Valentine Cookie: LOVE

Hello Fellow Cookie Lovers,

I think you are going to like this post.  Just in time for Valentine’s Day, it’s a fun cookie to make, and, it will also teach you how to use any Letter Cookie Cutters you have in different ways.  This post is a bit different in that it is the first time I am making this cookie design so you will get to see what turned out right, what could have been better and how to get around things that may not turn out the “exact” way you wanted them to.

I tried three designs with the word “L-O-V-E” and I’ll show you how to cut all three and decorate the first one.  Once you do the first one you can basically figure out how the other two are done – and even create your own designs!

So here are the finished cookies…

"L-O-V-E" Cookies using LETTER COOKIE CUTTERS
“L-O-V-E” Cookies using LETTER COOKIE CUTTERS

So, let’s begin. Here is what I used:

Letter Cookie Cutters: “L, O, V, E”

Heart Cookie Cutter

Mini Round Cutter

Mini Heart Cutter

White Piping Icing

Red Piping Icing

White Flooding Icing

Red Flooding Icing

Number 4 tip

Number 1 tip

THE CUTTERS

Here are the cutters I used for all three cookies:

Letter Cutters: L-O-V-E
Letter Cutters: L-O-V-E
IMG_1307
Letter Cutters: L-O-E Heart Cutter in place of the Letter V

I should mention that I’m going to be doing A LOT of letter cookies as my Sister gave me the entire alphabet for Christmas!!!  So much fun.  I can’t wait to get my hands on other sets (Especially the ones by Ximena) and explore further.  But, I don’t want to get ahead of myself here!

The Cutouts

Okay, so once you have your dough letters (and/or heart) cut out, you want to arrange them in the way that you want for your design.

L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts
L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts
L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts Arranged
L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts Arranged

Notice how I have laid them out, overlapping to make a cookie that, when cooked, will blend together to form a solid cookie out of the four letters.  This part is important; you want to get an idea of how you’ll pipe your design at this step, so it’s a good way to see what letter will look good in front or in back of another letter. SPECIAL NOTES: I have to admit, when I cut the first set of letters, they got soft as I started to cut, press together, photograph, etc. so here is an important couple of tips.  First, after you cut out each shape, place them on a tray and freeze them for about ten minutes to get them firm.  Then, take out the shapes you are going to use and work with them very cold.  They cut and merge better.  Two, place the shapes on your baking sheet BEFORE you start your second cuts and putting the letters/heart together.  I learned this as I was doing it.  Since my dough was so soft, it was impossible to transfer the cookies to my Silpat and cook!  So I did it over directly on my Silpat and it worked out fine.

Now, don’t get overwhelmed or discouraged at this point, the actual cutting of the shapes really is easy but it may look difficult in my pictures.  It’s really not difficult, just take your time. The first thing I did was to take a small knife and cut some small guidelines where the cookies overlapped. This served as a guide to cut the one letter into the other.

L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts Arranged
L-O-V-E Dough Cutouts Arranged
Use the small guidelines to cut into each letter
Use the small guidelines to cut into each letter
Cutting into the letter O
Cutting into the letter O

In the picture above, you’ll see that I used those small guidelines to position the letter L onto the letter O and cut into it.

The L cutout into the letter O
The L cutout into the letter O

This is what it should look like.  You then simply take the letter L and insert it into the cutout area of the letter O and nudge the dough together as in the photo below.

The letters L and O merged
The letters L and O merged

Next, we’ll move on to the letters V and E.  Again, I’ll use my guidelines to cutout the dough in order to merge the V and E into the overall design

Guidelines for the letters V and E
Guidelines for the letters V and E
Cut out the letter E into the letter O
Cut out the letter E into the letter O
Letter E ready to merge with the letter O
Letter E ready to merge with the letter O

Before I slip the Letter E into the O, I cutout the small triangular tip where the V will merge into the E.

Cutting the tip of the letter V into the letter E
Cutting the tip of the letter V into the letter E

And…this is what it will look like when you merge all of the letters together.

Merged Letters prior to baking
Merged Letters prior to baking

Remember, this was my first attempt with the “soft” dough and I re-did it directly on my Silpat pad after freezing the cutout shapes for ten minutes.

Letters re-done directly on my Silpat Pad
Letters re-done directly on my Silpat Pad

Much better!  And, you can also see I went ahead and using a small round cutter, I cut a hole in the letter O.  I offset it for some extra fun!

