Monday, May 24, 2010

Kicking The Summer Off - Cookie-style!

I had quite a variety of cookies last week.  Between graduation, end of school, and ladies night, I added a few more designs to me repertoire.  Here's my week at a glance.

These were for Cade's classmates and teachers.  They got some Sweet B's for Valentine's Day, too!

Katie was graduating from kindergarten and her good friend Jennifer (who also happens to be Cade's mom), wanted to give her some cookies for the special occasion!

 The neighborhood ladies have a Bunco group and my cookies were featured at that latest meeting.  I hope those ladies had fun!

Of course, Carlee Anne had to take end-of-the-year cookies to her 2 wonderful teachers, Mrs. Skelton and Mrs. Adam and her bus driver, Mrs. Painter.  She had a wonderful year and I hope they have a wonderful summer!

I finally tried the baby onesie cutter.  I think they turned out so cute!  Bonnie said she loved them because they looked like little, fat-baby onesies.  And you know we love a chunk-chunk!

I did a few cookies for brand new Baby Sutton.  These were inspired by Sutton's new room - down to the elephant.

Last but not least, Maggie (the family babysitter), graduated from high school on Sunday.  She is now an alumnus from Aquinas High, home of the fighting Irish.  I made this cake for her and her cousin to share with the rest of the family.

And I made these cookies just for Maggie!  She'll be headed to Athens in the fall - she's such a smart girl.
While I was decorating these, I was doing a little bit of the Georgia cheer -
My 1 year-old niece was catching on to the chant real quick.  I knew she was a keeper!

I won't be quite so busy with cookies this week, thankfully.  Bonnie and Stevo are going to Costa Rica, which means I have both the girls by myself for 6 days! 
So, happy aunt-ing to me!

Friday, May 21, 2010

So Many Cookies, So Little Time

I have so many new cookie cutters that I'm dying to try out, but then I get an order (or 5) so my ideas get put on the back burner - well, some of them do.  When Bonnie (my sister) orders cookies, I use her as my guinea pig.  She lets me try out new cutters or colors or ideas.  Although sometimes, she's not as excited as I am about the idea - at first.  (She can't see what they look like in my head.)  But I can't say that she's ever been disappointed with the outcome.  Her latest order was no exception.  She wanted cookies for one of her senior accountants, Kristen (if the name sounds familiar, it's because she's one of Sweet B's cookie-holics).  Kristen is a CPA and has just finished her Masters in Accounting (MAcc) from Auburn.  (Which is quite an accomplishment!)  So, Bonnie, being the good boss that she is, wanted to congratulate her, Sweet B's style.  She asked if I would make her some flower cookies with a big flower as the message cookie.  Well, I have a cupcake cutter that I had visions for.  So, I asked if I could make her some of those, too.  I decorated the cupcakes and fell in love with cookies, all over again.  They made me giddy with excitement.  I'm not even kidding.  I was gushing.  I love them. 
Here are pictures, so you can fall in love with them too.
Of course I had to put them in the cupcake dome. It was a given.
I'm kind of glad there wasn't anyone around when I got done icing these.  I might've let out a squeal or 2.
A cupcake shortstack.  Or a cupstack shortcake.  Or a cupshort cakestack.
The flowers to match.  So cute.
And if you know Bonnie, you know she can't just say a generic "Congratulations!", she has to say it with meaning behind it.  Drawing inspiration from my Scrabble tiles, she came up with this acrostic, just for kfaunce (Kristen's nickname) who is a CPA and just earned her MAcc.
So, congratulations Kristen!  You definitely earned some Sweet B's!!

 Kristen's weren't the only cookies I did last week - I did some cupcakes and flowers as a thank you for my neighbor, Kari.  She has been a huge help this past year.  Every Monday, she helped this baker-nanny out by picking up Carlee Anne and taking her to ballet with her twin girls.  So, thanks bunches, Kari!

I also did a new baby cookie jar (I love them!).  Her initials are SEW, but they call her Libby.  Her mom was in labor for quite some time and ended up having a C-section, so she definitely deserved some cookies!!  I hope she enjoyed them!

Woodson and Mercer Anne wanted to wish their teacher, Ms. Katherine farewell with some cookies (or rather Morgan, their mom, did.  Woodson and Mercer Anne can't talk yet).  I was happy to help.
I already got word that Ms. Katherine "LOVED" them and I'm so happy she did!

Now, if you're bored with cookies (which never happens to me!), here's a cake to break the monotony.  Ellie was having a pool party and asked for a cake themed accordingly (with flip-flops, too!).  
Hope Ellie had a splash at her party!

