome back or welcome to another blog post in the series of my royal icing and sugar cookie collection! We are getting closer to our final week of our learning projects everyday, and I am beginning to think about what I want my final project to be! Of course I want it to be my biggest and best piece of work out of all nine weeks, but this weeks outcome I have become quite proud and fond of. I have also found that through my weeks of creating and decorating cookies that my favourite part is sharing them with the people around me, and seeing their reactions to my creations. Sometimes I find myself disappointed in the final product, however, when I take them to staff members at work they always see the best in the final product and seem grateful, which in my opinion makes it worth the trial and error!

If you know who I am, you will know that I am a huge Disney fanatic and try to bring the magic of Disneyland into my everyday life. Whether this is playing the Disneyland esplanade music all day everyday in my apartment, watching vlogs of others enjoying Disney World or Disneyland on YouTube, or creating copy cat recipes of my favourite dishes served on park property, I always strive to bring a touch of magic into my life especially since a trip to the parks is a no-go at this time. This weeks sugar cookie creation was inspired by Auroras crown from the classic Disney film Sleeping Beauty. You may realize that I did not make the crown in its classic golden colour palette, rather I did a play on the famous quote “Make it pink! Make it blue!” by indeed, making it pink!

Aurora from Walt Disneys Sleeping Beauty. Photo credit: BraBrief on Fanpop.
The sprinkles I found at my local grocery store.

This week I would like to focus on the decorating process by saying I went back to my original royal icing recipe that uses icing sugar, an egg white, cream of tartar, and food colouring. This was one of the best decisions I have made over the past couple of weeks since it stayed on the cookie right where I had originally placed it, making it a huge success as I was dealing with runny icing the last few weeks. I also took a quick trip on my lunch break from work to my local, small town Co-op grocery store and found some new sprinkles that got me so excited to use the crown cookie cutter I purchased at the beginning of this learning project. The entire time I was baking these cookies I watched Disney World vlogs on Youtube, which really set the tone for good vibes and pixie dust floating through the air.

Once the cookies had been baked and cooled, I made a pearlescent pink shade of royal icing, put it into my trusty ziplock bag, cut the corner off of the bag, and began the decorating process! I began with creating edges with the icing so that my icing would not flood off of the cookies, put royal icing into the centre, flooded out the middle with a tooth pick, and then added five large sprinkles in differing colours and sizes onto the top of the crown. The large pink sprinkles that I placed onto the middle portion of the crowns were my absolute favourite and I am so happy that they added a jewelled effect to the crown. Once the royal icing completely dried after about an hour, I moved them onto a travel tray and then took them to work to share with the staff. Not only were they excited to see yet another tray of cookies, but working on Wednesdays have become their new favourite shift!

My completed crown cookies inspired by the Walt Disney’s classic Sleeping Beauty.
Packed and ready to take to work! Happy to say that they loved them!

Thank you guys for joining me again for another week of my learning project! A few more of my classmates are also working on cooking/baking-related projects that you should all take some time and check out as well! Branden Smith focuses on making a new meal from scratch every week for his family members, and then each member rates the meal on a scale from one to ten! Also, Shana Blenkin focuses her blog around baking beautiful confections from bagels, buns, and even sugar cookies! I highly recommend checking out both of their blogs as I have enjoyed them each and every week. A word of caution though, they will both make you hungry!

Thank you for visiting my blog, see you all again next week for another creation! Want in on fun sneak peaks each week? Follow me on Twitter!

Sunshine, Springtime and Ice-Cream, oh my!

Hello reader, hello sunshine, hello warmer weather! I hope you are all thriving and have been taking in the beautiful weather over the past week as the sunshine and blue skies have come out to play. For my fellow bloggers that live in the Regina area, this means that opening day of Milky Way Ice-Cream will soon be arriving, and I cannot express how excited I am for a cookie dough twister. For those of you who have never been to Milky Way or even heard of the spectacular summer time ice-cream shop, then I am here to say if you ever get the chance to go, GO! With that being said, my learning project this week was highly inspired by all things sunshine, springtime, and ice-cream! Welcome to my learning project week number five!