Okay, onto the two other cookies.  I’ll fast pace it here so you get the overall idea of how I cut each one just so you can see how it was done.  Pretty much all the same; it just requires some thinking and arranging to get what you like.

L-O-V-E with a Heart. This is how I overlaid the letters before cutting and merging them.
L-O-V-E with a Heart. This is how I overlaid the letters before cutting and merging them.
Cutting the Heart into the letters L and O
Cutting the Heart into the letters L and O
I then cut the letter E into the letter O
I then cut the letter E into the letter O
Here is what it will look like before you merge the letters and the heart
Here is what it will look like before you merge the letters and the heart
And...here is what the merged cookie will look like.  In this cookie, I used the mini heart to cut the middle out of the letter O.
And…here is what the merged cookie will look like. In this cookie, I used the mini heart to cut the middle out of the letter O.

Okay, and on to the last cookie…

This is how I overlaid the letters for this design.
This is how I overlaid the letters for this design.
Cutting the letters for merging
Cutting the letters for merging…hmm, somehow I didn’t take a picture of cutting the letter O into the letter L…oops, sorry.
And this is the final merged cookie prior to baking
And this is the final merged cookie prior to baking

So, now that we have everything cut and ready to bake – Bake Away!  I thought I would show you two views of how the cookies baked – the front of the cookie, and the back. The reason I want to show you the back is so you can see how fully the letters/heart merge together. This is what you want to achieve – fully merged letters/heart so the cookie is solid and can be handled more easily.

3 Designs prior to baking
3 Designs prior to baking
3 Designs after Baking (front)
3 Designs after Baking (front)
3 Designs after Baking (back)
3 Designs after Baking (back)

Decorating the Cookie!

I started by outlining the entire cookie with the number 4 tip.  I used a thick tip to do the border because I want the cookie to look as if it is one big cookie, and, by adding a thicker border, it will sort of group the letters together.  I then used a number 1 tip to outline the interior parts of the letters in preparation for the flooding.

Cookie Prior to Outlining
Cookie Prior to Outlining
Outlined cookie with number 4 tip
Outlined cookie with number 4 tip
Here is the cookie with the interior outline as well as the O flooded with white
Here is the cookie with the interior outline as well as the O flooded with white

In the picture above, I went ahead and flooded the O with white flooding icing.  Next will be the letter V in white but I am going to also use the red flooding icing with the number 1 tip to add a wet-on-wet stripe design. Work quickly after you flood the V with white as you want the red to sink into the white and have a smooth surface when it dries.

Flood the V with white flooding icing
Flood the V with white flooding icing
Work quickly while the white flooding icing is still wet - add diagonal red stripes using the red flooding icing and a number 1 tip
Work quickly while the white flooding icing is still wet – add diagonal red stripes using the red flooding icing and a number 1 tip

It’s coming together!  I do love to see the transition of the cookie!  On to the red!

I go ahead and flood the letter L and then move on to the letter E.  Similar to the letter V, I used a wet-on-wet design for the letter E so I used the red flooding icing as my base and then used the white flooding icing with a number 1 tip to add the dots.

I flood the letter L and then the letter E.  Again, work quickly to add the white dots to the wet, red icing on the letter E
I flood the letter L and then the letter E. Again, work quickly to add the white dots to the wet, red icing on the letter E

Now the part we all hate…let it dry overnight.  I KNOW!!!  I hate it too!  I have no patience, but really, it is worth it.  You’ve gone through so much to get to this point, let it dry thoroughly, you’ll be glad you did.

Adding the Final Details

Yaaaay! Day two…you did let it dry overnight…didn’t you?  Now comes the fun part.  So, remember I said I was taking pictures as I did this for the first time?  Well, here is one of those situations where I came upon a problem after the cookie dried overnight.  If you look closely at the letter L, you will notice it dried with some white areas around the edges.  This sometimes happens if too much water settles into the one area, or if I didn’t properly run a toothpick through the color to make sure it had no air bubbles, etc.  So, a bit of a design change will cover up this problem.  I was originally going to leave the letter L red, but now it will get some nice dashes and dots! 😉

Dried Cookie (notice the white patches on the edges of the letter L)
Dried Cookie (notice the white patches on the edges of the letter L)

The first thing I add are some strings to the letter O (using a number 1 tip) which will hold some pretty little hearts.

