ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies (Free Printable)

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags

Well, now that the school year is starting again, I am reminded that I never posted about the Teacher Thank You tags that I made for my kids’ teachers at the end of the last school year.

Better late than never, amiright?

Anyway, I printed these up so that we could make some letter-shaped sugar cookies for their teachers and put them in little baggies.  This way the teachers would get a gift the girls made themselves and one that wouldn’t take up a bunch of space somewhere.

These tags obviously work best for teachers in preschool or kindergarten, but I think they would be pretty cute to give to a high school teacher too….. or is that just me??

Plus, I left a spot for your kids to sign the tags.  And that photo at the top of the post?  That scribble is actually how my 3yo was signing her name at the time.  I just wrote out her name on the back so that the teacher could remember who it was from.

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags

All you have to do is print out the tags, punch a hole in them, and tie them to whatever gift you’re giving.

I picked up these snack baggies at Target and the string at the dollar store.

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

We made A B C cookies to match the tags.

Well, actually, we made A, B, C, D, and then the first letters of both of my girls’ names.

And we used these Wilton cookie cutters.

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

And the recipe I used was the same one I made last year to make some autumn leaves.

I just used different cutters and icing colors this time around.

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

I love baking with my girls.  They enjoy being in the kitchen and cooking is a great way to learn all kinds of concepts, though mostly we just enjoy eating the food we make.  :)

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

Remember to roll out the dough extra thick so that you get nice, soft cookies.

And don’t over-bake them – they’ll appear “almost” done when they’re actually done.

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

Mix up the icing using some Meringue Powder to make it nice and shiny.

This stuff is great.  It smells good and it lasts forever.

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

You can do just one color.  If you do multiple colors, please remember that you don’t need a lot of food coloring in each dish.  Unless you want super bold colors, like mine.

I had intended to go for a pastel look….. but I didn’t get there, obviously.  Can I blame it on my kids?  They WERE the ones distracting me after all…….

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

Anyway, the best way to ice them cookies is by just dipping them into the bowl of icing.

Make sure you stir the bowl between each cookie and let the excess drip off (or scrape it off the sides with the fork if it’s a LOT of excess).

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

Then just put them on the racks and let the icing harden.

See how thick they are?

*drool*

Printable ABC Teacher Thank You Tags and Cut Out Cookies

It makes plenty.  So you’ll totally be able to save some for yourselves.  Store the extras in a covered container.

And feel free to experiment with the icing – my 5yo did a few tie-dyed cookies.

So, first, here are is the PDF of the printable tags:

ABC Teacher Thank You Tags

And here is the cookie recipe that I used.  It’s the same one I used to make some colorful autumn leaves (scroll down for printable PDF):

Soft Sugar Cookies with Icing

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond) extract
1/3 cup sour cream
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Icing:
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1/2 teaspoon almond) extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water

Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, sour cream, and extract until smooth. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, then slowly mix into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Separate the dough in half and roll each piece out between two sheets of waxed paper to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Refrigerate dough for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove dough from refrigerator and cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters. Gently gather scraps and reroll on a floured surface. Place cookies an inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Do not over bake! Take them out when they appear just about to be done, and before they brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Mix all of the icing ingredients together with a fork. Start with 3 tablespoons of water and add more, about a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until you reach a consistency where a thick line of icing slowly and smoothly drips off of the fork when lifted from the bowl. Dye it your desired color, dividing it between separate bowls first if using multiple colors.

Dip the tops of the completely cooled cookies into the icing. Gently pull out the cookie and use a fork or skewer to scrape off excess icing without touching the cookie itself. Set cookie on top of a wire rack that’s positioned over waxed paper or foil and allow to harden completely, letting the cookies sit for at least an hour. Store covered.

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And click here for the free, printable PDF:

Soft Sugar Cookies with Icing

There you go!  Happy Gifting (…and eating!)

Roaming Rosie Signature

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Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

These birdseed ornaments are a project I did with my kids around Christmastime, and so we used Christmas shaped cookie cutters, but it’s a project that can be done any time of the year.

There are a ton of options, but I let my girls pick and we used cutters shaped like a tree, snowflake, gingerbread man, candy can, shooting star, and an angel.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

There are a few recipes out there for birdseed ornaments that include flour and corn syrup.  These ingredients aren’t really healthy for birds and, besides, they are unnecessary.