If you have never visited my blog before, then you have never been introduced to my topic which is making sugar cookies in all kinds of shapes, as well as attempting to master the art of sugar cookie decorating with royal icing. Last week I worked with a new ingredient as well as a mermaid tail cookie cutter. If you are interested in reading about last weeks adventures, or even any before that, they are all listed under my EDTC 300, Learning Project tab or you can click right here for last weeks post specifically. Without further ado, let us begin this weeks decorating eleganza extravaganza!

A quote that I kept repeating this week during the royal icing process. It all works out in the end, you just have to keep moving forward!

This week I used the same sugar cookie recipe that I have used throughout week two to my present week of baking cookies, however, I decided once again to try a new royal icing recipe that I was directly linked to from my trusty cookie recipe. My cookie cutter of choice for this week was an ice-cream cone which helped me decide that I wanted the tops of the cookies to range in different pastel and spring colours. Skipping the baking process this week as it all went smoothly without any problem, I allowed for the cookies to cool and the decorating began. I am visiting my mom at the moment which means I had to pack all of my baking necessities, yet I still forgot the piping bags which means I had to get a little bit crafty and cut the corners off of ziplock sandwich bags. Once I followed the instructions and the recipe for the new royal icing I divided the mixture into four bowls. One quarter pink, another quarter blue, and the last two were split into a green/yellow and then a tan portion for the cone. I put the tan coloured icing into a ziplock bag to begin piping and could tell by the consistency that it was going to be too watery. This was slightly upsetting since I know which icing recipe works, yet I tried for a different one. I moved forward and added more icing sugar to the other three colours hoping to thicken it enough to stay on the cookie without having the icing flood off of the sides and onto the counter.

Once the icing dried with the sprinkles in tact, the icing was smooth and not overly hard.
All four colours of icing, plus both types of sprinkles I ended up using!

After the cone section of the cookie dried I went in with pastel blue icing, covered the top portion of the cookie, and then to make it a little bit more visually appealing I added sprinkles for added texture and colour. I repeated these steps with both pink and green/yellow icing, added two different kinds of sprinkles, and the final result was both cute and delicious. This batch of cookies was much larger than the batches I had recently created, so I ate one blue ice-cream cone, packed up the other thirty eight cookies, and drove down to my summer job and left them in the staff room so that others are able to enjoy my creations as well! I have decided to stick with my old royal icing recipe using cream of tar-tar and egg whites despite being so excited to use meringue powder due to the fact that it is thicker, and does not run off the sides of my cookies.

The cookies in their final stage, right before the icing was dry!

I hope that you all enjoyed reading about my learning project this week, as every week is like stepping into a new adventure and learning about new do’s and do not’s in the baking world. Go outside, enjoy the sunshine, get your favourite Starbucks drink and take the day head on everyday! Spring is here to play, and so am I, I hope you are too! I will see you all next week with another update. If you are wanting to read some extra content here is my first blog post based on my learning project, and here is my Twitter account! See you all again soon!

The completed look, ready to taken to my summer job and enjoyed by others!

Mermaids and Meringue

Welcome back or welcome to another week and another update on my learning project which consists of making sugar cookies and decorating the final product with royal icing! In my last learning project post Welcome to Cloud 9 I explained how I was waiting for my meringue powder to arrive so that I would be able to create a different recipe and consistency with my royal icing, while becoming impatient for my Amazon order I went to Bulk Barn and behold, they got meringue powder in! The adventure for my ingredient has officially come to an end and I have a feeling you are all as relieved as I was since you no longer have to hear about it (for now). This blog post will be a little bit different since I will not be explaining my learning project, rather you will be able to watch it here on YouTube and read about the video editor I used called Animoto!

