Sunday, February 28, 2010

Cookies for Eliana

Sweey Baby Eliana lives in Texas, but her cousins here in Augusta wanted to send her some Sweet B's cookies to welcome her to the world!  Eliana has a big brother, so he had to get some cookies too.
These are so much fun to do!
To go from this...
To this...
It's about a 3 day process.  From the baking to the icing making to the first coat of icing to the decorating to the drying.  The drying takes the longest. 
And then, once they're good and dry, I put them in a box and say goodbye.
I probably will never meet Baby Eliana but I'm glad I could be a part of this exciting time in her family's life!

Sunday, February 21, 2010

A Few New Things...

Well, this week has been a bit like the 12 days of Christmas for Sweet B's.  I ordered and received several fun things, well, fun for me.  The first to come was my Ateco professional cake stand.  That's right - professional.  I have wanted one of these for years. 

If you've watched Martha Stewart ice a cake, you've seen one.  I can't wait to use it.  It's got a cast iron base and a smooth turn-table.  (Wicky-wicky. If I've got a song stuck in your head now, that's where it's at.) 
Now where the Ateco cake stand is for the process of icing the cake -

This one if for displaying the cake.  I didn't think I would have one of these for a long time, as they tend to be a bit pricey.  I found this one at a price I couldn't turn down.  It's so pretty.  I wish I could use it everyday.  I almost took pictures of the monkey cookies on it, but the silver didn't exactly match the mood of the zany monkeys.  At this point, I don't have any fancy cakes lined up, but when I get one - I have the silver cake plateau to make it the center of the party. 
I also got some ribbon for tying up cookie favors.  And I'm mainly just posting the picture because it's pretty.
Anyone spot my favorite color?  Anyone?  (It's up there twice, and it's the only 7/8" ribbon up there.)  
I love ribbon.  And it makes me happy that I get to use it.  Say what you want.  I'm sure you have your oddities too. 
Oh, and this week, I got crackberried.  Yup.  I tried to fight the urge to conform.  But it didn't help.  I gave in to the peer/sibling pressure.  I rationalized it by saying it will help my business since I do a lot of corresponding by email.  Right, right.  Whatever helps me sleep at night. 
Well, I ordered some more stuff this weekend, so I'm looking forward to getting those things. I probably won't share pictures of that stuff - not necessarily fun to look at. A few new cookie cutters and some cake boxes.  I'm also excited that I'm working with a graphic designer to create a logo for Sweet B's and it's getting pretty close to being done!  And this week, I get to try and make gluten-free cookies - so, happy baking to me!

Monkey Business

So, I knew that eventually I would have to actually draw something that resembles something else in this game of decorating I'm in.  And this has always been a fear of mine.  You see, designs - I can do.  Doodles - in my sleep.  Lettering - I can have very neat penmenship, despite what Mrs. Cook thought in 3rd grade.  (I've come a long way since then.)  But as for actually drawing objects, this has never been a talent of mine.  Britt David Art Studio tried to teach me when I was in 4th grade.  "Just draw what you see."  Well, what I see and what I draw never look the same.  This is why I didn't pursue the art of drawing or painting.  I did, however, find a medium that I was good at - sugar.  That's right.  I take sugar and make it pretty.  And love every minute I'm doing it. 
Well, this past week, I was given the challenge of making monkey cookies for a 1year-old's party.  Drawing a monkey for a 1 year-old, I think I can handle.  So, I tried it.  And here's what I came up with.
For some reason, the monkeys needed different expressions.  That's just how monkeys are.
The little guy's nickname is Monkey Man and you know that I have a hard time doing the same thing on ALL the cookies, so I figured I'd do a few just for him!
Now you want an excuse to take monkey cookies somewhere, don't you?

Saturday, February 13, 2010

The Heart of Baking

So, I was a little busy this week.  I had a few Valentine's orders. (Like 10.)  A birthday cake AND anniversary cookies. I thought I might have over-booked myself - BUT, 277 cookies and a 9" cake later, I pulled it all off!!  I used to think Valentine's Day was just a gimmick for florists and card companies - but here I am, reaping in the benefits of Valentine's Day commercialism.   And I'm ok with that. 
I made a coupla bouquets...
A coupla these...
A few bags of cookies...

I made these Valentine's cookies for my niece's Kindergarten class.
They started out as just simple hearts.  But I asked her what she wanted on them. (I had to, she's a princess, you know.)  She said she wanted a butterfly.  So, on the wax paper I drew, what I thought, was a rudimentary butterfly (thinking she wouldn't like it, so I could do something easy, like dots.)  Oh, no.  She loved my simple butterfly.  And then I realized the great thing about being an aunt, whatever you do, you rock.  I was happy to do my butterfly on her Valentine's, because at that point, I was the best aunt in the world.
And I love it!  I love it more than anything.  My nieces and nephews could ask me for anything, and they would get it.  Especially with eyes like that one!  (ALL my nieces and nephews are that beautiful, I promise!) 