Well, since this post came so late in the week, I've already got pictures of some of this week's orders, but I'm saving those for next week's post!
Until then, I'm happy baking!

PS.  I experimented with neck ties and Star Wars cookies last week (for Father's Day), but you'll have to wait for those pictures too.  (I'm sure the suspense will keep you up at night.)

Monday, May 10, 2010

Behind Every Cookie, There's a Story

Which is exactly why I blog!  And I have plenty of stories from this week, as I was super busy!

Order #1 - Cookies for Katy
I worked with Katy at Starbucks in Columbus.  She just recently has been promoted to Shift Supervisor (Yay!) and her mom, in Atlanta, wanted to send her some congratulations cookies - in the shape of coffee cups of course.  Well, the pictures I took of her cute coffee cups got lost (I knew this would happen eventually).  You see, I don't have my own computer, and since pictures take up so much space, I put all of them on an external hard drive.  And I'm sure I thought I put them on my hard drive and then deleted them off my camera, because when I went to look for them, they were nowhere to be found!!  I'm soooo sad!!  I do have a few shots from my camera phone that I'll show you.  So sorry for the poor quality pictures!! 

Order #2 - Cristie's Cake
Cristie was throwing a party for her husband's new command (or company or something like that.  I'm not good at keeping up with what the Army calls things).  Cristie just needed a big cake with the company's shield on it.  She gave me a copy of what the shield looks like, which is what the paper on the right is.  She seemed pleased with the outcome!

Order #3 - Mom's Day!
So, the Mother's Day cookies that were pictured on my Mother's Day post weren't actually for my mother.  Kristen, who works with my sister and is an avid Sweet B fan, ordered 2 boxes of them - one for her mom and one for her mom-in-law.  Bonnie took them to work with her on Friday morning to deliver to Kristen.  So they sat on Kristen's desk, taunting her all day long.  She couldn't resist, she gave in to her addiction and ate one of her mom's cookies.  So, her mom got 19 cookies instead of 20 for Mother's Day.  But I'm sure she enjoyed them just the same!
 (The second Mom's Day order was pictured on my post yesterday.)

Order #4 - Teacher Appreciation
It was teacher appreciation week last week at Blue Ridge Elementary, where my niece attends and to finish out the week, they had a luncheon for the teachers.  Bonnie signed up to bring a dessert and asked if Sweet B could make one for her.  She loved the cake I did for our neighbor Kari and wanted the same design. She loves it when the message is on the side of the cake (She says it’s the Sweet B’s Difference!). And for that matter, I agree!
"We *heart* BRE teachers!"

Orders #5 & 6 - Daniel and Lauren's Engagement Party Cake and Cookies
These were 2 separate orders for the same party.  My sister wanted to take the happy couple some congrats cookies and the people throwing the party called and asked me to make the cake.  I made the cake to look like the couple's wedding invitation (per Bonnie's suggestion).  Which, while doing it, I wasn't sure it was the best idea - that's a lotta dots!  My arm got a little tired, but I did survive.
The invite - 

The cake -
Bonnie wanted the cookies in the black and white, which I love for wedding/engagement cookies.
I hope Daniel and Lauren enjoyed their sweets from Sweet B! 

Order #7 - Wayne's birthday Cake
My brother-in-law's friend, Wayne is an avid Alabama fan and so when his wife called asking me to make his birthday cake for the party we were attending, it was easy to pick a theme!  The funny story here is that, I was in charge of bringing the cake out at the party.  I went inside to take the cake out of the box, and I knocked off a corner of the icing.  Yup, I messed it up.  And of course, I hadn't got any pictures of the cake yet.  So, here's the cake, dented corner and all.
(Have I mentioned that I'm a klutz in real life?!)

Order #8 - Abby's Birthday Cookies
Abby is a member of the Sweet B’s fan club at Bonnie's work. A few of the girls give each other Sweet B cookies for each other's birthdays.  It's kinda funny.  So, today was Abby's birthday and of course, Kristen and Jessica got her some Sweet B's cookies!  Happy birthday, Abby!

Whew!  That was a busy week.  I would venture to say that I worked harder doing 8 different orders than the week before when I did 600 cookies for one order! 
Well, I don't have a lot of orders this week, so I'm hoping to do a bit of experimenting, especially since I just ordered some new cookie cutters.  I'm so excited!
So, happy experimental baking to me!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For My Mom, Ma, Mom-sicles...