Not only is there a blog post from me this week, but there are also two videos to go along with it (you only need to watch one as they both contain the same elements, just a different editing software was used for the videos). I first used iMovie to lay out my idea, incorporated my favourite non-copyright music, and had some fun with the project. If you wish to watch the iMovie version it is right here. However, I have been using iMovie to edit my YouTube videos for over a year now so I went on an adventure to find another video editing software that I had never used before, and that is when I found Animoto. I spent hours trying to figure out how to upload videos onto Animoto and finally resorted to looking up other videos on how to use the video editor, sounds ironic but it worked, a special thank you goes out to Sally from How to Create a Video with Animoto. After I finally figured out how to use the new editing software and explore the website as a whole. I compiled a personal list of the positives of using Animoto as a classroom tool and also how to get around in the quickest/easiest way.

When you first visit Animoto you will be greeted by different templates the software has previously created for its users. There is also an option to start with a blank canvas. I personally recommend using a template if you are a beginner.

First off, if you prefer to use videos rather than pictures when using Animoto, the easiest way to put them into the website is to download each video off of your phone or camera, then transfer them onto your desktop, then enter your desktop through Animoto, click the video you would like to use on your slides, and then enter them in. It is easier than it sounds and after you do it once you will be flying through the next videos you would like to upload. Now, if you are only interested in using photos it is much faster as you just download them straight onto your laptop, open Animoto, and then download them straight onto your slides. All of your photos and videos will be shown on the right hand side of your screen and you are able to drag each individual file onto your preferred slide. Once you have them all in the order you desire you can add text, a border, or even layer other images and videos onto the same slide. I did not personally attempt the layering strategy but it would just be as easy as dragging two individual files onto one slide once you have chosen the correct layout to do so.

Here is an example of a template Animoto provides for its users. Once you click on the template this is how it will be presented to you before you change and add your own details.
As you can see from this example of my own experience with Animoto, all of my pictures and videos I have personally uploaded onto the software are sitting on the right hand side of the screen.

Another tip I have for using Animoto for the first time is choosing a template that has already been created. There are dozens of outlines to choose from. The options range from different aesthetics, colours, topics, and you can even choose a blank canvas. After you have clicked on the slide you have full range of control when it comes to the videos/pictures used, colours pallets, text fonts, and borders. As stated earlier, you have full creative control when choosing a template, even though the outline is there to guide you and lay out different ideas for you, you are free to change the slides appearance and move around both the text and images. Once you have completed your project Animoto has a wide range of non-copyright music to chose from, all you have to do is click the song name on the left hand side of your screen in the music library to listen to it, if you like the song press the add button to add it on top of your video! Lastly, if you are wanting to upload the video to YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, or even email it to someone then click on the export option in the right hand corner of the screen and all of the options are open to you. Once you have clicked your preferred route of upload it will automatically upload within two to three minutes and you are all set. Your work even automatically saves for you so that you are able to visit it again later in your library!

Animoto provides you with non-copyright music of all genres and even moods. When creating my video I chose the mood happy, clicked the instrumental option, and then listened to snippets of the songs suggested to me until I found one I enjoyed. I ended up choosing Good Day Raggae Sun by Gor Mkhitarian.

When it comes down to applying the tool Animoto into the classroom, I would recommend it to both future and current educators as well as use it as a tool for myself. I defiantly see this version of editing software as an application for the teacher to use rather than the students. The reasoning behind this is Animoto is slightly difficult for students in elementary school to use. The uploading to different areas of both your computers documents and the slides provided by Animoto may be both challenging and frustrating especially for young children. I am in the elementary school program so this would not be a software I would allow my own students to use, but rather for the teachers to use on their own to bring something different and intriguing to their lessons. I find Animoto especially useful for the online classroom world as you would either be able to share your creation over zoom to your students or link it in an email to send to their parents. The layouts that Animoto provides would be beneficial when creating an informative based video on either an event or upcoming information within their school or classroom. Animotos can be altered to hold the information necessary and photos/videos you took yourself to bring a fun and informative video that both the student and parent would be interested in. Unless you are willing to pay for the professional version of Animoto, you will unfortunately be stuck with non-HD videos and a water mark in your bottom right hand corner. If these two negatives do not bother you, then feel free to give it a try both within your personal and educational lifestyles. This was not a big downside and can be overlooked by the user.

