May 28, 2012

Congrats Graduates!

I had the pleasure of making three sets of Graduation cookies this Graduation season.  These were my first, as last Graduation Season, I was still pretty new to cookies, so I was excited to get the requests!

The first set was for Carolyn, she had a niece Alissa, who was graduating from High School.

I did simple mortar boards, diplomas and a plaque cookie that said "Congratulations Alissa".  Like I said, these were my first attempt at these cookies, the mortar boards I was happy with, the diplomas, not so much..but Carolyn was happy, and she told me that Alissa was end the end, I guess I was happy also. 

The second set I did for Erica, she had a friend graduating for the University of Missouri Law school, she wanted black mortar boards with purple tassels and MU logo Cookies.  I am happy how they turned out, but looking at the platter, I noticed that there is a LOT of black on that platter, I should have done a MU logo that was gold, but Erica was again...I am happy!

Now..the third I did was a lot of fun.  Vicki wanted some special cookies, she is the school nurse as a small local school, and she wanted to give each graduate something special, both for the seniors and the 8th graders.  The mascot of the school is the Dragons and their colors are black and gold.  When she told me that...I will be honest...I A LOT!  Then I looked at the schools website..and was a beautiful dragon...but a very complicated dragon...lots of details.  Vicki really really wanted a dragon on the cookies, because 2012 is The Year of the Dragon!  Did you know that?  Nope?  That's OK...because I did not either.  So..she wants cookies...dragon cookies..and year and personalized ...OK...I told her I would come up with something, and send her pictures for approval.  Oh...then she said she did not want the school colors...the wanted the CLASS COLORS....are you ready for this..the Seniors Class Colors are ELECTRIC BLUE and CHARTREUSE (which after a little google search, I found out is basically electric green) and the 8th grade colors were PALE BLUE AND PALE GREEN.

OK....are you with me...she was asking me to make cookies that had

1. Dragons
2. 2012 and 2016
3. Green and Blues
4. Personalized with the graduates names

Soooo.....these are the cookies that I did for her...they had everything she asked for...and I tied them all with black and gold ribbon, just so that the school colors would be represented.

Here are the Seniors you see the dragon?

And these are the ones that I did for the 8th graders!

Congratulations to all the Graduates...Job Well Done!


May 24, 2012

Let's talk KopyKake

Ok...cookie lovers....let's take some time to talk about KopyKakes shall we.

If you are not familiar with a's a projector that let's you place an image in it, then it projects the image onto the surface below, be it a cookie, cake or even a piece of paper.

This is  KopyKake..I have a KopyKake 300xk...I purchased it from Madison Art Shop, they sell it at a great price, their shipping is fast and their customer service is top notch, if you are looking for one, I suggest them.

Now that you know what a KopyKake is....let's get down to the nitty gritty shall we. 

What you are about to read is MY opion, these are MY feelings about the KopyKake, and mine alone.  I know many cookiers and cake decorators have them, and I am sure they have their own opinion, so what you read is not meant to hurt any one's feeling, to  encourage or discourage you to purchase one, or pass judgement on decorators who have one or don't have one...get it...MY opinion...My thoughts.

OK..Now that you know these are My opinions...I need to tell you about ME....well really about THE COOKIE PUZZLE

I CAN NOT draw...really...ask me to draw a stick man....and well is just arm is longer then the other...the eyes are not evenly spaced...and the is just not a pretty is just sad...THIS CHICK CAN NOT DRAW...sad...but oh so true.

My handwriting is AWFUL...bad bad bad...think...3rd grade boy trying to learn cursive (do they even teach cursive writing anymore?)....and the spacing on my writing is even I can not write on paper...well...let's just say writing on a cookie....well....again...not a pretty picture.

I do cookies as a HOBBY!  A hobby that totally sucked me in in February of 2011.  Cookie cutters, disco dust, tips, sanding sugar, bags, butter, flour....well that stuff costs occasionally, I sell cookies to support my addiction, I mean hobby.  I have a full time job, my husband is self employed...selling cookies does not pay any bills in our house...selling buys me COOKIE STUFF.

