Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Spring Fling!

So this past weekend, I went to Spring Fling!  What is a Spring Fling, you ask?  Only the greatest thing ever! 

In the fall, some folks were talking on Cookiers R Us about sometime maybe being able to put together a "cookie camp" where we could all get together and talk cookies. So then Kay and May of Cookie Two Shoes decided to quit talking and do something about it!  They teamed up with Mike and Karen of Karen's Cookies and Spring Fling was the result! 

It was a wonderful weekend in Louisville, KY.  There were something like 70 people there, all ready to talk cookies! 

The weekend started for me on Friday, when I woke up really early (for me...I work nights) and carpooled with two lovely ladies down to Louisville.  It was a nice drive, about 3 1/2 hours.  (Just and FYI:  Cookie people must be a little crazy.  None of us had ever met, and we took a road trip together :-).  And we were all rooming with complete strangers, too!)  We talked so much that we missed our exit.  But we finally made it and we checked into the hotel and then went to the University of Louisville where we met the hosts and the instructors.  If you do cookies, you've probably heard of them all:


From left to right:

Karen - Karen's Cookies
Ali - Ali Bee's Bake Shop
Maryanne - The Cookie Artisan
Glory - Glorious Treats
Pam - Cookie Crazie
Callye - The Sweet Adventures of Sugarbelle

They were all very nice and very informative.  First up on Friday was Kay of Cookie Two Shoes, who spoke about copyright law and watermarking.  Good things to know, especially if you have a business.  I don't but it's still good to know. 

Next up was May, who spoke on pricing.  Again, nice to know, especially if you have a business.  And even if you don't, it's good to be able to calculate what the cookies you make for your friends and family are really costing you. 


Bad picture of Kay and May.  They're twins, by the way, and just as cute as they can be!  And May's husband was an absolute gem.

After the first sessions on Friday, we went to Tumbleweed on the Waterfront for dinner.  I adore TexMex, so I was happy.  The view was nice, too.

We were indoors...it was very windy. 

Back to the hotel for some sleep and then up at 7:00 (ugh!!) for breakfast and a trip to Cedar Ridge Camp for a day of cookies and fun!


There was a mural.  It was cute.

So first we heard from Maryanne, who went over how to put together a cookie platter.  She was AWESOME!  Loved her presentation.  I love to put cookies on platters, and she really told us how to make the platters special without killing ourselves in the process.

Next up was Pam, who gave tips on using glaze icing on cookies.  I think I am one of a small number of people who use both glaze and royal icing on cookies.  Usually people tend to use one or the other.  But Pam was great, and all of the profits from her cookies go to help pay for mission trips to the Ukraine.  Check out her link above for more information.

After lunch, Karen did a stenciling demonstration, and we got a lot of good tips.  I had stencilled cookies before, but she gave some good information to make it easier.


After that, Ali demonstrated brush embroidery. I had been meaning to try brush embroidery, but never got around to it.  But now I know how!  I just need practice!


Lastly, Callye talked about using cookie cutters for alternate purposes.  Using the cutters you have to make new and exciting cookies.  That was hard for me.  If I want to use a cutter to make a new kind of cookie, I usually just ask my son.  He's good at that. 

During the weekend there was a Kentucky cookie contest.  Whoever wanted to made 2 Kentucky themed cookies and brought them along.  We all voted on the winner.  I did not win.  I was not surprised.  My cookies:


I ran out of time and just drew on base-coated cookies with my edible markers.  Cardinal and Goldenrod.

The winner:

I voted for this one, so I'm glad it won!

Then on Sunday, Maryanne put all of the Kentucky cookies on platters. 


There were lots of talented people there, that's for sure.

Sunday, after another obscenely early morning, Glory talked about photographing your cookies.  I picked up some usefule tips, but I don't hold out much hope of becoming a great photographer anytime soon.  But she definitely gave us some good information.  She also talked about packaging.  I will definitely use her packaging tips.  (See above for packaged monogram cookie.)

We had another good Q&A with the instructors, and learned lots of things.  I wish I had recorded it all. 

There were some sponsors/vendors on site as well.

BRP Box Shop - Kip and Connie were on hand to answer questions and take suggestions for box styles.  Kip was horribly out-numbered, but he was a good sport and was a hoot on top of it all.  And the boxes were amazing.  I have never been so impressed by boxes.  And the cake pop box...unbelievable...but not avaliable for sale yet.  Soon. 

PaperJacks - Jennifer had beautiful packaging items and she'll print labels, etc.  An amazing resource, especially for a small business.

Preston Arts Center - Don and Alex Preston gave demonstrations on airbrush use and an art projector (similar to a CopyCake), and brought all sorts of tools that we cookie people never thought to use, but that will work splendidly with cookies.  Like the pen you can fill with airbrush color to make your own custom edible markers!

We also got goodie bags with items from the Twinery  Fancy Flours   Layer Cake Shop   the SAKet Co.   Fondarific    Nashville Wraps    Icing Images    and   Ann Clark, as well as the vendors listed above.  And, of course, Karen's Cookies gave us lots of cool stuff, including three brand new cutters that Karen and Mike designed themselves.  I love them even more because they gave us Disco Dust. 

Anywhoo, my young 'un is getting restless because I've typed for too long, but it was a great time and I hope we do it again next year!

Enjoy!




Sunday, April 15, 2012

So I Made an Ugly Cake...

...for Baby Girl's 4th birthday.


And then I took crooked pictures of it.  Sorry.

Honestly, when it was all said and done, it wasn't that ugly any more.  But it did not come out like I had planned.

The story behind the cake was kind of cute, though.  She asked for a unicorn on her cake.  No problem.  I can do a unicorn.  Then I asked her what flavor she wanted her unicorn cake to be.  She looked up at me, tilted her little head to the side and asked, "Can it be grass?"  "So the unicorn will like it?" I inquired.  "Yes," she nodded emphatically.  "No."

She took it all rather well, and then when I asked what other flavor she wanted she said cherry.  I was a little taken aback, because I've never made a cherry cake before (I do, however, make a killer black forest cherry cake, but that's not what she meant).  I told her no problem and asked what she wanted her second flavor to be.  She said peach.  Peach.  She didn't even think about it.  I can make peach pie, peach cobbler, peach crisp, peach jam and peach muffins, but I have not so much as even seen a recipe for a peach cake.  But we found one on the internet.  And a cherry cake recipe.  Go figure.


6" cherry, 8" peach, vanilla buttercream under marshmallow fondant.  The unicorn's mane and tail are lightly dusted with disco dust, as are the caps on the towers.  I didn't take pictures of the baking process, so I'll make the cakes again sometime and post pictures and the recipes.  The peach cake was especially yummy.

Well, that's it for today. 

Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Simple Easter Cookies

And I mean simple!  But I remembered to take a picture this time. 

Another parent from the boy's second grade class texted me this weekend and asked if I could bring cross cookies to school on Thursday for their Easter party.  So, being the pushover I am, I said sure.  Then she said nothing fancy.  So I went with it!


(Hey, I didn't say it was a good picture.)

Seriously, it took longer to mix the colors than it did to ice 24 cookies.  But it's been a busy week, and it is only going to get busier, so simple is good. 

So that's it for today.  More Easter treats coming up soon!

Enjoy!