Well, I also had a birthday cake and anniversary cookies to do, as well as all my heart cookies.  They were for the same party.  65th birthday and 45th anniversary.  (Sounds like my parents.  My mom got married on her 20th birthday!) 
So, I did a cake for the birthday.
(I was really proud of how good my lettering looks on this one!) 
He's a motorcyle kinda guy that loves to go ridin' with his friends.  I hope his get together tonight wasn't cut too short due to the Winter Storm '10! 
The party also called for cookies in celebration of the anniversary.
I know I say this everytime, but for real, these might be my favorite. 
I love the tone on tone.  I first discovered this with Audrey's cookies (I did some teal on teal, which happens to be my favorite color).  White on white is a perfect combo for wedding/anniversary.
I loved doing these cookies and the cake!! 

And to answer the question that several people have asked me, despite the craziness of the week, I still love cookies and can't wait until my next order.  (I will probably experiment a bit this weekend with some things I've got stirring in my head.  Call me crazy.)  I have quite a few orders lined up in the next month. 
I can't wait show them to you!

Monday, February 8, 2010

In The Middle Of...

Just wanted you to know that I'm up to my elbows in flour. 
I have quite a few orders for Valentine's Day. 
But the good thing is, even though I'm making over 250 cookies...
I love doing it. 
Can't wait to show you the finished products.

It's Cookie-tini Time!

So, a couple of weeks ago I ordered a bunch of new cookie cutters.  (A bunch means 10.)  Some that I knew would come in handy - a cupcake (birthdays), a necktie (father's day), outline of USA (Master's week is coming), and some that I don't know if I will ever use them but I had to get them for obvious reasons (if you know me) - a lamb, a tree and a coffee cup (that pretty much sums me up, in case you don't know me).  I also ordered a martini glass, thinking it would be good for something.  Well, that same week, I got a cookie order for 2 Georgia girls (Go Dawgs!) who were turning 21!  Perfect!  The cookie cutter would get here just in time! 
Molly and Erin each got cookie jars full of flower cookies and 2 separate martini glass cookies.  I would have done all martini glass cookies, but I didn't want the stems to break off in the jar.  So, I did them separate. 

I hope they enjoyed getting them as much as I enjoyed making them!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Flowers and Traffic Cones

Last week, I made two cookie bouquets for one of my sister's co-workers.  I had the pots and other things to put it together already purchased for my Valentine's bouquets.  But since the occassion wasn't wishing someone Happy Valentine's, I thought it was more appropriate to use the flowers (my favorite shape, other than my new favorite - the tile).  I thought they turned out super cute.  I loved putting the message on the center flower!  The purple and yellow color combo isn't my favorite - it makes me think of the Lakers.  But they still get the message across - someone's thinking of you!  I wrapped them up and tied them with ribbon and sent them off to work with my sister the next morning.  I get a call from my sister about an hour later saying (insert menacing music here - duh, duh, duuhhh) the big flower fell off its stick - in BOTH bouquets!  Well, fudge.  That puts a damper on the beautiful presentation, doesn't it?  I talk about coming up there to try and fix it with some royal icing, which can double as glue.  BUT, I'm in the middle of another cake/cookie order that has to be finished.  Bonnie and another co-worker, Jessica, fiddled around with it to try and make it look presentable.  (I'm convinced that Jessica was helping out in hopes that she might get to eat the fallen cookie.)  They ended up taking the sticks out and propping the cookies up.  (Jessica took the opportunity to lick the sticks.  So, she got a little fix.)  It wasn't ideal, but at least the cookies hadn't broken into pieces or anything.  'Twas a learning experience and I'll try to solve that problem next time!  So, sorry you had to be a guinea pig, Morgan!  And thanks to Bonnie and Jessica for looking out for me!

The other cookie order last week was for my friend Sara's little boy, Jaden.  He turned the big 1!  They were just having a small party with just the fam, but didn't want to gyp Jaden (or themselves) out of any birthday sweets.  So, it meant more matching cookies and cake for me - I love it!  And I got to do a cupcake along with it!  Sara went with a truck/construction theme because she liked the little orange cones so much.  I hope it turned out like she wanted it to!  Happy 1st birthday, Jaden! 

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

For Your Sweethearts...

Valentine's Day is just around the corner and instead of sending flowers, you might want to sent one of these.  It's a bouquet of cookies!  It's 6 Sweet B's sugar cookies (3 extra-large, 1 large and 2 small) arranged in a terra cotta pot.   
If you don't want to give that much sweetness, you can send a Round of Love, which is 6 medium heart cookies arranged in a circle (on a 6" cake round).
And if you are just wanting to spread a little love, try Little Bits of Love, 10 small heart shaped cookies, or one of the Tiny Pots, 3 small heart shaped cookies in a tiny terra cotta pot.  All come wrapped and tied with a matching ribbon and a personalized tag.  What a sweet way to send your love!