A Cookie Year in Review

I can hardly believe we are only a few weeks away from Christmas…much less the NEW YEAR!  But that is how time works – it has a way of sneaking up on you and then flying by.  Most months, I am focusing on the next holiday cookie, sort of like retail, always one step ahead of the customers’ expectations.  So I thought I’d take a moment, exhale, and appreciate all of the cookies I’ve made for my customers, friends, family, and visitors to my website and FACEBOOK page in 2014.

Well, it happened in January of 2014 that I officially started my cookie company www.CookieCelebration.com.  I created a website, printed up marketing materials and business cards, and set off to make Royal Icing Cookies that actually tasted good.  I’ve been baking for over 20 years as a love/hobby and of course used my family and friends as the recipients of my great, good, and not so good baked treats.  It wasn’t until I started making Royal Icing Cookies that something clicked in me that I just had to do this full time!  I loved it.   And so, once the baseline was in place by the end of January, February was my official kickoff of the website and my first grand scale of cookies.  Oh, trust me, in hindsight I wasn’t thinking at all.  SEVEN HUNDRED COOKIES in two weeks later, I thought, can I sustain this? As quickly as I thought about it, I pushed the thought aside because Spring, St. Patrick’s Day and Easter were right in front of me and people were asking to see what was going to be for sale.

The rest of the year has pretty much been the same story.  Always trying to be a month ahead of my customers’ requests and cooking nonstop.  But the year has not been without its ups and downs.  The holidays I thought would mimic the insane schedule of Valentine’s day did not come to pass, and the holidays I thought would be slow caught me by surprise with non-stop orders.  It was a year of great learning, great inspiration, huge frustrations, A LOT of hard work, never-ending hours, challenging packaging and design solutions, financial concerns, and sleep deprivation!!  But, it was worth it.  I am able to do what I love which keeps the passion alive and motivates me to find solutions to some of the business challenges that just come with the territory.  For those of you fellow Cookie Lovers, I hope to use this blog in 2015 as a forum to provide you with information that you may not normally have access to, share resources with you that have helped me tremendously, keep you inspired, and provide you with tutorials and tips & tricks that make the cookie decorating process easier.

I’ve had my favorite cookie moments throughout the year that I’d like to share with you.  There are quite a lot of designs I’ve done, but I think every baker has their favorite cookie designs and those they really never want to make again!

Decorated White on White Heart
FEBRUARY: Decorated White on White Heart
FEBRUARY:  Classic Linzer Tarts and Decorated Hearts
FEBRUARY: Classic Linzer Tarts and Decorated Hearts

I have to admit, after doing so many hearts in February, I swore I never wanted to see another one again.  That lasted for about a month until my love relationship with hearts grabbed hold of my heart again.

WEDDINGS
WEDDINGS
WEDDINGS
WEDDINGS

When it comes to favorites, I cannot leave out Wedding Cookies.  Whether it be a Wedding Favor or Bridal Shower Favors, these are hands down my favorite cookies to make.

NINJA INVASION
NINJA INVASION

These Ninja cookies were fun to make for little Hawk’s and Liam’s Birthday party.  They were a big hit and I just love all of the cookies together in one big group.  Makes a statement, I think.

MARCH: Sunflower Bouquet
MARCH: Sunflower Bouquet

Sunflowers…they just said total sunshine and spring to me.

Folk Cats
Folk Cats

Just something fun I played around with.  I liked them, although they weren’t for everyone! 🙂

Baby Collection
Baby Collection
Christening Outfits
Christening Outfits
First Communion
First Communion

BABIES & CHILDREN!  A close second to my love of Wedding Cookies but baby/children cookies are irresistible to me.  In fact, it is hard to narrow the selections down!  We’ll see what evolves in 2015.

Halloween Collection 2014
Halloween Collection 2014

Truth be told, I am not a big fan of Halloween.  I KNOW!  Shoot me, sorry, I don’t know what it is but I am willing to go along with the hoopla about it and celebrate it with cookies.  I do love this collection.  Each and every one of these cookies were so much fun to make.  Can’t wait for Halloween 2015; I have some great new ideas!!

Thanksgiving Collection 2014
Thanksgiving Collection 2014

Although my Thanksgiving Designs were a bit more detailed than I wanted to shoot for, I really liked the mix of the turkey, pilgrim girl and indian.  Next year, however, I think the designs will be simpler.

Football Collection
Football Collection

Well, we all know how I feel about this collection. I did a tutorial on it, so I must like it!  They are fun cookies to do because they are so different from most things I do.

SANTA
SANTA
GINGERBREAD MAN
GINGERBREAD MAN
CHRISTMAS COOKIES
CHRISTMAS COOKIES

What can I say about Christmas Cookies?  What would a year be without the most famous cookies of the year?  I loved my oversized Santa and oversized Gingerbread man.  There were a few other favorites but I think every Christmas Cookie is special.

New Year's Collection 2015
New Year’s Collection 2015

Technically, not a part of 2015, however, being in the cookie business, I post pre-holiday.  So as I end this year, I introduce to you  how I will enter my second year of Cookie Celebration.

I hope you continue on this journey with me as I grow and learn and pass on to you what I’ve discovered.  I’d love to hear what topics you would like to see discussed in 2015, so please feel free to leave your comments and I promise to review each and every one of them.

Happy Holidays to each of you.  May you celebrate all the special moments in your life with custom cookies.  There is something satisfying about an all natural, homemade, hand-decorated, delicious and beautiful cookie that will help you build memories throughout the year.  So keep rolling dough, explore with new cookie cutters, and practice your new skills.

 

Diane

 

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