Category: Cookie Decorating

Giving the gift of Thank You

I feel so incredibly honored to have been able to take part in this project with more than 50 other wonderful cookiers that was organized by Anita of Sweet Hope Cookies.  Anita is an amazing woman, not only does she make beautiful cookies and write with eloquence, but after losing her brother Randy to ALS, she now sells her beautiful cookies and 100% of the money is donated to the ALS association.

I would continue to write more about Anita and how wonderful she is, but the best thing you could do for yourself is to hop over to her blog and read some of her words yourself.  I can assure you that you won’t be disappointed in yourself for taking a few minutes to read it.  For those of you without a few minutes, here’s her summary of the project:

What I’m hoping to do with “Giving the Gift of ‘Thank You’” is to put one dozen ‘thank you’ cookies in the home freezers of all 50 people living with ALS who are currently being served by the Oregon – SW Washington chapter of The ALS Association.  These will be their cookies to give away as a special ‘thank you’ when ever they want and to whom ever they want. The progression of ALS may no longer allow them to go buy a gift or write out a card or pat a back or legibly speak the words but having a few beautifully decorated ‘thank you’ cookies in their freezer means they have the availability to give something special to return a kindness for a kindness. It’s such a simple thing but it’s not a small thing.

These cookies were my contribution to the project.  I am amazed at the generosity of the cookie community again.  Thanks to everyone that participated, over 600 “thank you’s” will be shared from people who may struggle to be able to say so in everyday language.  Definitely something to celebrate!

Thank You Rainbow Cookies

 

 

 

I’m still not a cake decorator… …but I’m getting better!

First off – let me say that I have absolutely NO desire at this point in life to sell decorated cakes.  I don’t know how those of you that sell cakes do it.  There’s so much pressure!  If you mess up, you don’t have to redo just one cookie – you have to redo entire cakes – sometimes stacks of cakes!

I had a last minute realization that I didn’t have any cake for Averie’s actual birthday.  Panic set in, and then I calmly reminded myself that my family is going to love whatever I make for them, so I decided to just make the cake myself.

Any normal parent would grab their 9×13 pan and a box cake mix, a tub of frosting, maybe a few sprinkles and call it good.  Of course I wouldn’t do that…

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I put together this crazy, four layered pink cake.  I think it turned out pretty good – considering that decorating cakes is not my cup of tea.  And I even made my own icing and all.  Because really, who doesn’t love a good buttercream!?

Is it perfect?  Heck no – that baby was leaning to the left like crazy and had defined lines where each tier of the cake was – but who cares if you’re just going to eat it anyway?!  I managed not to get any crumbs in the icing – that was my big accomplishment this time around!

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Very Hungry Caterpillar Cookies

I LOVE book themed cookies!  I was asked to do some Hungry Caterpillar themed cookies for a birthday, and I was shocked when I realized we didn’t actually own the book!  Averie and I made the trek over to the local library and checked it out.  She’s game for ANYTHING in the name of cookie research, especially when it involves extra bedtime stories for her!

Here were the cookies we created for this extra special birthday!

hungry caterpillar cookies

 

And for those of you interested, here’s a little behind the scenes peek at how these were created!  Each little section of the caterpillars body had to dry before moving on to the next!

hungry caterpillar cookies

Cookies for Fun – And New Techniques!

I *love* when we get to make cookies for fun.  Typically all the cookies I bake are for orders anymore, so Averie doesn’t get to help out quite as much.  Even though she’s a bit of a neat-freak too, I still don’t feel right having her help out with paid orders, though she often asks if she can!

She was very excited today to help with all of the dough-making, cookie-cutting and decorating!

Adding the butter

Adding the butter

She’s even becoming quite a pro at cracking eggs! (sorry for the sideways video!)

Averie wanted to color her cookies and I wanted to try out airbrushing, so we made some plain white ones and we waited to color them until the next day.  They turned out pretty cute!

Practicing Cookie Painting

We had some scrap cookies lying around and I thought it would be a perfect time to make a paint palette and try out some of the painting techniques that I had tried at cookie con, so I made up some paint palettes and armed all three of us with paintbrushes.

Someone's inner artist is escaping again!

Someone’s inner artist is escaping again!

Aaron did an amazing job on his little chunk of broken cookie.  Averie and I had a lot of fun with ours too, though we definitely weren’t as artsy in our projects as Aaron was!