Just the water and gelatin are sufficient.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Small birdseed works best.

Make sure you stir the mixture so that the gelatine covers all of the birdseed.  The gelatin is what holds the ornaments together.

But if there is still a little puddle in the bottom of the pan after you mix the birdseed in, then go ahead and add a little more birdseed.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Place your cookie cutters upon some waxed paper and fill them with the birdseed.

We used little milkshake spoons because the smaller size fit better into the spaces.  But I guess you could use your fingers, too.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Add a piece of string or twine once the cookie cutter is half full.  Then scoop more birdseed on top of the string and press it all firmly in the cutter.

I knotted the middle of my sting and stuck that knot inside the ornament for greater support, leaving the other end of the string open so that I could tie it over the larger tree branches in our yard.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Allow them to sit overnight.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Then remove them from the molds by very gently pressing them out.

Try to press them out evenly:  putting too much pressure in one area will break them apart.

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Above you can see our angel and below our snowflake.

There were little bits and pieces that fell off because there wasn’t enough gelatine in a certain spot, but they mostly held their shapes.

Until the birds and squirrels got a hold of them … but then, that was kind of the point.  :)

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

Ingredients:

1/2 cup birdseed
2 packages (.25 ounce each) Knox gelatin
1/2 cup water
Thin rope or twine

Simmer the water in a saucepot. Add the gelatin and stir until fully dissolved.

Remove from heat and stir in the birdseed until all seed is fully coated. If the mixture is still wet after stirring well, add more birdseed.

Place medium to large cookie cutters on top of waxed paper. Scoop birdseed mixture into cookie cutters and fill halfway.

Place a piece of string into the cookie cutter and scoop more birdseed mixture on top of the string, making sure that part of the string is buried into the center of the ornament (I knotted the twine here for support) and part is hanging out. Use a spoon to press the birdseed down firmly.

Allow to sit overnight. Very gently push birdseed ornaments out of cookie cutters and hang where desired. Makes about 6 large shapes.

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To print the instructions, click here for the PDF copy:  Birdseed Christmas Ornaments

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Soft Sugar Cookie Recipe {Iced Autumn Leaves}

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

I am looooooving these amazing cookies!

I’ve been meaning to try a new Soft Sugar Cookie recipe for awhile and I’ve been browsing a bunch of sites and recipes, trying to get plenty of tips.

I settled on a recipe that incorporates sour cream and I rolled the dough thicker than I normally do, and cooked it a little less.

Pretty darn perfect.  :)

I typed up the recipe suggesting either vanilla or almond extract.  I prefer the almond, but my kids seemed to prefer the batch I made with vanilla.  Both were good, though.  The only thing to remember is that in the icing, you can use more vanilla than almond extract.  Most people seem to prefer it when the almond isn’t overpowering.

I used my royal icing for the cookies because it dries hard and shiny – which makes them easy to stack when storing/displaying/gifting – and because it’s easy to dip them right into the icing to make the whole ordeal quicker.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

I liked rolling it out between the waxed paper because it was easy to transfer to the fridge on the back of a cookie sheet, and then I could just pull it out and cut out my cookies.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

Re-rolling the dough {and having to add the flour to re-roll it} makes the cookies slightly tougher, or less soft, but I didn’t find the difference noticeable, really.

And I’m not about to throw out excess cookie dough.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

Make sure they’re nice and thick and that you don’t over bake them.  They should NOT be browning on the edges before you take them out – that will eliminate the softness you’re looking for.  In fact, they should look slightly underdone when you take them out.

You can use just about any cookie cutter shape you like.  Here are the Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set that I used:

 Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set

Oh, and the recipe called for parchment lined pans.  I did bake the cookies on parchment paper when I used my regular pans, but what is pictured above are my aluminum Doughmakers Biscuit Sheets, which are textured and so the cookies don’t stick.  If you don’t have pans like these, use the parchment paper.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

I made the icing while the cookie dough was in the fridge and just set it to the side until later.

For best results:  cover with plastic wrap when not in use, and make sure to stir it often when dipping the cookies in it.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

You can see that I used plenty of gel coloring to make the icing bright and bold.

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

You can put the icing into a plastic baggy or decorating bag and draw it onto the cookies instead {kind of like my Chocolate Almond Mummy Cookies} but I had been seeking a different method.  I found a few places – and a video – where people were suggesting that you just dip the cookies into the icing.