Add some stripes to the letter O making sure to leave some space below the end of the line to add a small heart
Add some stripes to the letter O making sure to leave some space below the end of the line to add a small heart

Now I go ahead and add the small hearts.  If you are a beginner, here is how these simple, little hearts are done.  I used a number 1 tip for this.  You simply start with a dot and while letting up on the icing flow you drag the dot into a small line.

First part of heart - a little dot that is dragged to a short line by dragging the tip and easing up on the icing flow
First part of heart – a little dot that is dragged to a short line by dragging the tip and easing up on the icing flow
Complete the heart by adding a second dot/line to the other side connecting the two points
Complete the heart by adding a second dot/line to the other side connecting the two points

Ta-da! Heart!

So finish up adding the hearts to all of the strings in the letter O. I then added some dots (bottom picture) around the hearts so they weren’t hanging out there all alone!

Finish adding the hearts to the end of each of the strings
Finish adding the hearts to the end of each of the strings

I then went ahead and added a simple string with a bow (using number 1 tip) to the letters V and E.

Add string and bows to the letters V and E using a number 1 tip
Add string and bows to the letters V and E using a number 1 tip

Almost there!  That pesky L!  I simply used a dash, dot, dash, dot line across the letter to cover up any of the whitish areas in the letter L.

Add a dash, dot, dash design to the letter L
Add a dash, dot, dash design to the letter L

Lastly, I decided to go ahead and outline the letters with the number 1 tip.  Sometimes you don’t need it, depending on how nicely the individual letters were flooded…hmmm, I did a bit better on the second LOVE with a heart.

Outlined Letters
Outlined Letters

And you are done!  Nice, right?  I kind of like this idea of merging letters.  I hope you try your hand at this.  Even if you don’t use it for Valentine’s Day, it has so many uses!!!  Let your imagination go wild – names, short sayings, words of inspiration, etc.

And here are the finished cookies.  I like the two Valentine designs and the third design I decided to try out my painting skills again for a Baby Design (love baby cookies!!).  It’s something I just started doing on cookies after seeing so many amazing hand-painted cookies by other Cookiers.  Can’t say I’m great at it, but I keep trying it in small doses and it’s fun.  We have to keep challenging ourselves. And I added a recent “Happy New Year” set I did where each of the letters were separate. So see, it may pay to put a complete alphabet set on your Birthday list, right?  If, however, you just want to start with a few letters, most online sites sell letters separately, and if you happen to have a Sur La Table in a mall near you, they sell letters separately for $1.25 each (New York price)

LOVE Valentine Designs
LOVE Valentine Designs
Love Baby Design
Love Baby Design
Happy New Year Letters
Happy New Year Letters

Happy Baking.

Diane

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My favorite cookie cutter of 2014

Hi Fellow Cookie Lovers,

Whew! The year is winding down; I just finished the last minute rush of Christmas Cookie orders and have been thinking about Valentine’s Day.  I KNOW!!!  Crazy, but that’s the business…one step ahead of the next holiday. I’m sure to have another post shortly after the New Year with a tutorial or two about hearts, but today, I wanted to share with you my favorite cookie cutter (and most recent acquisition) of 2014.  I’ve shared it in my other posts but it warrants a second look for Fellow Cookie Lovers as you can do so much with it!  I love when you get real mileage out of one cutter! Drum roll please…it is the “BABY” cookie cutter exclusive to KarensCookies.net.

Baby Cookie Cutter from Karen's Cookies
Baby Cookie Cutter from Karen’s Cookies

I recently started working with this cookie cutter and so far have used it in SIX different ways. Today, I thought I’d share with you how I utilized the baby cutter by itself for baby boy and a baby girl versions, another with a top hat, one with a birthday party hat, one with angel wings to use as Cupid for Valentine’s day, AND, as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer!  Yes, it’s true!! Keep reading.  Each of these cookies are so easy to make and I hope you give one or two…or all of them…a try.

BABY IN DIAPER OR ONESIE

The photos below show how I first used the baby cutter – to make a baby girl and to make a baby boy.

Baby Cookie Cutter from Karen's Cookies
Baby Cookie Cutter from Karen’s Cookies

Baby girl

Baby cutter used to make a baby boy
Baby cutter used to make a baby boy

For both versions, simply cut out the baby cutter shape and bake.  The difference is in the decorating.  For the girl baby, I iced the entire cookie in a flushed, skin tone royal icing.  I outlined it in white first so that when I flood the cookie it didn’t run off the edge.  Some people like to outline the shape of the diaper, the feet, the head, and the body separate (and you’ll see that in the baby boy version below) and then flood each section on its own.  But lately, I’ve been adding a layered look to my cookies that I like a lot so I now ice the entire cookie in skin tone icing and then add the feet and clothing to give the cookies a lot more dimension.