2014-03-29-1I’m still not sure how much I’ll use painting in our cookies, but I do love the way they look!

Cookie Con 2014

Guess what?!   I’m not the only “crazy cookie lady”! I’m just home from a cookie conference, called CookieCon, where I hung out with 450 other amazing, crazy cookie ladies — and even a few crazy cookie men in Salt Lake City! First off, I traveled and roomed with Emily from Emi’s Treats.   She’s another local cookier CR.  We were originally destined to be on different flights/different airlines, but after my initial flight was cancelled the itinerary they rebooked me on was the exact same flights as hers.  I think that’s the first time that a cancelled flight has actually worked in my favor!

Waiting to board the plane and head to Utah!!

Waiting to board the plane and head to Utah!!

We landed LATE and hopped into a taxi queue only to discover we were waiting in line with other cookiers, so we shared a cab to the hotel.  We crashed pretty hard that night, and were up pretty early the next morning to take a bus tour of Salt Lake City.

Salt Lake City is GORGEOUS!

Salt Lake City is GORGEOUS!

Our tour operator was fantastic, the entire bus was full of just us cookiers, and every single one of these girls were among the nicest people I have ever met!

Can you spot me?  :)

Can you spot me? 🙂

I’m not going to go into vast detail about every part of the trip – we would be here forever and I would run out of synonyms for ‘AMAZING’ very, very quickly.  What I will say is that there were classes, discussions, groups of cookiers getting together, nobody hanging out alone, open decorating day, an awards banquet, and just – well, a lot of AMAZING things…  Anyway, here are a few highlights! The Sugar Show — cookies were brought in by people of all kinds of talent levels that went along with one of the chosen themes for the event.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Mystery Shape — on open decorating day, everyone was given the opportunity to decorate a cookie in a special shape, a speech bubble!  Mine was the little mouse.

Open Decorating Day — This was a chance to practice, play and try out different techniques while having other cookiers nearby to help.  I tried stenciling with royal icing, painting with gel colors, edible images, and shading with the airbrush.

My various practice cookies

My various practice cookies

Meeting Some of My Favorite Cookiers — I got to listen to presentations by and meet some of the best of the best, and even managed to pose for pictures with a handful of these people whose blogs I’ve followed for AGES!

All-in-all, it was an amazing time, a HUGE thank you to Karen’s Cookies for organizing the event, the girls from Cookiers R Us for the wonderful conversation and Emi’s Treats for being an awesome travel companion!

Lavender and Grey Baby Shower

Sometimes I get an order where I get to be creative and have fun.  Those are my FAVORITE orders in the whole wide world.  This time I was given a color scheme and an example of the banner that was being used for the party.

Can you tell by the lighting I was late night cookie-ing?

Can you tell by the lighting I was late night cookie-ing?

So out came the purple, grey and white icing, and somewhere there was a hint of pink too – apparently that didn’t make the photo though.  And from there I just got to be creative.  I incorporated different patterns that were on the banner and had a lot of fun with this!

Lavender and Grey Baby Shower Cookies

Of course there was extra icing left over, but all I had for cookies was a blank plaque and a bunch of tulips.  I didn’t want to make a bunch of tulips, so I had Averie helped me think of different animals that the tulips could be.  We ended up with an owl, a cat and a pig!

Tulip Cookie Cutter for Animals

 

Golden Girls Cookies

Faces are one of the hardest things to put on a cookie – right after faces are words.  Especially when there are lots and lots of them!

I had a request to make some Golden Girls cookies that combined both of those two things – faces AND words.

Mike from Semi Sweet Designs has previously conquered the golden girl cookies, so I can’t take credit for the idea!  He’s absolutely amazing, and if you’re looking for a talented cookier to follow, you should hop over and follow him!  The original artwork for these girls is done by Glen Hanson.

In the end, I was able to take some inspiration from Mike and create these beautiful ladies and all of the amazing quotes and phrases that go along with them.

Golden Girls Cookies

Golden Girls Cookies

 I only managed to snag ONE in progress shot of these lovely ladies.  Probably because I was so focused on making sure I didn’t spell anything wrong on the rest of the cookies! 

Work In Progress!

Work In Progress!

I’m going to have the Golden Girls’ theme song stuck in my head for WEEKS now.  Good thing I love it!!