It worked.  Rather well.

I found that it worked best if you stirred the icing often, even between each dip, and if the cookies were thick enough, you didn’t even get any icing on your fingers.

If the icing was too thick, the cookie may stick a little, and you chance it breaking.  If your icing feels too thick and is pulling back when you try to lift out the cookie, sprinkle in a few DROPS of water and stir to thin it just a bit.  Not too much.

And I’ve tried both a skewer and a fork to scrape off the extra icing.  I prefer using the fork because it’s better than the skewer at efficiently stirring the color into the icing and re-stirring it every few minutes while icing the cookies.

When you lift up the cookie and scrape off the extra icing, don’t actually touch the cookie with the fork.  While still holding the cookie upside down, or tilted to the side, move the fork through any globs of icing that are above the surface of the cookie.  If there’s too much icing on them, it will drip over the sides and leave little puddles around the edges.

Then just let them sit on some wire racks until the icing hardens.  It will harden on the outside thinly at first, so don’t pack them away or plate them right away if you have the time to wait.  Let them sit for at least an hour, but a few hours is ideal.  Just in case.  You don’t want crushed/smudged icing after doing all that work.

And I might say, “all that work,” but, really, it’s easy to do.  It can take awhile due to all the steps, but it is SO worth it.

Because:  yum!

Soft Iced Sugar Cutout Cookie Leaves

Soft Sugar Cookies with Icing

Ingredients:

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla (or almond) extract
1/3 cup sour cream
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

Icing:
2 cups confectionery sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons meringue powder
1 teaspoon vanilla (or 1/2 teaspoon almond) extract
3 to 4 tablespoons water

Cream together the butter and sugar with a mixer until light and fluffy. Mix in the egg, sour cream, and extract until smooth. In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder, then slowly mix into the wet ingredients until just combined. Do not over mix. Separate the dough in half and roll each piece out between two sheets of waxed paper to a thickness of about 1/2 inch. Refrigerate dough for an hour.

Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Remove dough from refrigerator and cut out desired shapes with cookie cutters. Gently gather scraps and reroll on a floured surface. Place cookies an inch apart on parchment lined cookie sheets and bake for 9 to 11 minutes. Do not over bake! Take them out when they appear just about to be done, and before they brown. Let cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Mix all of the icing ingredients together with a fork. Start with 3 tablespoons of water and add more, about a 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until you reach a consistency where a thick line of icing slowly and smoothly drips off of the fork when lifted from the bowl. Dye it your desired color, dividing it between separate bowls first if using multiple colors.

Dip the tops of the completely cooled cookies into the icing. Gently pull out the cookie and use a fork or skewer to scrape off excess icing without touching the cookie itself. Set cookie on top of a wire rack that’s positioned over waxed paper or foil and allow to harden completely, letting the cookies sit for at least an hour. Store covered.

**********

And click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:  Soft Sugar Cookies with Icing

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Autumn Leaf-Shaped Mini Pizzas

Autumn Leaf Shaped Pizzas

This is going to be somewhat of an image-heavy post since these cute, little Autumn Leaf Shaped Mini Pizzas are actually easier to explain with photos.

This was a fun dinner we did one night.  The girls helped me out.  And I’ve done this before, for example with dinosaurs, but I used our leaf cookie cutters this time to give it an autumn spin.

And to make the pizzas from scratch, you follow my Easy Pizza Dough Recipe.  Except, once you roll out the dough, you cut out leaf shapes instead of transferring the whole thing to a large pan.

For the cheese topping, I used three kinds:  colby jack, cheddar, and mozzarella cheeses.  I used the sliced versions they sell at the store that are meant for sandwiches and burgers because they’re easier to cut with cookie cutters.  And the extra cheese left over after cutting out my “leaves” went into some macaroni and cheese the next night.

I used 3 flavors of cheese to give it more of a colorful fall-leaf feel, and even if you’re hesitant about doing this, I can assure you – all of the flavors taste amazing on the pizzas.

How To Make Autumn Leaf Shaped Pizzas

As you can see in the photos, I used the cookie cutters to cut out both the dough and the cheese.  I topped the dough with tomato sauce, spices (especially garlic), Parmesan cheese, and then a leaf shaped slice of cheese.