I only work in glaze, I have tried royal icing three times....the first never made it into a piping bag...tossed just looked strange to me...the second time, I actually colored it, filled a piping bas...then it just felt strange to me in the bag...and I tossed it....the third time, it actually made it onto a cookie, in piping detail...and again, it just looked and felt and tasted strange to me.  I started with glaze, and it is just what "feels" good to me, it tastes good to me, it works good for me...and it is what my friends, family and most importantly my customers I am an official GLAZE GAL...I always will be.  I mention this because, well, glaze and royal icing are TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT cookie mediums...they don't look or act the same...what you can do with royal icing, you can not do with glaze....and what you can do with glaze you can not do with royal icing.  Now please note, again...this is MY OPINION...I have huge respect for every cookie decorator who can master their chosen medium...and I know several cookiers who work with both, sometimes on the same hats off to you...but for me....GLAZE ALL THE WAY!

Ok....are you still with me? let's get down to the nitty gritty of a KopyKake.

Let me tell you what I "hoped" would happen when I got my KopyKake, which was a birthday gift from my hubby...thanks honey!  I thought, that with a KopyKake..I could make AMAZING and PERFECT cookies....and do it over and over again...and each cookie would be perfect.  Yep..I really thought that.  Now let me tell you the cold hard facts (again, FOR ME).


Does having a fancy, beautiful copper cookie cutter give your a perfect, beautifully decorated cookies...every time?


Does having fancy PME tips, give you perfect beautifully decorated cookies.....every time?


Does having the perfect shade of icing, give you a perfect beautifully decorated cookie..every time?


Does having a great tasting cookie give you a perfect beautifully decorated cookies..every time?

Um...NO!  (but it sure does help)

Does a KopyKake give you a perfect beautifully decorated cookie...every time?


So...what does give you a perfect beautifully decorated cookie?


See a theme...or a common word?

Here...let me help you...the word is PRACTICE!

Want to make a beautiful cookies    PRACTICE....that is what makes perfect! my case not so perfect...but current cookies look a great deal better then my first cookies..why...because I PRACTICE

So...a KopyKake can HELP you make a beautiful cookies....but not do it for you! I still love my KopyKake?  Yep...I love it!  Would I purchase one again?  Yep...I would.  Would I educate myself better next time, so that my expectations were not so high?  Oh yes...that is a big fat YES?

So...want a little education...via THE COOKIE know that cold hard truth...the stuff that many "forget" to talk about.  Again...I don't want to step on any toes....again...MY OPINION!

In order to get a really detailed...highly complicated design on a cookie...the cookie has to be pretty BIG!  Now...this just might be the case for again...MY OPINION.  My typical cookies are in the 3-4 inch range...that is what my friends, family and customers like,  I make my cookies pretty a cookie much bigger then that....well it is hard to eat that much cookie.  So imagine my disappointment...when I found the PERFECT image I wanted to put on a 3-4 inch cookies....and it was just a hot mess....for just DID NOT WORK.  I don't know if my piping skills are lacking...or if is the fact that I work in glaze..or if I just have no idea what I am doing....but for get a highly detailed image on a cookie....I have to go pretty big   4.5-6 inches, depending on the image.  So for me the dreams of getting an image like that on one of my typical just gone...for ain't gonna how.  Now that is not a total failure for me...when I do order, I just let the customer know that those type of cookies are pretty the price goes up...usually they will order...a couple of those cookies...and the rest just regular sized...complementary cookies....It has not been a problem for me...I just "work" around it.

Another thing you want to that just because the image looks all cute and wonderful on paper, does not mean it will look great on a least when you pipe it onto a opinion. Fact.....piping a projected image onto a cookie is NOT the same as tracing a image on paper...Apples and Oranges...not even in the same league.  Just like piping beautiful "lace" work on a cookies takes practice...piping a projected image onto a cookie takes practice.  Practice practice practice...and takes skill also...if you can not pipe a straight line on a cookie...having a Kopykake will "help" you...but not do it FOR you.

One BIG helps a KopyKake does offer me is with my writing on cookies.  It helps me have "better" handwriting and the spacing problems I have are solved.  My KopyKake is a real life saver for me when it comes to words on cookies...names...Happy Birthday....Get Well...I LOVE YOU...all look better on my cookies, thanks to my Kopykake.  I still struggle with "fancy" "funky" and "fun" fonts...but a simple font I have down pat...I can totally rock  Arial Rounded MT Bold, right now it is my font of choice...most all of my cookies use this feels good to works with my style and looks great...and me and my glaze love it.  I am sure there will be a time that I will change fonts, but right now...I am sticking with it.  I like simple fonts....and this is a simple font.