BABY GIRL COOKIE

I've outlined the cookie in white and then flooded it with skin tone royal icing.
I’ve outlined the cookie in white and then flooded it with skin tone royal icing.
Once the icing dries (I like to give it 24 hours to dry to a hard finish), I add the overall outline of my design.
Once the icing dries (I like to give it 24 hours to dry to a hard finish), I add the overall outline of my design.
I then go ahead and flood the feet and add the belly button and nose with the same icing.
I then go ahead and flood the feet and add the belly button and nose with the same icing.
Once the skin tone feet dry, I add the pink shirt.
Once the feet dry, I add the pink shirt.
While the pink icing is still wet, I add white dots.
While the pink icing is still wet, I add white dots.
Working quickly while the pink and white icing are both wet, I drag a toothpick through each of the dots to make hearts.
Working quickly while the pink and white icing are both wet, I drag a toothpick through each of the dots to make hearts.
I then flood the white diaper and add a blonde hair curl.
I then flood the white diaper and add a blonde hair curl.
And lastly, after the pink and white icings dry a bit, I add the finishing details: toes, diaper details, eyes, pink bow and blush to the cheeks and toes.
And lastly, after the pink and white icings dry a bit, I add the finishing details: toes, diaper details, eyes, pink bow and blush to the cheeks and toes.

BABY BOY COOKIE

I went ahead on this one and iced the outline like I did for the girl cookie, flooded the feet, waited for that to dry a bit, and then flooded the baby blue onesie.
I went ahead on this one and outlined all of the pieces I wanted to flood.  I then iced each section separately – waiting for sections that touched each other to dry before flooding the next section. I let this dry 24 hours before adding details.
Since the process is so similar to the baby girl cookie, I've gone ahead and shown you the final cookie with the details already added: eyes, nose, details on the onesie, and brown hair curl.
This is the final cookie with the details already added: eyes, nose, details on the onesie, and brown hair curl. So simple!

BABY NEW YEAR 2015

Okay, moving along. Here is how I utilized the cutter to make Baby New Year.  For this cookie, I utilized one of the MANY snowmen cookie cutters I have that had the right size top hat to fit the baby cutter.

Baby Cookie Cutter from Karen's Cookies
Baby Cookie Cutter from Karen’s Cookies
Snowman Cutter used to cut out the top hat
Snowman Cutter used to cut out the top hat
Place baby cutter over the top hat you cut out
Place baby cutter over the top hat you cut out
Combined baby cutter and top hat together prior to baking
Combined baby cutter & top hat together

Moving from left to right in the photos above; first simply cut out the baby shape using the baby cutter.  On a separate piece of dough, take a snowman cutter that has a top hat and cut that shape out.  You can chop off the bottom half as you will not need it.  Next, take your baby cutter again, place it over the snowman top hat piece you just cut and press down so that you get the shape of the head to fit into the bottom of the hat.  The picture all the way to the right are simply the two pieces simply nudged together prior to baking.

Baked Baby New Year Cookie
Baked Baby New Year Cookie
Decorated Baby New Year
Decorated Baby New Year

Once baked, here is what the cookie looks like (left), and here is what the cookie looks like decorated.  I added a bow tie to dress it up a bit but you can also add a banner across the baby’s body that says 2015, or New Year.

BABY CUPID

This cookie is one I am going to include in my Valentine’s collection in 2015. The cookie itself baked up a little crooked but nonetheless you get the idea.