Thank you for reading this weeks learning project blog post, this post was created to inform you, the reader, of the editing software Animoto as well as some tips and tricks I learned along the way. If you are wanting to watch my own Animoto based on the topic of my confectionary creations, I will link it again here! Thank you all for visiting my blog and reading my post, I hope that you enjoyed it and I will write again next week with another update! Stay safe and healthy.

Here is week #4’s final project! If you wish to see more visit the video I have liked above!

Welcome to Cloud 9

Hello everyone and welcome back (or to) my weekly learning project. This week is very exciting as I decided to try something new when it comes to decorating sugar cookies, which is double layering! This means thats I used the usual flooding method when it comes to frosting each cookie, but after it hardened I added a second layer that appears three dimensional compared to the first layer of flooding. The disappointment of the week is that my meringue powder has not arrived in the mail yet, but that set back has just allowed me to use both the same cookie recipe and royal icing recipe as usual. Without the introduction of any new recipes I was able to incorporate my own ideas to further my designs when it comes to presentation. The presentation I find it the most important aspect to myself personally, and is the most rewarding part.

This week I decided to use the cloud cookie cutter since it has more curves that move inward and outward than either of previous cutters (circle and cacti). This week rather than mixing, rolling, and putting the dough into the fridge for one to two hours, I left in the dough in the fridge for forty eight hours to see if it would help the shape of the cookie as well as the flavour from sitting and becoming harder/chilled thoroughly. With that being said, after the dough chilled for an extended period of time I cut the cookies and they were more fragile than usual. It is safe to say that you live and you learn, but as soon as my fingers hit the dough it began to warm resulting in it becoming soft and easier to remove from the cutter.

Using my cloud cookie cutter for the first time. I love the Toy Story vibes they give off!
Blue icing! One drop of teal food colouring goes a long way.

While the cookies were baking in the oven I whipped up my royal icing (same recipe as my first two attempts) and coloured the icing blue! I was originally going to go with white and add edible glitter but edible glitter is harder to find than one may think! Safe to say another order has been placed on Amazon. So, I went with a beautiful blue colour and the idea to double layer my cookies came into my mind (so not finding glitter worked in my favour). I added the first layer of royal icing to my clouds using the flooding technique and allowed the icing to dry. With the left over icing in the bowl I added an extra cup and a half of powered sugar making it extra thick and controllable and put it into the piping bag and hoped for the best!

Dried, flooded clouds.

My first two cookies were not coming out well for me. I did not cut the hole in the piping bag big enough resulting in the icing coming out stringy and not in the pattern that I was leading the bag in. I decided to cut the bag slightly bigger, but it was the same story. However, third time was the charm and success was mine! At least I had hoped so since my wrists were getting sore from squeezing the piping bag and keeping it steady at the same time. Once I completed my second layer of icing to create dynamic on the clouds, I was happy with five of the designs.

Week three was a creative and fun experience for me and I highly enjoyed the creative process it allowed. Even though there were no new recipes or ingredients, I felt confident within the finalized design and would love to add texture and edible glitter in one of my remaining six weeks! Not only are the cookies delicious but a little bit cute too!

Week three cloud sugar cookie, final product.
Cloud close up! Yum!

Next week I have a goal to try to do a two toned cookie along with trying to section off different portions on the cookie. If this does not make sense to you, make sure to come back next week to get the full run down! If you want to see sneak peaks of my weekly learning project be sure to follow me on Twitter! If you have not read week one or week two yet I highly suggest you do so, and I would appreciate it very much! I will see you all next week with another new blog post! Thank you for reading, stay warm and take care of your car batteries (hehe)!

