Donating cookies

I bought a new cookie cutter set the other week from Michaels.  It is the Sweet SugarBelle milk and cookies cookie cutters.  She did a similar set to these years ago and I have always liked the idea and have wanted to do them.

I was off for 3 days from work and had some left over royal icing, so I decided to make some cookies just to try out the cutters.

I tried the tipless bags again for the milk cookies.  I am still unsure how I like them.  The concept is great of not having to use a tip.  But I then used my PME tips for the cookies and it went smoother.  It could have been because I had to make a fresh batch of royal icing, or that my flood consistency was better.  Or it also could have been because I was in a better mood the next day.  Some days your head is not in the game and I do feel like it shows in your cookies.

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So, here I was with a bunch of cookies and no one to give them to.  I remember hearing you can donate them to the local fire station.  We have one a mile away.  So, Sunday morning I gathered Paul and Alex up to drive over there to drop them off.  We rang the bell, but no one answered.  I was discouraged when we got back in the truck to go home.  Here I had a plate of cookies I wanted to give away and now was bringing them back home.

We were in our neighborhood and I saw the family a few doors down getting in their van.  We have only smiled and waved to the family before, never struck up a conversation.  I told Paul to stop the truck, got out and gave the cookies to the boy, got in the truck and drove the 3 houses down to our home.

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Paul came in a few minutes later stating the dad just stopped by.  He tried to catch us before we left.  He wanted to say the cookies looked so nice and thank you.  And guess what, it was his birthday that day!  What are the odds that we would stop and give that family cookies without thinking and for it to be his birthday.  It made our day!

I am so glad I could put smiles on that family’s face Sunday.  Cookies truly can make a difference in people’s lives.  That is why I will continue to bake.

Make it a great day,

Jen

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Goals

Like most people at the beginning of the year I was all about a life planner.  I made a planner (that I never used) and for the first time created goals for myself.  I have never been a goal setter.  I always would have liked to set goals, but never did.  I would say I didn’t know what kind of goals to set for fitness, or couldn’t make up my mind etc.

While I was knee-deep in the life planner I created a list of goals for myself for 2017.  I wrote down 3 goals on 01-05-17.  I don’t know if I printed it off and put somewhere.  I don’t think I have looked at it since maybe 01-10-17.  This is one reason I am not good at goal setting.  I forgot all about my goals for the year shortly after making them.

I came across the list today and realized I crushed all three goals!!

  1. Donate cookies to church – At the beginning of the month I gave our pastor a set of Halloween cookies for Pastor appreciation month.FB_IMG_1506889822402
    1. Look into bake sale for No Kid Hungry – I had a Facebook bake sale during Easter and raised $90 for No Kid Hungry.IMG_0039
  2. Practice cookie decorating, would like to be able to go to Cookie Con 2019 **this goes hand in hand with donating to church.  Can donate my practice cookies – I have been decorating more throughout the year and want to continue to get better.  I have tried some new techniques and I keep Cookie Con Sept 2018 in the back of my mind.IMG_0162

What a great feeling it is to know I was working towards my goals even if I didn’t remember.  I guess cookie decorating is becoming more and more of who I am and what I love to do.

There are two spots left on the sheet.  I wonder if I can think of two more goals for 2017 and complete them before the year is done.

Make it a great day,

Jen

Tipless decorating bags

I have recently come across the tipless bags by Truly Mad Plastics.  I feel like I am a little late to the game on this one.  I thought I would give them a try since I use the same consistency for outlining and flooding.

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Saturday was not my night for decorating.  Many things that normally don’t cause an issue, were a problem.  I normally don’t have many craters, but every ghost had one.  My flooding was off and not smooth.  My consistencies were bad.  But I continued to power through.  I also feel like I stepped back several years with my skill level.  I think I was expecting too much from the bags and was not giving it my full attention.

I have used tips for almost 10 years starting with buttercream.  I want to continue to use the new bags, but I need to rely on my skill level more and take the time the cookie needs.