Start with the Baby Cutter.
Start with the Baby Cutter.
Start by cutting out the cookie shape out of your dough.
Start by cutting out the cookie shape out of your dough.
You'll need the small mustache cookie cutter next.
You’ll need the small mustache cookie cutter next.
Once the two pieces are cut, they will look like this.
Once the two pieces are cut, they will look like this.
Next you will want to lay the Baby Cutter over the cutout mustache to make the two wings for the cherub.
Next you will want to lay the Baby Cutter over the cutout mustache to make the two wings for the cherub.
You want to gently nudge the pieces together to make the cherub...this is what it should look like prior to baking.
You want to gently nudge the pieces together to make the cherub…this is what it should look like prior to baking.
Here is the cooked version of the assembled cookie ready to be frosted.
Here is the cooked version of the assembled cookie ready to be frosted.
Again, I start with the outlining.  Here, I iced the head and body separate to get a little more definition at the cherub's neck.
Again, I start with the outlining. Here, I iced the head and body separate to get a little more definition at the cherub’s neck.
I then flooded the wings in white royal icing and sprinkled white sanding sugar over them and let the cookie dry for about 20 minutes.
I then flooded the wings in white royal icing and sprinkled white sanding sugar over them and let the cookie dry for about 20 minutes.
Next I flooded the cherub's body and let that dry 20 minutes.
Next I flooded the cherub’s body and let that dry 20 minutes.
Next I flooded the cherub's head.  I then let this entire cookie dry overnight because I wanted a hard surface to work with because I was going to add so many details.
Next I flooded the cherub’s head. I then let this entire cookie dry overnight because I wanted a hard surface to work with because I was going to add so many details.
I then added the nose and belly button and outlined the areas I was going to flood.
I then added the nose and belly button and outlined the areas I was going to flood.
I flooded the cherub's feet first.
I flooded the cherub’s feet first.
After letting the feet dry for 20 minutes, I then flooded the white diaper and added the eyes and blonde curl.
After letting the feet dry for 20 minutes, I then flooded the white diaper and added the eyes and blonde curl.
I added the toes to Cupid and let the entire cookie dry for 24 hours.
I added the toes to Cupid and let the entire cookie dry for 24 hours.
After letting the cookie dry completely, I added the heart arrow (OOPS, I put the heart the WRONG way.  Not going to pierce a heart with the rounded edges!! - make sure you reverse the heart),
After letting the cookie dry completely, I added the heart arrow (OOPS, I put the heart the WRONG way. Not going to pierce a heart with the rounded edges!! – make sure you reverse the heart),
After drying 24 hours, I flushed the cheeks pink, and added the pin to the diaper.
I then flushed the cheeks pink with pink dust, and added the pin to the diaper.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY!

Babies first birthdays are so big now and the celebrations get more and more creative that I thought this would be fun to use.

This process is similar to Baby New Year only I have substituted the top hat with a party hat.  You can find these party hats just about anywhere! They are very popular.  I think I got this one at Joann’s Fabric store.

You'll start with the Baby Cookie Cutter again.
You’ll start with the Baby Cookie Cutter again.
Cut the baby out of your dough.
Cut the baby out of your dough.
You'll then use the Party Hat Cutter.
You’ll then use the Party Hat Cutter.
You should have two piece of dough that look like this.
You should have two piece of dough that look like this.
You then want to take the Party Hat Cutter again and place it over the cutout of the baby strategically placing it where you would like the hat to be. I've tilted it a bit.
You then want to take the Party Hat Cutter again and place it over the cutout of the baby strategically placing it where you would like the hat to be. I’ve tilted it a bit.
You will now have two pieces that look like this.
You will now have two pieces that look like this.
Nudge the pieces together to look like this prior to baking.
Nudge the pieces together to look like this prior to baking.
This is what the baked version of the Birthday Baby will look like.
This is what the baked version of the Birthday Baby will look like.
I then outline the Birthday Baby and get it ready for flooding.
I then outline the Birthday Baby and get it ready for flooding.
I then flood the Birthday Baby body.  I let it dry about 20 minutes before the next step.
I then flood the Birthday Baby body. I let it dry about 20 minutes before the next step.
I then flood the Birthday Baby's head.
I then flood the Birthday Baby’s head.
I then flood the Party Hat with a "wet-on-wet" technique that adds the white dots to the red hat.
I then flood the Party Hat with a “wet-on-wet” technique that adds the white dots to the red hat.
After the hat dries (again, 20 minutes), I then flood the white part of the Party Hat.  I then let the entire cookie dry for 24 hours.
After the hat dries (again, 20 minutes), I then flood the white part of the Party Hat. I then let the entire cookie dry for 24 hours.
I then add the nose to the face and outline the feet for flooding.
I then add the nose to the face and outline the feet for flooding.
I flood the feet and let dry 20 minutes.
I flood the feet and let dry 20 minutes.
I add a white onesie and add red polka dots using the "wet-on-wet" technique again. Let dry another 24 hours.
I add a white onesie and add red polka dots using the “wet-on-wet” technique again. Let dry another 24 hours.
I then finish the cookie by outlining the hat and the onesie and adding a flush to the cheeks and toes.
I then finish the cookie by adding the toes, outlining the hat and the onesie, and adding a flush to the cheeks and toes.

