As much as I love to be on the road exploring, and contrary to how it might look if you follow me on Instagram, I’m not always traveling, in fact more often than not, I’m home, which if you don’t already know is beautiful sunny Los Angeles, California.
However, I do have other non-travel related interests, and thought it might be fun to share some of them with all of you, after all this blog is about travel, fashion and FUN.
So, what, beyond all things travel related, constitutes fun Hilary style? I’ve got many irons in the fire, so to speak, but currently I’ve been spending a lot of time creating in the kitchen (mainly cookies and cakes), and with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, it seems like the perfect time to share some of my sweeter creations.
I’ve always loved to bake, but my newest baking obsession is cookies. Mainly French macarons and sugar cookies decorated with royal icing. The later being a nice mix of baking and art.
I’m enjoying this so much, that I admit to being a bit behind in some other areas, as I can’t seem to stop decorating. Though I haven’t heard any complaints from the family.
Lunar New Year Cookies
These cute little sweeties seemed like the perfect treats to bring to the Lunar New Year party we attended.
Baking the cookies onto lollypop sticks seemed like a fun idea, and thankfully it worked out beautifully. I will definitely be doing this again. Not to mention eating them off the stick was particularly satisfying.
Thinking it would be fun to “dress” the cookies as their recipients I had no idea that they would actually be wearing matching outfits. A photo was absolutely in order, as I couldn’t have planned this better if I tried.
I love travel and I love cookies, so baking cookies related to some of my favorite travel destinations makes sense. Here’s an attempt at some USA/California themed treats. I think I still need some work here, but thankfully my brother-in-law has volunteered to eat all my practice cookies. He lives in Seattle, so I’ll be shipping these his way just in time for…
Valentine’s Day Cookies
This is my younger son’s last year of elementary school, and also our last year exchanging class Valentine’s. This is a bittersweet milestone, as moving on and up is a positive, but we’ll miss these fun elementary traditions and are going to go all out with heart cookies for everyone!
We had friends over for a cookie decorating party and everyone loved the speech bubble cookie. I’ve seen a lot of fun Valentine pun cookies around, but I’m going with “I love you soy much”, which I thought up on my own!
Learning to make French Macarons was a fun and delicious challenge. I don’t know that I’ve mastered it quite yet, but I have learned that they are delicious whether they look pretty or not!
If you’re a beginner macaron baker, consider flavoring the filling as opposed to the shells, which can be finicky even when using the most basic recipe. Displayed here are pumpkin shells with a cheesecake pumpkin butter filling, chocolate with chocolate hazelnut ganache, vanilla peppermint with crushed peppermint, orange cranberry, orange chocolate and vanilla with a vanilla and chocolate ganache center.
Did you know that macarons can be frozen for up to 5 months? Pre-baked shells can be thawed and then filled with buttercream, chocolate or curd as needed. I got this cute little stand/carry case for $11 on Amazon, which comes in handy if you want to bring your creations with you.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this sweet detour from my usual musings about art and travel, and if so you might like to follow my cookie adventures on my new cookiestagram @cookiesareeverything, which is just getting started.
I’ll be back to travel next week sharing some off the beaten path fun from our most recent visit to New Orleans, and stay tuned for more baking fun…