Mark Your Calendars for Our August Live Chat with Manu!

I'm calling our next chat "Meet-up with Manu," because you're going to have the special opportunity to get to know our very own Cookie Connection contributor, Manuela Pezzopane (aka Manu), that much better. As one of our very fine tutorialists, she's in the perfect position to tell us all about what goes into writing and photographing a great cookie tutorial. She, of course, will also be ready to share tips about how she conceives of and executes her marvelously unique cookie designs.

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I hope to "see" many of you on August 26! In the meantime, please check out Manu's expanded bio below (she recently made an exciting move to Dubai from Italy). And if you can't make the chat, please leave any advance questions for Manu in her chat room here. She'll make a point of answering all of your questions on the day of the chat, and, afterwards, you can return to the chat transcript (using the same chat room link, above) to review her answers!

Manuela Pezzopane, affectionately called Manu by her friends and family, is from Rome, Italy. She is a fan of everything handmade, and professes to have tried every possible hobby. However, it wasn’t until the end of 2014, when an American friend invited her to a Christmas cookie exchange, that she accidentally discovered decorated cookies while looking on the internet for recipes. It was love at first sight when she saw a gray and pink Christmas cookie set made by Sweet Sugarbelle. On that occasion, she used glaze to ice about 100 cutout Christmas tree cookies, as she didn't have enough time to learn to make royal icing from scratch and was not a fan of raw eggs. After Christmas vacation, she vowed to return to cookie art. But time passed quickly and, it wasn't until the end of 2015 as the next Christmas cookie exchange was approaching, that she got back into cookies. When she found one of Julia M. Usher's videos that discussed different icing consistencies and meringue powder as an alternative to making icing with raw eggs, she finally attempted to decorate cookies with royal icing. Shortly after, she signed up on Cookie Connection, and her adventure in the cookie world began!

Since then, cookie decorating has become Manu's passion – one that she continues to develop by producing monthly Made by Manu cookie tutorials for Cookie Connection and actively participating in the challenges hosted by fellow Cookie Connection contributor Bakerloo Station. Mostly self-taught, through Cookie Connection and the internet, Manu was lucky enough to be living in the right place (Milan) at the right time, where she had the chance to take cookie classes from Evelindecora and Marta Torres. Married, with two kids in college, Manu has just moved to Dubai with her husband. There, she hopes to have the chance to meet fellow cookie decorators who pass by. For more information about Manu and her cookie creations, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, or catch her past Cookie Connection tutorials here.

Photo credit: Manuela Pezzopane

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