Uncovering the Recipe for Success

Hello everybody and welcome back to my second week of learning how to bake delicious sugar cookies and decorate with royal icing! Earlier this week before I began the mixing, cutting, baking, and decorating process for this weeks project, I ran a poll on Twitter and asked all of you which design you would like to see for this week. For week one I used a simple circle cookie cutter, this week I still wanted to keep it simple but add a cookie cutter with a more diverse pattern. The cookie cutter options that I incorporated in the poll were of the following shapes: a cloud, cacti, and a mermaids tail. With sixty four percent of the vote, cacti won!

If you read my post from week one, Sugar Cookies and Royal Icing, you may remember that the recipe I used ended in failure. The cookies did have one positive as they kept their assigned shape, but when tasting the cookies the positive outlook went out the window and I was left with forty unpleasant baked dough disks. The cookies reminded me of an old baking soda flavour, almost as though the dough was stale even after using all fresh ingredients. This week my main objective was to find a recipe that not only tasted amazing but also kept its shape, was easy to roll out, and had a smooth consistency. After a quick text conversation with my mom about the sugar cookie recipe failure, she sent me a link to a sugar cookie recipe titled The Best Sugar Cookies that one of her coworkers had previously used, and I am happy to announce that it was a victory!

Throughout this weeks process I had a helper in the kitchen.

I began the process with setting out all of my ingredients and then in two separate bowls I combined the dry ingredients and the wet ingredients. I followed the recipe as precisely as possible as I wanted the finished product to not only look pretty but also be edible this time around. Once the ingredients were combined into one large bowl, I kneaded the dough into a smooth ball and then divided the dough into two halves.

All the dry ingredients whisked together (flour, baking soda, salt, sugar).
All of the wet ingredients mixed on high for two minutes to be light and fluffy (butter, vanilla, egg whites)!

Once the dough was halved I placed each portion onto a piece of parchment paper, rolled it out to be around a quarter inch thick, moved the dough onto two baking sheets, and placed both trays into the fridge for two hours. I am also happy to report that this week I purchased a real rolling pin so I no longer needed to roll my dough with an empty bath and body works candle. During the time frame that the cookies were chilling in the fridge I reread the recipe over six times just to ensure that I had not made a mistake (and I also went to the gym hoping that the cookies would turn out and I could eat several of them that evening).

Both halves before going into the fridge for two hours to be chilled. Rolled and prepped to be cut!

Once the dough was completely chilled I took out the trays and began to cut the dough sheets into cacti shapes. Once complete I moved each individual cookie onto another baking sheet and placed them into the oven at 425 degrees for eleven minutes. As they baked I used the same recipe as last week for the royal icing as I know that it works well. I have ordered meringue powder off of amazon (so that I am able to try another royal icing recipe and method in the upcoming weeks) since Bulk Barn, Walmart, and the Co-op grocery store do not carry it due to Covid-19 and the products manufacturer. I added in a couple drops of lime green food colouring and one drop of teal food colouring to the icing mixture to make a smooth and vibrant green. The eleven minute timer came to an end, I pulled the baking sheet out of the oven, and transferred them onto a cooling rack for twenty minutes.

To end off my second week of my sugar cookie and royal icing learning project, I got to finally complete my favourite part of the whole process which is decorating each cookie. I decided to decorate nine cookies again this week, scooping the icing into piping bags and dispersing the mixture onto the cactus cookies. Once the base portion of the icing was dried I went in with another layer of icing to add lines for texture, or on other cookies I applied some magenta coloured icing to create flowers. Once again I allowed them to dry and am happy to annouce that I was thrilled with the taste and texture of both the cookie itself and the icing, as well as the way the icing dried on top of the cookie.

Week two final product!

Next week I will be using the same sugar cookie recipe, but a new cookie cutter will be introduced as well as a new royal icing recipe! If you would like to participate in the choosing of next weeks cookie cutter you can follow me on Twitter! I will see you all back here next week with another learning project update! Thank you for reading!