Mother's deserve so much more than one day a year to honor them with cards and cookies.  They are the reason you and I are alive.  I, personally, owe so much to my mother.  She has always been my biggest cheerleader, like any good mother should be.  In my lifetime, she has encouraged me, motivated me, defended me, loved me, challenged me, and currently, she misses me (she told me so when I talked to her today).  Growing up, she cooked breakfast for us every morning (pancakes on Saturdays!) and had dinner on the table every night.  She has put up with my father for nearly 38 years (haha, love ya, dad!), mothered 4 children, and is the most amazing Grammy to 7 grand-children.  My mom is probably the sweetest person I know.  She always has something good to say, no matter the situation.  She is also incredibly beautiful and a wonderful piano player and teacher.  We have so much fun when we're together, and I miss hanging out with her like crazy!  I feel so incredibly blessed that my mom and I have such a good relationship, my only complaint is that we're 3 1/2 hours away from each other.  (And in the same breath, I'm thankful that we're in the same state!) 
So, on this day, and every day, Mom, I love you.

Ps.  I had a super busy week that I'll be telling you about soon! 

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Scrabble, Anyone?

So, ever since I started calling my square cookies "tiles", I've wanted to put individual letters on them and make a crossword, like Scrabble.  And when I do cookies for friends or family as gifts, I get to experiment and do whatever design I want.  (Suh-weet!)  You can pretty much bet one of the colors I use will be teal or another variation of blue.  I finally made Scrabble tiles for my friends, Mike and Candice who just had a beautiful baby boy.
(As a side note, this is a card table that was my great-grandmother's, that is in the possession of my father. I was at their house this weekend and was able to showcase it.  I love this table.  Not sure if it's the sentiment and nostalgia, or the fact that it's just really cool, but I thought it was perfect to show off my Scrabble cookie tiles.)
The only thing is, it's not exactly practical to wrap up a table for presentation.  (And I certainly wasn't giving away my antique card table - that's right, siblings, it's mine after dad, um, is done with it.)  So, I just put them in a cookie jar and printed out a picture of the cookies as a crossword and used it as a card.  (Which led me to another idea - cookie greeting cards.  You know how the use photographs of found objects that look like letters and make them spell things?  I want to do that with cookies.  The cards will be found in the Sweet B's gift shop, along with t-shirts and bumper stickers that say "Eat. Sleep. Cookies.") 
Congratulations, Mike and Candice!!

And now that you've seen the Scrabble tiles, you want to throw a party just so you can play cookie Scrabble, don't you?  Like my friend Jenny said about my tree cookies, "You know a design is good when people start wondering what kind of event they can plan so they can order that cookie :) So maybe I will be hosting a tree hugging party soon? Arbor day picnic? Lumber jack cookout? We shall see... "
So, whether you're planning a board game party or a lumber jack cookout, let Sweet B's make your party suh-weet!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tea Cup Craze

So, just in case you were wondering, I am still alive after baking 600 tea cup shaped cookies last week.  (Whew!)  My former boss/mentor/friend-for-life Beckie McKenzie (more to come on her in a later post) asked me to make cookies for a tea she was catering.  Heading up the tea was my sister-in-law, Jen.  Needless to say, I couldn't turn it down.  Even though it was for 300 people (so I thought), which would be the most cookies I've done for one order so far.  Well, Beckie calls me the week before and tells me the number for the High Calling Tea is 340, and can I do 240 more for another tea?  After I pick myself up off the floor, I say, "Can I get back to ya on that?!"  I had no idea how long it was going to take me to do 340 cookies, much less 580!  I, of course, over-estimated how many hours it was going to take (or under-estimated my baking skills) and was done with the first order by Tuesday.  I called Beckie back up and said, "I got this" and began baking even more little tea cup cookies like a pro.  Here's what a whole lotta cookies looks like.
Then, once they were done, we (the cookies and I) had a photo shoot.  I even bought pretty flowers for them.
See how pretty they look.
I stuck with a fairly simple design, because after all - there were 600 of them.  (In case you're wondering, I baked 10 extra for each tea, so that's why there's 600 and not just 580.)
Of course they needed pink roses.

After making all the cookies, I really wanted to sip some tea.  A tea cup cookie (or biscuit, if you're from across the pond) goes perfectly with a cup of tea; it's just the right size.  And just to prove it to you -
 If I have a choice of tea, I choose Earl Grey.  I think it smells like fruit loops. 
*Munch*Sip*  (Oh, the things I do for the sake of the blog.)
*Munch*Sip*  (Oh, no, almost done.)
See.  Perfect size.  (But I still want one more bite.  Why is that?)

So, even after 600 tea cups, I'm not sick of them.  I have to do 3 dozen for an order this week.  (Except they'll be coffee cups tomorrow!) 
Now that I've proved to myself that I can do 600 cookies in a week and stay (mostly) sane, bring it on!  Because I'm - happy baking!!