Another lesson I getting the size of the image is a struggle.  It takes practice...I find myself reprinting and reprinting, as my printer does not have a reducing or enlarging I have to size images on my printer.  A KopyKake can reduce and enlarge some...but not a lot...try to get the image as close to the size you want as possible.  What I usually do is select the image...then trace my cutter onto "see" how it would look, the make adjustments.  I do this BEFORE I bake...sometimes I find it is better to go with a simple circle or square, rather then a shape specific cutter.  Again...this takes practice....lots and lots of practice.  Another lesson I learned it to KEEP EVERY IMAGE you use...that way if you want to 'recreate' the cookie in the future, you will have it.  A really organized cookier would have them categorized but I am not that all organized...I just got one of those photo boxes and toss them in there...that way if I need a image...I just look in the box..and I am ready to go.  Also...once I found a font that I loved...I printed common phrases that are on cookies, I don't have to reprint them every time.

Boy...when I started out..I did not think I had a lot to say about a KopyKake...but I guess I was wrong.  Sorry for the long post.

I do want to make a couple of statements about KopyKakes before I hang with me a little longer...please


When I see a beautiful cookie....I think "Wow that is a beautiful cookie"...I don't think..."oh...she had a KopyKake, she just traced it...she is a good tracer"  That is just wrong...a beautiful cookie, is a beautiful cookie, is a beautiful cookie!

Having a KopyKake will not give you skills that you don't have...anymore then a cookie cutter is a TOOL....a tool that you have to learn to use....practice at...and maybe, if you are lucky, master.  Don't believe me...well look at some of the cookies that I have done with the "HELP" of a KopyKake.....see...not so perfect.

I used my KopyKake for the words on the shirt..and for the puzzle pattern.

Logo is KopyKake....stitches on baseball are freehand

M is done with KopyKake

Entire cookie done with a KopyKake...this is an example of the "shaped" cookie
cutter did not "work" soo well.  This is an "official" Mizzou cookie cutter...yet the image
does not fit perfectly on this case..the image would have looked better on a round or square cookie

Again..all KopyKake
I did the black outlined with the KopyKake.
Letter shaped cookies with words written on them..using a KopyKake from my KopyKake
Happy Mother's Day...written with help from my KopyKake

As you can see from the cookies I showed...for me....I use my KopyKake, primarily to "write" on a cookies.  I want to use it for other cookies...I just have not had time to practice doing them with it.

So....there you humble opinion of a KopyKake.....what I use my KopyKake for...some helpful tips...and a little of what to expect out of a KopyKake.  Again...all of this is MY OPINION...I know others have their opinions...and I think that is great!

Tell me what you think of the KopyKake!

Do you have one?

Do you use is alot...or just occasionally?

Is it all you "thought" it would be when you got it?

How do "feel" about cookies decorated with the help of a KopyKake?  Is is "cheating"  OR  Is is a tool that you have to learn?

Do you have any helpful tips you are willing to share with me and others?  I would love to do a follow up, so send me your tips...send me your photos of how you use your KopyKake.  If I get enough responses...I will post them all...or how about a "linky" post?  That would be fun.

Happy Decorating


May 15, 2012

Collin's Birthday, a special gift....and a new friend

April 11th was Collin's Birthday, I can not believe I have a 17 year old son.  One who is 6 foot tall, one who tells me he loves me everyday, and one who warms my heart, lives life to the fullest, and sees the best in everyone!

For his birthday this year, we did a simple party, we had a pizza party at the local pizza place, just our family, and two of his favorite teachers (the third was at her daughters ballgame, we missed you Mrs. D!) 

But even with a simple party...cookies are a Collin picked two cookies designs.  New cookie designs...and being the adventurous person I am...I tried a new technique for these cookie...not the smartest idea...but live and learn right!

Collin chose The Green Lantern  and Captain America.

So  here you go....The Green Lantern and Captain America cookies

 For these cookies, I did something that I usually don't do, I outlined and did all the details in black, then filled in the colors, I like this look, but it takes some time getting used to, and the flood icing has to be the correct consistancy to get the look just right, but for my first try, I think they turned out well, and Collin was happy with them, and that is what is important!

So....Collin's Birthday was April 11....on April 12th, I got this message!

