Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Perils of Pinterest

A couple months ago I signed up for this really fun website called Pinterest. On it's most basic level, Pinterest is just a digital pin board (similar to a real life cork board you might have in your office or studio space) where you can collect images and ideas from around the internet into one central location. Since I am a bit of a hoarder when it comes to beautiful images and fun ideas, this website seemed like the best present the internet has ever given me. So naturally I start pinning to my hearts content. I pin art that I love, I pin recipes I want to try, I pin clothes and jewelry I lust after. It was all fun and games until I realized that I have been pinning many things I want to try and do, but I haven't actually taken steps to do any of them! I liked Pinterest so much because it was different than just saving an image to my computer or bookmarking a recipe for later. I practically never sift through my bookmarks, and the times when I remember to flip through the images saved on my computer are few and far between. So Pinterest allows me to constantly see and check in on these ideas and images and I can continue building on them, similar to how when I was still a design student I would make idea boards and watch my thought process grow and change. So this week, with all of the rainy weather we have been having, I decided it was as good a time as any to pick something I have been wanting to try from one of my Pinterest boards and set about making it happen.

I stayed away from my craft themed pin board because after all the craft fair prep my sewing machine and I are a little burnt out. My wallet is as skinny as ever so I wasn't going to be doing any impulse buying based on my style pin board. So as I was flipping through my food pin board I came upon the above image and remembered how excited I was when I pinned it and decided that was what I was going to do that day. Now on Pinterest, when you pin something you don't just save the image, it also links back to the website you found it. Most images link back to either a website you can buy from, or a blog where there is a tutorial on how to do something. This particular image is just a photo. No tutorial, no tips, just a link to the photographers website. The photo was set up by Tara Sloggett who is a decor and lifestyle stylist from the UK. Her website can be viewed here and I encourage you to go look at it as there are some really wonderful images on it. So without any DIY tips or recipes to help me I decided that I was going to do it my own way, and just make it up as I go along. After all, if Pinterest is just an idea board, I can just take the idea and run with it right? I don't need to follow everything exactly as pictured.

Looking at the photo I assumed they were using sugar cookie dough. Sugar cookies are fine, but they are not my favourite, and no one in my family is a huge fan of them, so I decided to pick a different type of dough that might just be close enough to work. Shortbread. I love it. It is delicious and buttery and perfect with some tea. Who can say no on a cold rainy day when tempted with some shortbread? Yes, shortbread was definitely the way to go. So I armed myself with Ina Garten's shortbread cookie recipe and got started. I washed and dried one of the many doilies that I have lying around these days and set up my work space. The project only felt a little daunting when the dough became extremely crumbly as evidenced by the above photo. After some kneading and half hour in the fridge though it came together a bit more and I keep working.

Without a circle cookie cutter at my disposal, I decided to go with a heart shape. It was that or a kangaroo, which would have been funny, but wasn't the look I was going for. (Note to self: buy more cookie cutters in a wider variety of shapes.) When the dough refused to be rolled out with a rolling pin, I had to resort to rolling out small balls of it. I also found that I got a better impression from the doily if I rolled the dough onto the doily, as opposed to rolling the doily onto the dough.

As I rolled each small bit of dough out and cut out each heart I become more excited about this baking adventure. The doily prints were turning out lovely and I couldn't wait to see the finished result.

I had just enough dough to fill up two cookie sheets with hearts. I felt a little bad for the last small ball of dough which was too small to be rolled out into a heart, so I just pressed it into a doily and decided that it would be the first one I ate in order to gauge how well they turned out.

I was a little disappointed when I took them out of the oven because when they puffed up from baking they lost a bit of the doily pattern. It really wasn't that big of a deal though. They still looked like the cutest cookies I had ever seen and I could barely keep myself from eating the small scrap dough piece before it had completely cooled. Luckily for my tongue I restrained myself. Those little suckers were hot!

After cooling for about an hour, I melted some chocolate in a double boiler and dipped them in it. I figured if I was going to make a cookie with this much butter in it, the least I could do was go whole hog and pack as much sugar into it too. Plus, I think the little dip into chocolate makes them look like they belong in a cafe that much more. They taste glorious with a cup of tea, just like I knew they would. I am glad they came out so well. They definitely brightened this stretch of rainy days for me.

So what do you think my readers? Better than the original photo from Pinterest? Of course now I am even more anxious to try another Pinterest project, but I think I might have to pick a slightly healthier recipe this time!

If anyone is intrigued by Pinterest you can check out my pin boards here and just leave a comment below with your e-mail if you would like me to send you an invite. It is still in the beta stage so you have to get an invite to participate. It is a lot of fun though and is my newest internet addiction. If you are already on Pinterest please leave a link to your boards so I can follow you. I love finding new and interesting boards to follow, and of course getting new followers. ;)


19 comments:

Lbtoyos said...

Great!!!
I have discovered Pinterest a week ago and only some items from etsy there. I hope to full my boards with lot of ideias as good as yours.
Lovely project, and how fantastic cookie, are pretty and really yummy

Madd Dogg of Tomorrow said...

Cookies look delicious. I've been thinking about trying out Pinterest. Like you I favorite a lot of things but rarely go back to them.

Michelle said...

Pinterest is a fun tool that I need to spend more time with.

Your cookies are really tempting by the way :)

ElfRenee said...

Wow!! Can I have some? Shortbread is my favorite kind of cookie!

Belizean Beauty - Lady Dylana said...

I need to check out Pinterest for sure. I know how crazy it is to have a biz and work full time plus take care of a family. I takes up so much time indeed. I am curious and will check it out this week for sure.

CalliopeCreations said...

Clever Girl - love the little doily cookies.

Lissie said...

How clever and sweet!
Great idea!

BijiBijoux said...

Thanks for sharing this link with us! I will check it out now:)
Delicious cookies

Leah R. Hood, Jewelry Designer & Artisan said...

Interesting. Never heard of Pinterest before. The cooks look absolutely fantastic!

Sewinggranny - Mona said...

Your cookies look great....not sure I need something else though to keep me glued to the computer.

* said...

uniquecozytreasures - Those cookies are so gorgeous I can almost taste them.

Elizabeth said...

Your last pic is definately more interesting than the original inspiration. your boards are great. I'd love an invite.
turtlexiii@ymail.com

Sea Flower Studios said...

I signed up for Pinterest awhile ago but haven't made much use of it. Your post has inspired me to give it another look!

new creationz said...

Great cookies - Pinterest looks interesting!

Audrey said...

Those cookies are amazing! You are way more patient than I am. Will stick to making cookies I can just plop on the cookies sheet :)

megan eberhardt dyer said...

Great Job! You are so creative! : )

Megan said...

Beautiful! I love love love the photo you took of the three cookies with the cup of tea. Perhaps you could put a few of these cookies into cute little bags and sell them at your next festival?

As for the lace pattern, something less intricate might work better. If the gaps between the raised bits are wide enough, the pattern won't be as obscured when the dough rises. (Probs Captain Obvious speaking here, heh.)

Sher said...

I was visiting our team member's blogs and I found this awesome cookie post on yours! I'm going to make some, they are adorable!

Theodora said...

Wow Your take on using the doily as a design on cookies is fabulous !! I have seen a few ceramic people use the patterns on clay . Our very own Marth Stewart in Philly !!!! Love it I will keep this in mind for special occasions.