WHAT???? RUDOLPH THE RED-NOSED REINDEER?!

That’s right, I am going to use this cookie cutter in a totally different way…UPSIDE DOWN.  In the photos below, I simply cut out the baby shape and baked the cookie.  Once cooled, I turned the cookie upside down and sketched out the reindeer design! Cool, right!!?? I don’t have a reindeer cutter, I have seen them done with upside down gingerbread men cutters, but I liked the width and overall size of this cookie.  It’s a bit late to add to my 2014 Christmas Collection, but this is one I will definitely include next year.

You'll start with the Baby Cookie Cutter again.
You’ll start with the Baby Cookie Cutter again.
Once I bake the cookie, I dot in the outline of the reindeer using a Food Safe Marker.
Once I bake the cookie, I dot in the outline of the reindeer using a Food Safe Marker. (Click on the picture to get a larger image for viewing)
I then outline and flood the reindeer head.  I this picture, you will notice I went a little higher on the top of the head than I originally drew.  It just seemed like it would look better.
I then outline and flood the reindeer head. In this picture, you will notice I went a little higher on the top of the head than I originally outlined. It just seemed like it would look better.
I then used a number 3 tip and piped in the antlers.  You will notice I left them a little bumpy...this was intentional as I didn't want a perfect, flooded look.  (You'll see later on why I did this!)
I then used a number 3 tip and piped in the antlers. You will notice I left them a little bumpy…this was intentional as I didn’t want a perfect, flooded look. (You’ll see later on why I did this!)
I then took a #1 tip and used black icing to pipe in a curly string to make lights.
I then took a #1 tip and used black icing to pipe in a curly string to make lights.
I then used a few colors to make oval-like shapes to represent Christmas lights! Love that! So much fun. :)
I then used a few colors to make oval-like shapes to represent Christmas lights! Love that! So much fun. 🙂
And this is what the final cookie looks like after all of the final details (ears in pink, nose in red with a white highlight, white eyes with black pupils, a black smile and a little fur at the top of the head).  And remember those bumpy antlers?  I then took some gold dust and dusted them to bring out the texture of the antlers and give it a more festive feel.
And this is what the final cookie looks like after all of the final details (ears in pink, nose in red with a white highlight, white eyes with black pupils, a black smile and a little fur at the top of the head). And remember those bumpy antlers? I then took some gold dust and dusted them to bring out the texture of the antlers and give it a more festive feel.

IMG_1080 IMG_1176

IMG_1164

And if that is not enough!! Try this link to  LilaLoa to see this cookie cutter used in yet ANOTHER cool way – for Christmas Snowmen!  You’ll love it!

I hope this spurs your own imagination for the Baby Cutter.  I am sure I have just touched on the many, many uses this cutter can be used for.  If you’d like to own this cutter, don’t forget you can only get it at Karen’s Cookies as it was designed by her, visit Karen’s Cookies to order.  And what’s more, it is on sale right now for $2.49 (regularly $2.99).  While you are there, take a look at the other exclusive cutters she has. They all lend themselves to a variety of uses. Wishing all of you a Happy Holiday Season and a Happy and Healthy New Year.  My next post will be the beginning of January…Valentine’s cookies!   Yaaay!

All the best,

Diane

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

 

Welcome to Cookie Celebration’s Blog

Dear Fellow Cookie Lover,

I’m so excited to be able to share this blog with each of you and look forward to embarking on a journey of inspiration, instruction, learning and honing the craft of Royal Icing Cookies.  There are many topics scheduled over the next several weeks and I hope you enjoy them and find them helpful in your own quest to create personalized cookies that look great and taste great!  This forum will focus on what I am currently working on, some tutorials on how to recreate some of my favorite cookies, how to find your own inspiration, other websites that inspire me (and I am sure will inspire you as well), and much more.  I hope you will join me in growing the site by providing feedback, ideas, and questions about topics you would like to see addressed.  Several other generous Bloggers have helped me create better cookies, create my own designs, learn tips and tricks to speed up the process and/or save you time, and much more.  Let this be one more resource you have at your fingertips…the more the merrier.  We all have to start somewhere.

Football, Football Favors, Football Cookies, Football Player, Cheerleader Cookie, Footballs, Football Helmet
Football Cookies 2014

Look for my FIRST TUTORIAL on how to create some of the Football Season cookies pictured above.  You might just find yourself inspired enough to create a batch for SUPERBOWL 2015!!  See you soon.

All the best,

Diane