To honor Collins birthday, and YOUR being his Great Mom, I would like to offer him a special blanket of his own choosing from my shop. All he has to do is go on there, send me the EXACT name of the one he wants, and Your address and I will ship it to him.
Everyone Needs a Blanket to Call Their Own that not the sweetes message?  I cried....I don't know this person...I have never met her, but, just from my Facebook page, she thinks I am a Great Mom..and wants to send my son a birthday gift.

Who DOES that?

Yvette of CutnTiedbyRedYvette Does!    Check out her etsy shop, she has tons of blankets, in every color, theme and pattern you could imagine.  She is just the sweetest!  Really she is!  I was just blown away, how could I accept a gift from a complete stranger?  I was planning on doing a giveaway for Autism Awareness, so I asked her, if instead of giving a blanket to Collin, would she donate to the giveaway.  Yvette, said she would do both!  WOWZER...this lady is special!

After several emails, I learned that Yvette, has a heart of gold, she has two grown kiddos, loves making blankets...and she loves donating blankets to special people, and she thought Collin and I were special!  Tears...tears flow when I think of all the work she puts into these blankets....just to give them away!  WOW...the world needs more people like her!

SO...after looking and looking and looking...we finally found a blanket that was perfect for Collin.  I let Yvette know our choice....and she shipped it...and in two short days...this is what we got!

This blanket is is soo soft...and big...and warm...and perfect for Collin.  And as a special touch, she sews special tags on each blanket, she has several to choose from, I just love the one she selected for Collin!

Be the Change
You Wish to See
in the World

I love it!  Thank you Yvette...for the special will be treasured FOREVER!

If you are looking for a special gift for a special person, please check out her Etsy shop, I am sure you can find something for that special someone!


May 9, 2012


Being the parent of a special needs child, teachers are VERY important.  Most days they spend more time with my child then I do, at least during the school year.  I have been blessed to have the most AMAZING teachers any parent could ever ask for.  Really....they are total ROCK stars!  They are pros at what they do, they encourage Collin, without pushing him too hard, they cheer him on when he is struggling, they love him, as if he is their own child.  We are sooo blessed!  I love them, and Collin does too.  And to keep them happy...I do what I do best...I make them cookies!

They get all my extra cookies, all the boo boo cookies, all the practice cookies...I wish I could give them cookies every day, for the rest of their lives.

So, since it is Teacher's Appreciation Week...I knew I HAD to make them some special cookie...I had it all planned out....really I did...Mrs.S., Mrs. B. and Mrs. D were going to get personalized cookies, each cookie well thought out, just to show them how much we love them...then...well, things got CRAZY!

I am talking....SUPER CRAZY!

Don't believe me....take a look at this!

This my 1,296 cookies!

and this is also 1,296 cookies

Now...let me explain this madness...My cousin, Kathy,  is the president of her schools PTO, and she ordered cookies for her teachers, months ago...apples, simple, cute, apples.  Then, well, google image changed that all....see, I found this really cute photo...and I emailed her, and she emailed me, and we chatted and chatted, and I made cookies, and she loved them...and 36 apples...well, they turned into this

These are NOT apples...this is 36 boxes of "popcorn" cookies...each box has 36 cookies!

Now...let me show you some close ups of these cute little cookies.....

See...aren't they cute?

I bake 36 on each cookie sheet...then when they were cooled...I put 288 on each sheet to decorate!

Look at these cute labels that Kathy and her friend Melissa made....way cool!

These are bigger boxes...with 8-10 dozen cookies for Collin's Teachers!
Thanks for always being the "Good Cop" and for helping Collin make my beloved Dough Board, Mrs. Brown!
Thanks for introducing us to Harry Potter, Mrs. Dobson, you forever changed our lives!
Thank you Mrs. Secosh, for being Collin's "Mom" at school, for loving him they way only a mom could!

So....there you go...this is what has been keeping me so busy this week...and I still have more cookies to go...this week is also Graduation....and Mother's I will be posting more cookies soon!

To each and every teacher and Para Professional out there...THANK work hard, for little money, you love our children as if they are your own, you are molding our future, and I think you are all total ROCK STARS!  So stand up...pat yourself on the back...walk down the red carpet...because to are the STARS OF SOCIETY!

AND...I can not wait to show you what came in the mail today...I squealed...I was in shock...and I even cried a little (I am allowed, I am a mom), I super great gift, from a super great lady!

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