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Semi Sweet Mike has a great tutorial on the ghost cookies.

October is National Pastor month.  I decided to pack up some cookies and have Paul deliver them to our church.  I love these boxes from BRP Box Shop.  They make giving cookies look so much better.

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Make it a great day,

Jen

Don’t let anything hold you back

I used to bake for other people.  I would make cakes, cupcakes, cake pops etc. for family and friends for their special occasions.  I did it for a few years.  I stopped around the time of our wedding.  I started back up for a while, but it was not for long.

It has been a few years since I have baked for other people now.  For a while I was taking a break.  I needed to enjoy decorating instead of having to do it.

Then came Alex.  It was too hard to bake with a new baby who was nursing.  I have baked some in the past year, but most of it has been before he wakes up or after I put him to bed.

I have been thinking of starting to take orders again for a while.  I have been thinking of starting with cupcakes.  It is the easiest to do with a toddler at your feet.  I made my decision a week ago to start again, but could not bring myself to post it to make it official. IMG_0131

I listened to Bearfoot Baker’s podcast today when she spoke with Callye from Sweet Sugarbelle.  Callye talked about not letting something negative stop you.  It really made me think.

As decorators we put our heart and soul into our creations for people.  That is what makes it so rewarding when we give our baked goods to someone.  But, it is also hard as we strive to put a smile on someone’s face.  I am my biggest critic and see every little flaw when someone else sees an adorable cupcake.  Also, every time I worry what if someone won’t like what I have made for them.  Rejection stings like a bee.

I think this is what has made me pause.  What if I don’t get one order for cupcakes.  What if they don’t like my cupcakes.   How do I deliver cupcakes with Alex in tow?  It is all these what ifs and unknowns that has stopped me in my tracks.  Wouldn’t it be easier not to bake for anyone.  I wouldn’t have to go down this road.

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But: What if they love my cupcakes and keep ordering from me.  What if every time I deliver, I see the smiles of happy customers.  What if I can help a little boy or girl have a wonderful cupcake for their birthday.

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I cannot let the negative or unknown freeze me in time.  I will miss out on all the good life has to offer.   Many people have stated all the good comes from what they were afraid of the most.  If I don’t try, I will never know.  I will never be able to brighten someone’s day with a cupcake and sprinkles.

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It’s time to give it to God and try again.  I have done this before, I can do it again.  And knowing I can make people smile with my cupcakes will be all the reward I need.

Make it a great day,

Jen

Ice Cream Cone Cookies

I have been following Sweet Sugarbelle for several years now.  She has come out with a kit that includes cutters, instructions and templates.  I picked up the kit and made one of the designs this weekend.

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I started at the bottom of the cookie.  I flooded the bottom for the cone.

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Once I was done with all the cones, I went back and added the lines.

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Next, I flooded the brown icing for the chocolate on top.

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After that I flooded the middle of the cookie white for the ice cream.

The last step was adding the sprinkles on the top.  Alex woke up at this time, so I had to rush to get the sprinkles added so I could be done.

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I bought sample boxes from BRP Box Shop a month ago.  I wanted to give some cookies to the neighbors, so I thought the box would be perfect.  It fit two cookies very nicely.

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I did not use the template for this design, but I imagine I will use it with some of the other cookie designs that I make.

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Make it a great day,

Jen

 

Oreo Cupcake

My neighbor’s birthday is today.  I thought I would make her some cupcakes to help celebrate her special day.

I haven’t made Oreo cupcakes in a long time, so I thought I would make a batch.  I used my go to chocolate cupcake recipe.

I broke some cookies into pieces and placed them in the baking cups before pouring in the batter.

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I finely crushed some additional cookies with a rolling pin in a bag.  I mixed them into my buttercream and piped on the frosting.

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Add a piece of cookie, and voila!  Sweet deliciousness.

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Make it a great day,

Jen