It is a little difficult to get the dough to keep it’s precise shape and to fit the cheese over the dough with the shapes lining up in with an exact perfection… but that’s okay.  Really, one of my favorite parts of these little pizzas is the cheese that drips over the side of the crust onto the pan and mixes with the extra garlic powder and Parmesan and gets all crispy and delicious.

If you’re not into that, this may not be the recipe for you.

Here is the Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set, in case you want to use the same ones I did:

 Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set

And another pic of the yummy finished pizzas:

Autumn Leaf Shaped Pizzas

As I said, I used my Easy Pizza Dough Recipe to make this, which you can also print as a free PDF by clicking here:  Easy Pizza Dough.

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature

Fall French Toast

Fall French Toast

French toast is one of my favorite breakfast foods.

I’ve made it so many times that I usually don’t measure things, but I made sure to for this recipe.  :)  Either way, tho, feel free to adjust the measurements.

And this time, I changed things up by making it more autumn-themed.  Great for Halloween, Thanksgiving, or fall in general.

I cut up the bread with leaf and acorn cookie cutters and used plenty of vanilla extract and cinnamon in the egg mix.  Of course, you could substitute {or combine} it with almond extract, if you’d like.  {If you’re looking for something a little more fruity – check out my Tropical Almond French Toast!}

The shapes were fun for the kids {and me} but if you don’t want to go to the trouble of cutting out them out, you can still make this french toast with normal square slices of bread.

Fall French Toast

Stale bread always works best for french toast.  Fresh/soft bread tends to fall apart once you soak it in the egg mixture, and the stale bread is much easier to cut with the cookie cutters.

I didn’t have any stale bread, tho, so I laid out the bread pieces I was going to use on the counter the night before.  Let it sit uncovered and not overlapping for the best results.

I used regular sandwich bread.  A few slices of white and a few of wheat.  I happened to have them both, and I loved the combination of colors.

For each slice of bread, I got 3 medium or a combo of 3 medium and small leaves and acorns.  The extra bread can be used for croutons or breadcrumbs.

I used the Wilton Leaves and Acorns 9-Piece Aluminum Cookie Cutter Set, which you can see here:

Wilton Leaves and Acorns Cookie Cutter Set

Fall French Toast

Once you have your leaves and acorns cut out {you could also do this step the night before if it’s something you don’t think you can accomplish in the morning before your coffee kicks in}, then whisk together the other ingredients in a bowl.

Melt some butter on a griddle or in a large frying pan.  Dip the bread pieces in the egg mixture, turning to coat both sides and allowing to sit for a minute so the bread soaks everything up.

Fall French Toast

Look at all that yummy cinnamon!

I stopped using my hands to lift the bread from the egg mix and transfer it to the griddle years ago.  Too much breakage.  And messiness.  I use a fork for large slices of bread, but I used two for some of the more delicate leaves here.  Didn’t want them falling apart.

Fall French Toast

Cook them for a few minutes on each side, until browned.

I suggest dipping a few pieces at a time and transferring them all to the griddle at once, so you have a couple of batches cooking at once.

Fall French Toast

When they’re finished, you can either transfer them directly to the serving platter, or put them in a oven safe dish in an oven that’s been preheated to a low temperature to keep them warm.

I served these with just maple syrup {see photo below}, but you could also sprinkle on some powdered sugar or some Cinnamon Sugar.

Fall French Toast

Fall French Toasts {with leaves & acorns}

Ingredients:

10 slices stale bread
1 cup whole milk
6 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla or almond extract
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

The bread is easier to work with if it’s stale, so if you only have fresh bread, leave it out on the counter the night before.

Cut leaf and acorn shapes from the bread slices. Use a combination of white and wheat for more color variation. Reserve remaining bread pieces for breadcrumbs or croutons.

Preheat a griddle to medium heat (about 350°F).

In a shallow bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, vanilla, and cinnamon.

Melt some butter on the surface of the hot griddle. Dip the bread pieces in the milk mixture, turning to coat both sides, and lifting with one or two forks so that the shapes don’t break apart. Place the bread on the griddle.

Cook for 3 to 4 minutes on each side, or until golden brown.

Serve immediately, or keep warm in a low temperature oven.

Serve with maple syrup, and optionally with powdered sugar or a cinnamon sugar mix.

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And click here to print the free PDF version of the recipe:  Fall French Toast

Enjoy!

Roaming Rosie Signature